Toronto Hakka Conference
July 10-11, 2021
York University

2021 July 10-11

Hon. Dr. Vivienne Poy
Chancellor Emerita
University of Toronto


Abidin Kusno
Prof. Abidin Kusno
York Center for Asian Research


Dr. Keith Lowe
Hakka Community

One World One Heart


Register for the 2021 Conference

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One World One Heart

The Toronto Hakka Conference 2021 will be virtual/online via Zoom.
Saturday, July 10, 2021


Our Time to Lead – Challenge to Hakka Folk Worldwide

Joseph Tsang Mang Kin

Medicine at the Cross Roads

Dr. Ho Ping Kong Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong

The Voyages of Zheng-He Around the World 1405-1493:
Conclusive Proof from World Maps of the Ming Dynasty

Dr. Siu-Leung Lee Dr. Siu-Leung Lee


The Future of Science

Dr. Ken Chong Professor Ken Chong, University of Washington
Dr. James Chen Professor James Chen, State University of New York
Prof. Abraham Anthony Chen Professor Abraham Anthony Chen, University of West Indies; Nobel Prize Team Leader on U.N. Team on Climate Change re Small Islands


Sunday, July 11, 2021


Sustainable Development – Habitat in Harsh Regions

Ruifeng Liang Professor Ruifeng Liang
Elvira Villaraza Ostrowski Helen Villaraza Ostrowski

Settlement & Acculturation in Cuba, Surinam, Guyana, Peru

Prof. Kathy Lopez Professor Kathy Lopez
Professor Patricia Castro Obando

Economy & Culture in China & Southeast Asia

Prof. Janet Tai Landa Professor Janet Tai Landa
Justin Poy Justin Poy

Genealogy & the Future of the Family

1) Three Thousand Years of the
Luo/Lowe Family
2) Family Search Methods of
the Mormon Church
Paula Williams Paula Lowe Madison Pooran Rodney Bridgelall Pooran Bridgelall
Minjun Luo Minjun Luo Steven Yu Steven Yu
Dr. Keith Lowe Helen Warner Helen Warner


Sunday, July 11, 2021


Genealogy & the Future of the Family

3) Searching Old Documents
and Grave Sites
4) Youth Development
Robert Hew Yeeva Chang Yeeva Chang
Felicia Chang Felicia Chang Lucy Truong Lucy Truong
Huihan Lie    

Building a Hakka Syllabus for Students and Teachers

Wei-An Chang Professor Wei-An Chang
Professor Cary Wu
Lucy Truong Lucy Truong
Bayer Lee Dr. Bayer Lee

The Future of Global Hakka Education

Ruifeng Liang Professor Ruifeng Liang
Abidin Kusno Professor Abidin Kuzno
Yeeva Chang Yeeva Chang
Professor Nicholas Ng-A-Fook
Dr. Keith Lowe

Information about Speakers, Responders, Panelists – see below.






Dr. Ho Ping Kong
Herbert Ho Ping Kong is the G. Raymond Chang Speaker for this 6th Toronto Hakka Conference. Born into a large Hakka shopkeeper family in Jamaica, HPK as he is affectionately called, earned his Ph.D. at the University of the West Indies and then became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom. He immigrated to Canada in 1972 and worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University, before moving to the Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto. In his book The Art of Medicine: Healing and the Limits of Technology, he argues that in an age of specialization and research, doctors should rely on the arts of seeing, hearing and palpating. His work is continued by the Centre of Excellence for Education and Practice at the Toronto Western Hospital.


Paula Williams
Paula Williams Madison retired from NBC Universal as Executive Vice-President and previously held positions as TV station President and Vice-President of News. Born in Harlem to a mixed race Hakka Chinese Jamaican mother, she retired from NBCU in order to find the descendants of her Hakka Chinese grandfather whom she had never met. In 2012, she traveled to the 4th Toronto Hakka Conference whose members helped her to trace her family to Shenzhen. Toronto film maker Jeanette Kong produced and directed Finding Samuel Lowe. Paula wrote a book with the same title which was published in English by HarperCollins and in Chinese by Shenzhen Publishing Co. In 2019, it was named one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books about Shenzhen and has been approved for inclusion to schools’ reading lists by China’s Ministry of Education. She founded the New York Hakka Conference in 2015.



Prof. Abraham Anthony Chen
Professor Abraham Anthony Chen, retired professor of Physics at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica campus, was a team leader on the United Nations Intergovernmental Committee on Climate Change in 2013. The Committee was co-winner of the Nobel Prize. Professor Chen’s team was responsible for reporting on the effects of climate change on small islands.



Justin Poy
Justin Poy established in the early 90’s one of Canada’s first ad agencies specializing in reaching ethnic communities. He currently heads one of the top firms involved in the ever-growing business of Chinese social media. He recently co-organized a major conference at the Richard Charles Lee Canada-Hong Kong Library, Robarts Library, University of Toronto, on “How WeChat Changed the World”. As Honorary Patron, Mr. Poy delivered the keynote speech to open the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Asian Heritage Month for the Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc.


Prof. Ruifeng Liang
Professor Ruifeng Liang is a native of Shanggang, Fujian province; he was a researcher at Cambridge University before becoming a professor of Materials Sciences at the University of West Virginia. He researched the energy efficiency of Fujian tulou for a television program commissioned by the History Channel. He is currently testing rammed-earth houses in Alaska on a federal government contract. As a community worker, he is the President of the Shanggang Association of North America. In November 2020, he founded the International Institute of Hakka Studies.







