Grammy Nominated Artist Hollis Wong-Wear To Speak At Rainier Beach Scholarship Event

by Clare Meeker

The Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund, named after President Obama’s mother, presents Grammy- nominated artist and community advocate Hollis Wong-Wear as this year’s guest speaker at its 9th Annual Scholarship Award Ceremony on Sunday, April 22 from 3-5pm at the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle. The event is free and open to the public. Donations to help fund-a-scholar are gratefully accepted.

Ms. Wong-Wear’s vocal performance of “White Walls” on The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis earned her a Grammy nomination and she performs internationally with her electronic R&B trio The Flavr Blu. A graduate of Seattle University, she received the University’s Outstanding Recent Alumna Award in 2016.

2017 finalists
2017 Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Finalists (from left: Katerina Tiscornia, Claire Stein, Emil Au(RBHS Scholar), Christine Lee (MIHS Scholar), Celine Nguyen Le, Rory Murphy, So Nanthavongsa, Nirae Petty, and Sidney Montague)

Wong-Wear is a creative generator who speaks through her art. With a background in the national Youth Speaks movement, her songwriting, and spoken word poetry offer powerful messages about social justice and women’s equality, especially in the workplace. Wong-Wear is also an inspiring speaker and has presented alongside such activist luminaries as Gloria Steinem and Kimberle Crenshaw. She recently gave a TEDx talk, “A Family Tradition,” about the values she learned growing up in the kitchen of her mother’s Chinese restaurant and how they inform her life and creative work.

The Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund was created in 2010 to honor the life and legacy of President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who graduated from Mercer Island High School in 1960. In addition to raising two children, Dr. Dunham became a pioneering anthropologist in the field of micro-finance and helped families in marginalized communities around the world earn sustainable livings through their traditional crafts.

Stanley Ann Dunham understood the rich significance of cultural diversity in our human experience.  As a trailblazing artist, Hollis Wong-Wear is also a champion of women and of the power of cultural activism and community in Seattle. About Stanley Ann Dunham, Wong-Wear says, “I am inspired by the audacity of Stanley Ann Dunham — her scholarship, principles, and daring to build bridges between cultures and embrace a global worldview. In a time that can feel claustrophobic, overwhelming, and short-sighted, the work and values of Dunham inspire us to expand our sense of what is possible and the impact that each of us can have on the future.”

Each year, the Scholarship Fund awards $5,000 college scholarships to graduating senior women at Rainier Beach High School and Mercer Island High School who demonstrate that they share Dr. Dunham’s values of education, global activism, and service through their strong academic records and impactful service in the community. “We believe that recognizing and supporting these talented young women will encourage them to continue on their path to college and to create meaningful change as leaders and active global citizens,” says Clare Meeker, the Board Chair of the Dunham Scholarship Fund.  “We are honored to welcome Hollis Wong-Wear in our celebration of empowered young women this year.”

To learn more about the Scholarship Fund, please visit stanleyanndunhamfund.org.  

To attend the event, email Clare Meeker at: boardchair@stanleyanndunhamfund.org


Photo by Eleanor Stills Photography

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