KAC's 4.29 Mediation Center was at the 14th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival on October 19th. We conducted outreach with the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging Community Services (W.D.A.C.S) booth. Thanks to Taste of Soul and L.A. County for the opportunity!
The 2019-2020 KAC MUN team competed at their first conference of the year, Cerritos MUN, on October 12, 2019. Of the 18 attendees, 9 brought home Awards of Excellence, while all further developed crucial leadership, collaborative, and public speaking skills. Congratulations on your hard work, KAC MUN!
The Korean American Coalition encourages the community to participate in the Mock Elections presented by Los Angeles County on September 28 and 29 from 10 AM - 4 PM. Los Angeles County partnered with 50 different locations throughout the County to introduce the new voting system and electronic ballot marking device that is coming in 2020. This revitalized system of voting will transition L.A. County’s traditional polling places to vote centers, and will allow voters to cast a ballot at any vote center location in the County over an 11-day period.
The Mock Election is open to any individual regardless of their eligibility to vote. Surprise celebrities, food trucks, live music, and a chance to win Los Angeles experiences such as tickets to professional sports games, amusement parks, or celebrity meet and greets will be available at select locations. You can learn more and see the fifty participating locations when you visit: LAvote.net/Mock-Election.
KAC received a grant from the Kang Dream Foundation, awarding our organization for the 7th consecutive year! In addition to KAC's yearly grant, the Kang Dream Foundation worked with us to award two $1000 scholarships to graduates of our signature leadership KAC program students: Irene Yoon and Kate Hur. We congratulate our students!
Irene is a sophomore, Political Science major at UC Berkeley who completed 3 consecutive years in the KAC Model United Nations (MUN) program. Kate is a sophomore studying Political Science at Amherst College and was recently a part of KAC's National College Leadership Conference (NCLC) and Summer College Internship Program (SCIP).
A sincere and heartfelt thanks to Mr. Kevin Kang, CEO of Edgemine (and his staff) and Founder of the Kang Dream Foundation for supporting KAC and the future generation of Korean American leaders!
KAC and the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center proudly announces the 2nd Annual Joint Mediation Training. Our 40-hour Basic Mediation Training will be held September 25-27, 2019 from 9:00 - 5:30 PM at 3727 W. 6th St. Suite #500, Los Angeles, CA 90020.
If you are interested in this opportunity click here for the application and further information!
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!
It is an honor to serve our community by raising the voice of Korean American civic and civil rights interests for the past 35 years and to provide programs that serve the community. We applaud and congratulate our KAC Luminary Award honorees for the excellence by which they have served our community!
Individual Luminary Award:
Min Kim, CEO and President of Open Bank
Corporate Luminary Award:
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP
We sincerely thank you for all your continued support, and we look forward to working together in 2019 to serve the community effectively.
KAC Board unanimously voted in Eunice Hur Song, Esq. as the new Executive Director to commence duties as of November 1, 2018.
Ms. Song is homegrown within the KAC organization. She first joined KAC in 2008 as a participant of the mentorship program for law students. Through KAC, she met mentors that impact her life to this day. While she was a student in the Southwestern Law School’s two-year accelerated program called SCALE (Southwestern Conceptual Approach to Legal Education), Ms. Song started volunteering for KAC as a certified mediator for the 4.29 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center in early 2008. In 2012, she accepted the full-time role as the Mediation Director for the ADR center and helped dramatically increase its case closure rate helping numerous community members resolve disputes. “I am so thankful that KAC enabled me to serve the community, especially the elderly and low-income clients, as a bilingual mediator. It is such rewarding work to be able to be a conduit by which two parties can come to agreement to move past disputes” said Ms. Song.
Ms. Song returned to KAC in July of 2017 as the Director of the 4.29 Alternative Dispute Resolution Center to revitalize the ADR department. During her most recent tenure as the Director of the ADR Center, she improved the case closure rate two-fold. In the 2017-2018 Los Angeles County fiscal year alone, Ms. Song and the ADR Center helped 108 individuals and businesses resolve their disputes. In October, the Board of KAC decided to recognize her service to the community by elevating her to the Executive Directorship of KAC.
As KAC’s Executive Director, Ms. Song plans to not only uphold, but expand KAC’s roster of community services and programs. Those include:
Ms. Song wishes for KAC to impact the lives of the individual in a real and meaningful way just as KAC impacted hers. Said Executive Director Song, “KAC will continue to be a voice for Korean Americans and in turn, educate our community members of the privilege of citizenship and the power of voting, thus taking responsibility and ownership of our community. Change happens first at the individual level.”
As Executive Director, Eunice plans to continue KAC’s tradition of promoting for the civic and civil rights interests of the Korean American community along with the staff and KAC’s Board of Directors and the newly elected officers: Susie Oh, Chair of the Board; Garrett Lee Esq. (Secretary); Daniel Lee, Esq. (Treasurer); Commissioner Robert Lee Ahn, Esq., Charlie Kim, Tony Kim, Andrew Lee, Dr. Young Jik Lee, M.D., and James Santa Maria.
Serving as executive director of KAC has been one of the most humbling and exciting periods of my life. As a team, we often found ourselves deep in the trenches to create meaningful impact for the community we serve.