Robert Hew
Robert Hew is the current president of the Chinese Benevolent Association in Jamaica. A Rhodes scholar, with expertise in law and administration, he has digitized all the records of the Chinese cemetery of Jamaica, translating Hakka words into Mandarin so that the listing of villages on modern maps can be utilized. As well, he provides guidance on linking that data base to Jamaican and foreign records of births, deaths, marriages, etc.



Huihan Lie, president of My China Roots, with agents all over China, will speak on a genealogy panel. His company is based in London, United Kingdom.



Felicia Chang
Felicia Chang, president of Plantain, a bespoke genealogy firm, will speak on a genealogy panel. Her company is based in London, United Kingdom.



Pooran Rodney Bridgelall
Pooran Rodney Bridgelall has many years of experience as a researcher and teacher in the Mormon church. Having specialized in the Caribbean community, he is now including the Indian diaspora of Mauritius, South East Asia, South Africa and the Panama Canal. In his recent workshop at Roots Tech in London, he utilized resources such as Records of Indenture, Estate Registers, Cadastral Maps, Church records.



Bayer Lee
As a doctoral candidate in New York City, Bayer Lee became interested in the Hakka people for being devoted as much to their folk religion as to biblical Christianity. He was one of the first scholars to attend the initial conferences on Hakkaology and he witnessed the diminution of this school of thought. He is also keenly interested in Ming dynasty defences of China’s southern coast, and in Punti-Hakka conflicts. He is therefore well qualified to speculate on the social benefits of the Belt and Road undersea tunnel from Zhuhai-Macao to Hong Kong.



Minjun Luo
Minjun Luo is an elder in the Luo/Lowe family of Crane Lake, Longgang, Shenzhen. Under the leadership of his father, he produced a new genealogy of the Luo family going back one hundred and ten years before Christ. He will accompany his cousin Paula Madison to Salt Lake City within the next few months to present an even older Luo genealogy (jiapu) to the Mormon Church for preservation and analysis.



Harry Truong
Harry Truong survived the horrors of the Vietnam war as a teenager. He lived briefly in the USA and then sought refuge in Canada. With the mindset of an inventor and philosopher, he developed several businesses while mindfully seeking to resolve contradictions in both capitalism and communism in the age of technology. He has distilled his thoughts and experiences in a forthcoming book titled The Twelve Virtues: Success, Happiness and Harmony the Hakka Way.



Mitzi Espinoza
Mitzi Espinosa Luis is a board member of the Chee Gung Tong of Cuba as well as a writer and lecturer. She has delivered papers in such forums as the International Society of Chinese Overseas and the New York Hakka Conference. She served as translator and guide to the Toronto-New York team to the 150th anniversary of the Chee Gung Tong of Cuba. She is an advisor to the restoration of the Chinese cemetery in Havana. Her latest book is entitled Chinese Footprints This Side of the Atlantic.



Prof. Kathy Lopez
Dr. Kathy Lopez is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University, who speaks regularly at the Miami Forum on Caribbean Immigration into the Caribbean Basin and at the New York Hakka Conference. She is author of the book Chinese Cubans. She spoke at the inaugural conference of the Confucius Institute of the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.



Prof. Janet Tai Landa
Dr. Janet Tai Landa is Full Professor of Economics, Emerita, York University, Canada. She has written two books on Hakka-Chinese entrepreneurship in Malaysia and Singapore. She was Visiting Professor at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the Max Planck Institute in Germany. She was a nominator for the Nobel Prize 2000-2004, and was credited for launching a new area in economics, namely, the economics of identity.



Dr. Ken Chong
Dr. Ken Chong, a Meixien hakka, retired as Research Professor at George Washington University, and Director of Mechanics & Materials at U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). He earned a Ph.D in Mechanics from Princeton University. He published 200 technical papers, 5 textbooks; and gave over 50 plenary lectures. He was awarded the NSF Distinguished Service Award, the highest award at NSF, for his exemplary direction of the Mechanics Program and for his role in nurturing the emerging field of nanomechanics.



Dr. James Chen
Dr. James Chen, a Dungguan hakka, received his PhD from Harvard University in high energy particle physics and has held professorships at the University of Pennsylvania, the State University of New York (SUNY), and the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Germany. He has been a faculty fellow at NASA and a NATO senior scientist. His publications cover high energy particle physics with time reversal invariance as well as proton- and synchrotron radiation-induced x-ray emission. He was invited by the U.S. Center for Disease Control to investigate the toxicological causes of the Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak in Philadelphia.



Elvira Villaraza Ostrowski
Elvira (Helen) Villaraza Ostrowski, B. Arch., is the wife and colleague of the late Jorg Ostrowski. They designed and built their own Eco-Home-Office 20 years ago on a suburban street in Calgary, Alberta. They had developed 300 partnerships with eco-minded organizations in the private and public sector, while attracting over 150,000 individual visitors to their demonstration home. Ongoing initiatives include the Silk Road to Peace from China to Europe, the Hakka Heritage Trail converging on Xiamen and the Eco-Home Leapfrog along the Southeast Asia portion of the Maritime Silk Road.