KoreanAmericanStory.org 2016 Gala Performances and Trailblazers

Some highlights of our 6th Annual Gala were having rappers Awkwafina and John & Rick Lee perform live and honoring our Trailblazers. Due to a scheduling conflict, Randall Park was not able to receive his award in person. The story he shared via video will not be published in order to respect the actor’s wishes for it to remain private.

Awkwafina and JL & Lyricks

Kevin Bacon

JL & Lyricks (Year of the Ox)

My Vag

Awkwafina, aka Nora Lum, is a rapper, comedian, TV personality, actress and whale enthusiast. She was born in Queens, NY and attended Laguardia High School of Music & Arts as a trumpet major. Her music career started with a video called My Vag, which went viral on YouTube and was praised by many as a modern day feminist anthem. She is currently on MTV’s Girl Code and will be appearing in her first two films, Neighbors 2 and Dude, this spring. She currently resides in Brooklyn.


Hooni Kim

Hooni Kim is a French Culinary Institute trained chef who opened his first restaurant, Danji, in 2010 with accolades from numerous publications. In 2012, Danji was the first ever Korean restaurant to receive a Michelin star. Chef Hooni’s second restaurant, Hanjan, was listed as #5 of the best new restaurants of 2013 by The New York Times and he was heralded as “the city’s leading interpreter of Korean cuisine.” He is currently a judge in South Korea’s MasterChef Korea and also appeared on Food Network’s Chopped.


Aiyoung Choi

Aiyoung Choi was born in Korea, and grew up in Shanghai, Taiwan, and Tokyo. She moved to New York City in 1963 and was a working mother who had a range of positions in entrepreneurship, publishing, teaching, public relations, and human resource management. All the while she developed a second career in public service through her advocacy and activism for human rights, justice, and world peace. Aiyoung now works as a consultant helping to increase Board and organizational effectiveness for nonprofits.