KRC's 2018 Fundraiser Event

This page was last edited on 25 July 2019, at 08:15.

KRC's 35th Anniversary Gala took place on Thursday, November 29 of 2018 with the theme Building a Movement for Change: from Roots to Power at the Cathedral Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles, California, joined by 300 members, supporters, allies and friends.


Good evening and welcome to our 35th Annual Gala, “Building a Movement for Change: From Roots to Power,” to celebrate the accomplishments of the Korean Resource Center (KRC). Your individual support and participation makes our work possible, so we’d like to show our appreciation through tonight’s event and also welcome Jonathan Paik as our new Executive Director.

Tonight we pay tribute to nine amazing individuals and organizations: U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, The California Endowment, Resilience Orange County, Mari Ryono, Joelle Byun, Hansol Sarah Park, Jazzmin Mercado, Hyewon Choi, and Christina Kang.

David K Song, KRC Board Chair

KRC engages the community through a holistic empowerment model that combines social service, education, and culture with advocacy and organizing. This past year KRC assisted over 12,000 individuals through health care access, immigration, and affordable housing services.

We strongly believe in an informed and active citizenry, and as a result of our organizing and advocacy campaigns, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has contributed to significant policy and systematic changes that have benefited low-income families and immigrants in California. This year, over 40 young people received training on how to become effective campaign managers through our Leaders of the New School program and they registered over 5,400 voters across 11 campuses in Southern California. 다음을 참고할 것 KRC's 2018 Activity Highlights

2018 has been an incredibly challenging year for immigrants, people of color, women, LGBTQ, and other marginalized communities. A small but vocal minority is working hard to spread a culture of hate, fear and anxiety. Despite these hard times, KRC has seen the people we are honoring tonight and thousands of community members across the country resist, fight back, and organize towards positive change for all. The courage we see from everyday people continues to inspire us, and we are emboldened as we look ahead knowing that all of you are with us.

Thank you for joining us tonight!

David K Song, KRC Board Chair



Every year, KRC awards a select group of activists and organizations who have contributed to advancing justice.

Community in Action Award: The California Endowment


The California Endowment is a not-for-profit, statewide foundation with the mission to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. They  don’t focus on prescriptions because health does not only happen in a doctor’s office - it also happens in our homes, schools, and communities.

Jonathan Tran, The California Endowment

They focus on fixing broken systems and outdated policies, ensuring the balance of power is with the people. They don’t focus on the individual, they focus on the larger community as an ecosystem of health. They work with citizens and elected leaders to find lasting solutions to impact the most people we possibly can.

The goal is simple: First, change the way people view health—from the notion that health happens in the doctor’s office to a belief that health happens where you live, work, learn, and play. The California Endowment calls this “narrative change.”

Second, integrate smart solutions in communities across the state. They  do this by working with our partners and grantees to fundamentally change “the rules”—laws, policies, and systems—that impede health in our communities. They’re changing the narrative around health to ensure health and justice for all.

Community in Action Award: Resilience Orange County

Promoting resilient youth, thriving communities of color, and a transformative movement in OC

Claudia Perez, Resilience Orange County

Resilience Orange County (ROC) was created in 2016 from the merging of RAIZ (est. 2011) and Santa Ana Boys and Men of Color (SABMoC, est. 2013). RAIZ since its inception worked to address the crimmigration system, which is the intersections of the criminal and immigration systems, and the impact that its had on our communities. RAIZ stopped over 20 deportations with its “Free The People” deportation defense model and changed policy locally around crimmigration.

SABMoC led in addressing the school to prison to deportation pipeline in Santa Ana and throughout the county by changing the policies that the Probation Department used to send youth to immigration officials and by creating a culture in the Santa Ana Unified School District that promotes and adopts restorative justice practices.

Since merging ROC has been successful in building youth organizing and political power in the county with its programming, organizing and youth voter engagement efforts. In 2017 ROC was able to advocate along with local partners to create the strongest “Sanctuary City” policy in the country, to successfully remove I.C.E. out of the Santa Ana jail, and to create a city fund that provides legal representation to Santa Ana residents in immigration proceedings. This past year in partnership with KRC we created a movement to #DefendSanctuary that has made Orange County and California ground zero in the fight against Trump.  

Community in Action Award: Mari Ryono

Coach and Consultant

Mari Ryono

Mariko (Mari) Ryono has dedicated the last nineteen years of her life to community organizing for social change, working with such organizations as Cooperative Economics for Women (CEW) in Boston, la Asociación Andar in Costa Rica, SCOPE in Los Angeles, and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote (MIV) in California. At SCOPE, she was an Organizer and then Lead Organizer. At Mobilize the Immigrant (now Power California), she was the first Director of this multi-racial, statewide alliance.

Since 2005, Mari has maintained a consulting practice supporting groups in a variety of ways with a focus on individual and team coaching, strategic thinking, and organizational development.  Mari is a student and practitioner of Forward Stance and mind-body-spirit practice. She has a particular interest in supporting leaders of organizations, alliances, and movements who are advancing racial and gender justice and who are open to their own transformation.

Mari first met the Korean Resource Center and NAKASEC families when she was an organizer at SCOPE. Mari would go on to work in partnership with many of the KRC and NAKASEC team members over the years. Since 2014, she has had the honor of serving as an organizational development consultant to KRC through the Orange County Civic Engagement Table. Mari has always been inspired by how the grassroots leaders, board members, and staff of Korean Resource Center embody the founding principles of the organization: Live Right, Know Your Roots, Live Strong, Live Together.

Mari graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies at Harvard. She was born and raised in Southern California where she currently lives with her husband, two sons, and mother.

Youth in Action Award: Joelle Byun

Joelle Byun

Joelle is deeply passionate about growing and utilizing her own power and agency to be a voice and fight for the rights of all marginalized communities. Before KRC, Joelle’s passion in social justice work/research was focused mainly on the rights of women; women as survivors of sexual assault and abuse, women of color, women of the LGBTQ+ community, and the intersections of all those identities in relation to the oppression and violence against women’s bodies.

She is an actor/advocate in the internationally renowned social justice performance troupe, called InterAct. InterACT presents and performs interactive scenes on different social justice issues, mainly sexual assault prevention and inappropriate pursuit/stalking, but also on mental health, sexism, racism, and homophobia. With InterACT, she performs for college campuses, women’s shelters, juvenile detention centers, and military bases across the country and around the world. Joelle is grateful for her experience in KRC and how it has further helped her grow in her journey of social justice work but also her personal growth as an individual. KRC has empowered her and given her the tools to further find her own voice and help create the change she wants to see in her own community. As someone who identifies as a queer women of color, who is also a survivor of abuse and sexual assault, she understands the feeling of being silenced. She has had to fight for her life and find the strength to share her truth, and will continue to fight for herself, the communities she represents, and use her voice and privilege to help the communities she does not represent.

She is honored and humbled by this recognition and will carry the work, the knowledge, but mostly importantly the memories and the heart of the people of KRC with her as she continues her passion of creating a better world, a world where all humans are accepted and equal.

Youth in Action Award: Jazzmin Mercado

Jazzmin Mercado graduated Cum Laude from the University of California, Long Beach with a BA in Sociology. Her passion for social justice stems from her experience of being raised by her low-income immigrant grandmother. It also stems from her hardships as a young Latinx woman. Through these difficulties, she had firsthand experience of the day to day marginalization that her community faces.

Jazzmin Mercado

However, motherhood made Jazzmin dream of a different type of society for her children to grow up in. Therefore, she decided to use these experiences as a catalyst for social change. This need for change drove her to the internship program at the Korean Resource Center. At KRC she was grounded on how to navigate different social spaces to understand the complexity of different communities so that she can best serve them. She was also given the opportunity to maneuver around the political sphere to advocate for justice.

Jazzmin aspires to continue her work by receiving a M.A. in Organizational Leadership in hopes of creating her own organization that deals with issues of domestic violence. A quote she turns to for inspiration is by a music artist named Atmosphere. The excerpt reads, “As I look across the sea I smile at the sun. While it feeds the weeds the nutrition they need. The people still breathe, the city still bleeds. I’m going to love it to death and keep planting my seeds.” So long as her community is faced with injustices, Jazzmin will continue to use her voice for advocacy.

Youth in Action Award: Hansol Sarah Park

Hansol Sarah Park is a recent graduate of California State University, Fullerton with a Child and Adolescent Development major and Mathematics minor. During college, Hansol worked at GEAR UP for five years where she got to work with low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students of color. She was also involved with campus organizations such as Child and Adolescent Studies Student Association (CASSA), where she volunteered to work with children, adolescent families, and Co-Operation (DREAM Co-Op), where she advocated for undocumented students in the community.

Hansol Sarah Park

Upon graduating, Hansol continued to work with GEAR UP as a Budget Analyst Assistant. Currently, she is also an intern with the Korean Resource Center, where she used to volunteer during college. She joined the Leaders of the New School program to do something about all the injustice happening around her community and to train herself on how to defend and organize for positive change. With the program, she has gained more leadership and organizational skills. This has given her the opportunity to work with so many different people from various backgrounds and identities through canvassing, phone-banking, text-banking, and registering voters. As a young woman of color, this program taught Hansol that she could make a statement and bring a positive change to her community. She is changed forever and wherever she goes, she will always remember to fight for the folx who are marginalized.

Youth in Action Award: Hyewon Choi & Christina Kang

Hyewon Choi and Christina Kang are two young, strong activists and advocates pursuing a change in the youth and community. Hyewon and Christina have been active with KRC for about 3 years now, and have had the great honor of being socially aware and involved in many of the social justice issues going on in society.

Hyewon Choi & Christina Kang

The two were able to participate in a broad spectrum of activities starting from learning to play pungmul to actively shouting their lungs out during rallies. Not only have they gone up to total strangers and encouraged them to vote, but they developed a fondness for leadership and making a change. With the incredible and hardworking staff at KRC, they were also able to join the path to improvements and see  progress being made.

In addition, they couldn’t stand the emptiness of a high school group that was on hiatus, so they decided to implement Leaders of the New High School (LNHS) at the KRC LA. On August 31, 2018, they achieved their dream of coordinating their very first event as a committee. In honor of the returning bikers with the Journey to Justice Bike Tour, they planned a welcome party for all their remarkable efforts.

As leaders, they are still both working in a committee  group to bring  back the empowerment of youth and hopefully expand as they continue their journey. Their goal is to not stop here but reach further to continue an establishment that will have a positive impact in society. Thanks KRC for helping build the platform of our future!

We can do it. Si se puede. 할수있다!


UCI Hansori

“Hansori,” meaning “One Sound” in Korean, is UCI’s very own traditional Korean drumming group. They strive to preserve the practice of Korean drumming, known as pungmul, which is Korean farmer and folk music that has drumming, singing, and dancing. Around the 1300’s until 1800’s, pungmul was primarily used as a musical expression and a way to relieve the exhaustion from Korean farmers--by uplifting their spirits and energy as they worked in the fields; it is also traditionally performed on a farm to bring about a bountiful harvest.

UCI Hansori

Pungmul was originally played as part of farm work, on rural holidays, at other village community-building events, and to accompany shamanistic rituals, mask dance dramas, and other types of performances. However, during the late 1960’s and 1970’s pungmul began to transform from a musical expression to a tool for political protests during the pro-democracy movement.

Again, in 1978, pungmul transformed further when a pungmul group developed a new drumming style called “samul nori,” literally translates to “playing of four objects,” which includes kkwaenggwari, janggu, buk, and jing, creating a more westernized take on the previous traditional form of music--allowing for pungmul to spread across the ocean.

Coincidentally, 16 years ago, Hansori was created by four Korean American members, creating a samul nori. Today, Hansori is an active traditional Korean drumming group at UCI with very diverse members, performing both pungmul and samul nori. Hansori was created to spread Korean culture through the practice of pungmul. They are an organization through which students can come to learn more about Korean heritage and traditional culture while promoting cultural awareness to the University community and the Southern California community at large.

Alice Lee

Alice’s love for music started with singing along to the Mulan OST and listening to K-POP star Rain. She enjoyed both singing and watching musical performances ever since she was young, and later joined school choir, concert band and jazz band throughout elementary school and middle school. She played the oboe and alto saxophone and also participated in school musicals.

Alicia Lee

In high school, Alice used music as a means of stress relief and grounding herself. She created a YouTube channel to upload videos of her singing and her friend playing piano.

Along with making song covers, she developed interest in writing music. She was one of the finalists for NJ Shutdown Drugs songwriting contest writing a song about fighting off drug abuse, and also wrote a song to raise awareness about the Syrian Refugee Crisis in 2016. Alice believes in artivism and that art is the most powerful tool for emotional connection and empathy. She tries to use her passion for singing to advocate for her community and for different causes.

When she participated in Journey to Justice: Citizenship for All Bike Tour, she also wrote a song dedicated to the campaign which was sung to and by different communities throughout the campaign:

Through sweat and tears, with love and hope
“We ride non-stop!” for justice
People of the earth, our home is earth
So  “we fight non-stop!” for equality
From border to border, we’ll be bringing down the walls
It’s time to gather together, all across the world,
Our hand in hand, in solidarity, for Citizenship for All
We dream! We ride! On our Journey to Justice
We rise! We stand! As one, and we celebrate
“Unity! Community!”
“Education, Love, People Power!” (Hey!)
We dream! We ride! On our Journey to Justice


  • Reception
  • Opening Performance by UCI Hansori
  • Dinner
  • Opening Remarks: Jonathan Paik, Executive Director
  • Community in Action Awardees
    • The California Endowment
    • Mari Ryono
    • Resilience Orange County
  • Journey to Justice Bike Tour Video
  • Youth in Action Awardees
    • Joelle Byun
    • Sarah Hansol Park
    • Jazzmin Mercado
    • Hyewon Choi & Christina Kang
  • Closing Performance by Alice Lee
  • Photo Opportunity

Congratulatory Letters

  • Sharon Quirk-Silva, California Assembly
  • Miguel Santiago, California Assembly
  • Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County Supervisor
  • Herb J. Wesson, Los Angeles City Council President
  • Mónica García, LAUSD Board Member

Host Committee

Honorary Host Committee

Elected Officers

  • The Honorable Congresswoman Maxine Waters
  • The Honorable Assemblymember Miguel Santiago
  • The Honorable Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva
  • The Honorable Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
  • The Honorable Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson
  • Monica Garcia, LAUSD Board Member


  • Chinese Progressive Association
  • Khmer Girls in Action
  • Little Tokyo Service Center
  • Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD)
  • Orange County Labor Federation

Host Committee

  • Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Gift of Compassion
  • Rusty Hicks
  • Jeff Kim & Curtis Chin
  • Stephen K. Kurumada, DDS
  • Joann Lee
  • National CAPACD
  • Courtni Sunjoo Pugh
  • Hyun W. Shin
  • Bill Wong


  • Capacity Builder
    • Amwest Funding
  • Organizing
    • Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County Supervisor
    • The California Endowment
  • Education
    • AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund
    • Coalition For Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
    • Fox Rothschild LLP
    • Gift of Compassion
    • Hana Center
    • Khmer Girls in Action
    • Stephen K. Kurumada, DDS
    • Joanne Lee
    • Pacific City Bank
    • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2015
    • Hyun W Shin
    • Inbo Sim
    • United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770

Silent Auction Donors

  • Airbnb
  • Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Aritaum Cosmetics
  • Autry Museum of the American West
  • Choi Orchid
  • Disneyland
  • Hollywood Wax Museum
  • Holy Roly Ice Cream
  • Huntington Library
  • Han Jik Kim
  • Stephen Kurumada, DDS
  • The Laugh Factory
  • Tiffany Le
  • Jane Luong
  • Malibu Wine Safari
  • Pasadena Playhouse
  • Puppy Transit
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • David K Song
  • Southland Beer
  • Bo Thai

Special Thanks to

  • Ace Escrow
  • Alteration Specialist
  • Amore Cosmetics
  • California Market Gimbap & Udon
  • Susie Cho
  • Ethical Drugs (Sue Jung Inc.)
  • Green Acupuncture
  • Han Associates
  • Hansol Lunchbox
  • Inya Inc
  • Lee's BBQ
  • LimNexus LLP
  • Kangnam Restaurant
  • Kenny Young Kim DDS Inc.
  • Nadri Jewelry Inc
  • Olympic Noodle
  • Park's Auto Body
  • Royal Vista Golf Club
  • Sinulang All Kelang
  • Siroodang Korean Rice Cake
  • Soy Lovers Catering
  • Uniti Bank
  • Wilshire Jay Park Insurance
  • YES Printing and Banner
  • Yogiyo Korean BBQ