Whether it was the Korean-language sample ballot issue affecting voters in the 34th Congressional District election, the highly publicized Airbnb discrimination case, supporting our most vulnerable with Section 8 housing, taking a stance on key immigration issues (DACA, ICE ruse tactics, and the Muslim travel ban), raising awareness of the homeless in our community (Invisible Neighbors documentary), developing young leaders, galvanizing the community to be more civically engaged (voter registration and local engagement), and telling our Korean American story as it relates to North-South Korea relations to a national audience - I feel proud of our work and the hard-fought battles we undertook to uplift, support, and advance our community.
All of our accomplishments were made possible by the unrelenting work and dedication of our staff, board of directors, advisory board, membership, volunteers, and our philanthropic partners. As I reflect on my tenure, I am most humbled and inspired by the grandmothers and grandfathers who came to our office for help. They are the reason I started my career in community work. Whether reading a gas bill and helping fill out complicated forms or searching for housing solutions in the face of poverty and isolation, it has been in helping and meeting these individuals that I have found the deepest meaning in my work. I became witness to the debilitating effects of language barriers, economic inequality, limited affordable housing options, and cultural differences to the seniors in our community. This is the reason why I will be making my transition as CEO of a national organization that advocates for and works on behalf of the aging community, our elders.
My decision to leave KAC was not an easy one to make. It was the result of months of conversations with family, friends, community members, and mentors. As I step into a role at a senior service and advocacy organization, I am energized by the knowledge that I will be able to expand my impact to the aging community that needs our support. During the past month, our organization has been thoughtfully executing my succession plan and I am confident in my successor's ability to lead the organization with fortitude. I will remain committed to KAC as a board member, and look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve this community that I know and love.
It has been an honor to steward KAC's mission as its executive director. Thank you for standing with us and I hope we can continue to partner together with the important work ahead of us.
With warmest regards,
Korean American Coalition
방준영 사무국장의 감사 편지
한미연합회의 사무국장직에 위임되면서 저는 제 인생에서 의미 있는 순간들을 보냈습니다. 가족같은
팀원들과 동고동락을 같이 하며, 우리는 가끔 우리가 맡게 된 지역 사회 문제에 중점에 서 있는 모습을
제34지역 하원 의원 선거에서 유권자에게 영향을 주는 한국어 표기 문제, 지난해 있었던 에어비앤비
인종차별 사건, 오랜 기간 기다려 오던 섹션 8 개방, 가장 중요한 이민 문제 (DACA, ICE 계략 및 무슬림
여행 금지), 지역 사회의 노숙자 (Invisible Neighbors)의 다큐멘터리에 대한 인식 제고, 젊은 리더 육성,
지역 사회의 활발한 참여 (유권자 등록 및 현지 참여), 그리고 관련된 한국계 미국인 이야기, 남북 관계
등의 한국 이슈를 미국 언론에 보도하기 등등.... 저는 우리가 이뤄 놓은 성과에 자부심을 느끼며 지역
사회를 발전시키고 지원하며 열심히 활동해온 일들을 자랑스럽게 생각합니다. 저는 이 모든 결과가
직원, 이사회, 자문위원회, 회원, 자원봉사자 및 자선 파트너의 끊임없는 노력과 헌신으로 가능하게 된
그러나 한편으로 마음 아픈 일들도 있었습니다. 사무실에 각종 영문 서류와 편지 등을 가지고 힘겹게
방문하신 할머님과 할아버님들을 뵐 때마다 깊은 고민에 빠져들 수밖에 없었습니다. 그것이 제가 지역
사회에서 일해야 하는 이유이기도 합니다. 가스 요금 청구서를 설명해 드리면서, 빈곤과 고립에
직면하여 언어 장벽이나 주택 해결책을 찾기 위해서는 좀 더 근본적인 해결책이 있어야 한다는 것을
뼈져리게 느꼈던 것입니다. 그러한 문제들은 우리 지역 사회의 시니어들을 위축시키며 더 나아가서는
한인 가족 간의 붕괴를 가져 올 수도 있다는 사실도 알게 되었습니다. 이 문제 해결을 위해 한발 더
나아가고 싶은 것이, 제가 고령화 사회를 대표하여 일하는 내셔널단체의 CEO로 전임할 이유입니다.
한미연합회를 떠나기로 한 저의 결정은 쉬운 일이 아니었습니다. 가족과 친구들, 주위의 여러
멘토분들과 몇 달간 대화한 결과입니다. 시니어들을 위한 서비스단체에서 임무을 수행하며, 저는
우리의 지원이 필요한 노령화 된 공동체에 영향을 미칠 수 있다는 생각에 힘입어 더 애쓸 것입니다.
지난 한 달 동안 우리는 조직의 인수인계를 위해 신중하게 계획했으며, 저는 제 후임자가 불굴의
정신으로 조직을 잘 이끌어 나갈 수 있다고 확신합니다. 저는 이사회 임원으로 앞으로도 한미연합회와
동행할 것이며, 제가 알고 사랑하는 이 커뮤니티에서 계속해서 관심을 가지고 지켜 볼 것입니다.
다시 한번, 한미연합회의 사무국장 임무를 맡은 것을 영광스럽게 생각합니다. 우리와 함께 해 주셔서
감사드리며, 앞으로도 중요한 대업을 이루기 위해 계속해서 협력할 수 있기를 바랍니다.
방준영 사무국장 올림
KAC's Letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti re: Three Korean American Angelenos Barred from LA City's Homeless Solutions Workshop