We began as a small group of Korean American leaders who came together to increase the voice, visibility and influence of our community on national issues.
CKA harnesses our collective power toward
three strategic priorities:
Prepare the next generation of Korean Americans to lead
Increase our voice and visibility in mainstream society
Build a community of influencers
Membership and Community
In 2017, 69 members joined CKA
for a year end total of 190 members,
a 57% jump from the previous year.
New members include doctors, lawyers, government officials, business executives, academics and nonprofit leaders.
They came from Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, DC, Seoul, and more.
We hosted events featuring CKA members with nearly 200 influential Korean American leaders throughout Chicago, DC, New York City, Orange County, and Philadelphia.
In April, CKA hosted a public symposium in partnership with UCLA on the 25th anniversary of the LA Riots featuring in-depth panel discussions and intercommunity dialogue.
Following the symposium, CKA hosted a benefit gala at entitled Embrace Unity, where we honored prominent civil rights leaders and Korean American community leaders. CKA gave 100 percent of the net proceeds to community-based organizations, totaling $184,000.
In October, CKA hosted our third annual National Summit & Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. Over 600 people attended the black-tie event celebrating the Korean American community’s diverse achievements throughout society.
From left to right: 2017 Gala Honoree Don Liu, executive vice president of Target and CKA Board Member Michelle Rhyu; Rhea Suh, president of Natural Resources Defense Council; and television journalist for ABC News Juju Chang, co-owner of the Buffalo Bills Kim Pegula, and CKA Board Member Esther Lee.
From left to right: CKA Board Member Michael Keyoung with 2017 Gala Honoree Michael B. Kim, Founder and Partner of MBK Partners; CKA Member May Lee with Founder of Perverse Sunglasses Toni Ko; and former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert.
As part of our National Summit, CKA hosted educational briefings at the U.S. Senate and the Department of Defense.
2017 CKA’s Senate Briefing (left) and Defense Department Briefing (right)
CKA’s inaugural Chef Showcase event was sold out and featured live cooking demonstrations by Korean American chefs Judy Joo and Danny Lee.
Our National Summit featured prominent Korean American leaders in technology, government, media, and business, attracting over 300 attendees.
We hosted the second ROAR Story Slam:Celebrating Korean American Voices storytelling competition in partnership with koreanamericanstory.org.
Leadership Development and Mentorship
Our second annual CKA-KALCA Public Service Internship Program funded and placed 27 interns across New York City and Washington, DC. Each intern received up to $5,000 to support their unpaid summer internships and attended weekly seminars arranged by CKA.
DC placements include Federal Reserve Board, Department of Homeland Security, United Nations Development Program, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and congressional offices.
Our New York placements include office of NY State Assemblyman Ron Kim, office of NYC Councilmember Brad Lander, New York Immigration Coalition, The Korea Society, and Bronx Defenders.
CKA-KALCA Public Service Interns (PSI) attended weekly CKA-sponsored events in DC and NY throughout the summer, including at the Department of State, United Nations, Google, and American Jewish Committee.
2017 PSIs and CKA staff at Google DC.
From left to right: 2017 CKA-KALCA PSIs at American Jewish Committee and the U.S. Mission to the United Nation.
From left to right: 2017 CKA-KALCA interns at a reception in Washington, DC and a roundtable discussion at Partnership for Public Service.
In September, we hosted an all-day mentoring conference at UC Irvine Law School to mentor Korean American students, with panels ranging from law, medicine, business, government, and entertainment.
Voice and Advocacy
In 2017, CKA members and staff were quoted or published 80 times in mainstream news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and NPR.
Over a six-month period, CKA led an inter-community dialogue with the NAACP in Charlotte, North Carolina after a violent altercation between a Korean American store owner and African American customer that nearly triggered mass looting and violence.
Meeting with Korean American community leaders in Charlotte, NC
CKA organized member-constituent meetings for Korean Americans to engage their elected officials as well as educational events across the country in partnership with foundations and NGOs.
From left to right: Constituent meeting with Rep. Barbara Comstock in Washington, DC and a public event with Ambassador Wendy Sherman and Executive Director and COO of Ploughshares Fund Philip Yun in Los Angeles, CA.
In partnership with other community based organizations, CKA successfully lobbied Congress to ensure that Korean Americans traveling to North Korea for the purpose of meeting family members would be exempted in the North Korea Travel Control Act.
Over the summer, CKA called for diversity in the media by launching a campaign for CBS to address pay inequity issues for Hawaii Five-0 actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park.
Thanks to the number of high-level meetings CKA participated in 2017, our organization is gaining prominence in: