Bettie Luke, 69, is a Chinese American, who was born, raised and grew up in Seattle.
She has served as an educational activist for three decades promoting diversity training and has volunteered for the Organization of Chinese Americans of Greater Seattle (OCA-GS) as well as for several diverse cultural and historic preservation groups, including: the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Ethnic Heritage Council, Seafair Pow Wow, Northwest African American Museum, Rainbow Bookfest and the Chinese/Jewish Partnership.
Luke is currently the chair for the Chinese Expulsion Remembrance Project, a project commemorating the 125th anniversary of the 1885 - 1886 expulsion of Chinese from several cities in Washington State (Visit www.iexaminer.org/cerp and see related article in this issue).
What brought you to volunteer and what keeps you volunteering?
"Starting with the Jade Guild
as a young mother, I was intrigued with the opportunity to work with and learn from older Chinese American women," said Luke
"I wanted to learn more about Chinese heritage, practices, beliefs, crafts and activities.
Through years of involvement it became easy to take part in cultural activities and social services for the good of the community."
Luke explained when she started work for the Seattle Public School District as a Multicultural Teacher Trainer, her interest and learning expanded quickly into involvement with communities of other cultures.
"There are so many common needs and issues across other cultural communities that I could understand and relate to," said Luke
hopes to "get good work done that contributes to society" and builds relationships with others having like interests as well as be a proactive example [of change] instead of lamenting.
"I make sure that I also give support, appreciation and recognition to others on the team while doing the work together," said Luke
, in regards to community fundraising events.
"In that way, I hope it builds a stronger bond to continue/sustain volunteer work in the future."
feels that her
strength to push efforts has helped to move causes forward.
"I have been told on occasion that some things would not have happened if I had not prodded, nagged, instigated and/or been a cheerleader to get things done."
How do you feel about this nomination and recognition?
"What an honor to be featured among such a stellar and deserving group of people in the community," said Luke
"I do not need to be recognized - it is the work that deserves the attention and the others on the team that made the good work happen.
I will keep on helping where I can."
A word from their nominator:
"I nominated Bettie Luke
selflessly and heroically volunteers her
time, energy, experience and wisdom on some of the hardest, most controversial issues facing our community.