Bestselling author Dr. Gina Wong on overcoming racism to find success

Breaking free of internalized racism, she not only stepped into her own excellence, but has also inspired millions with the Asian Gold Ribbon campaign

Dr. Gina Wong, program director in the Graduate Centre of Applied Psychology at Athabasca University, has always been interested in what makes people tick. “How do we grow? How do we change?” she always wondered. She pursued a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology to dig into those questions, with the idea that the field would allow her to choose academia or the life of a practitioner. Now, as a professor and a counselor in private practice, she is doing both. 

Achieving such success was not a given for Gina, who did not excel in school at first and who experienced many racist incidents as a kid in Montréal, where she was part of the only Asian family in her community. “What I remember is almost every day after school in grade one, I would be chased, kicked, spit at; children would shout racial slurs and pull the sides of their eyes and mock me. And that experience really affected me. As I grew up, I struggled with internalized racism and, with that, I always doubted myself.” Even after earning her Ph.D., she still questioned her own accomplishments. More recently, however, she has experienced dramatic personal growth after launching the Asian Gold Ribbon campaign. Inspired by a desire to spare her daughters the same kind of racism she experienced, the campaign was about feeling pride in Asian culture and helping people understand the history of Asian culture and the history of anti-Asian racism. 

Unexpectedly, she says, “It really exploded. I had no idea. I found myself in front of media and being interviewed for national and local news stations and radio. And I realized I was having this platform, people were asking me questions about my own experiences, and I was saying things for the first time, sometimes about my experience growing up. And it would be very strange having never articulated it before, and then all of a sudden saying it very publicly, and I would be processing some of those past traumas in a new and different way. I think I’ve done the most growth in the last several months, putting things into place and also being able to inspire others. Our campaign reached 80 countries and 23.3 million people. It was phenomenal.” One of the most valuable lessons she learned from launching and promoting the campaign is one she shares with clients: “When you’re passionate about something and when you have a deep-rooted sense of what it is you want to accomplish, you can do it,” she says. “You can do anything. I kid you not.”

Read much more about Gina and her advice for women to think about “taking up space” as a way to push past limiting beliefs in the inspiring new book Moms Who Boss Up Post-Pandemic, by Tam Luc, the author, educator, and podcaster dedicated to helping women “boss up.” The book collects 16 interviews with moms who are side hustlers and multitaskers, who faced the uncertainties of the Covid pandemic—and other obstacles—by embracing their strengths and finding their authentic paths. They have so much to share and to teach, and while every story is unique, there is creativity and perseverance at the core of each one.

Connect with the Asian Gold Ribbon campaign at https://asiangoldribbon.com or on Instagram and Twitter @AsianGoldRibbon. Gina is on Twitter @GinaWong11 and on LinkedIn as Gina Wong at Athabasca University. Her website is at https://ginawongsite.wixsite.com/ginawong. You can also learn more about her at https://bossupbestseller.com/GinaWong, where you can find a link to Moms Who Boss Up Post-Pandemic. And don’t miss all the dynamic and supportive women from the Women Who Boss Up book series who are scheduled to speak at the upcoming Women Who Boss Up Summit!

Details and registration are at www.womenbossupsummit.com

About Women with Vision International

Women with Vision International aims to inspire, uplift, and empower women everywhere to never give up their dream of living their life on purpose. We gather dynamic, entrepreneurial women who are making a difference and changing people’s lives to spark conversation around the topics that impact us all such as building their businesses, fundraising, and balancing their work and their families.  

About Tam Luc

Tam Luc is an international bestselling author and the founder of Women with Vision International who shares the triumphs, stress, and struggles of balancing her life to help women grow their businesses. After 20 years as an entrepreneur, she is able to help women leverage their messages and create the lifestyle they want through her unique book messaging strategies.

Join us at https://womenbossupsummit.com/virtualsummit  

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