A member of Generation X and a second-generation Korean-American, Alexander Kim was born in Los Angeles. He currently works as a consultant working with local government in order to connect government and local communities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. The 1992 L.A. “Saigu” riots had a significant impact on his passion for political science as he came to realize that there was a need for Asian-American leaders in office, not only in L.A. but also throughout the United States. After his college education at UC Irvine, Mr. Kim took his first job working for the city of L.A. at the mayor’s office. Throughout his 15-year career in politics, he gained experience working with different communities of people from all different kinds of backgrounds. His commitment to making his community a better place is a testament to his extraordinary drive and dedication.
William Oh was born in Kansas and later moved to Los Angeles, California. While growing up in LA, William shares how his tight-knit family shaped most of his core values and beliefs. By having deep conversations about human rights and justice together, William found a passion for people’s stories and politics and went on to major in Social Anthropology and Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights at Harvard University. At the time of recording, William had been serving as the Youth Organizer at Hana Center in Chicago, IL, empowering Korean American youth through community organizing to advance human rights.
Sukhee Kang – the first Korean American mayor of Irvine, California – shares his experience of arriving to America with little resources yet still striving to try his best in everything he did.
Sylvia is a lawyer by trade and also the Chief Innovation Officer at the Asian Pacific Community Fund based in Los Angeles.
Charles Youn, Executive Director at Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA), shares how certain negative childhood experiences and the influence of his parents shaped who he is today.
After getting all of the degrees her parents wanted her to have, Eugena Oh worked nonstop at a big law firm, becoming the unhappiest she had ever been.
Baik Kyu Kim
Baik Kyu Kim recounts his immigration to the United States, the mentality that shaped his work ethic.
Jannie Chung – Part 1
On Christmas Day, Jannie Chung and her family got a phone call telling them her father had suddenly died of a heart attack, forcing them to immediately fly out to Korea.
Jannie Chung – Part 2
During a more rebellious phase of her adolescence, Jannie Chung sneaked away from home to hang out with her friends.
Jannie Chung – Part 3
When Jannie Chung’s brother was barreling out of control with drug use, partying, and violent behavior, her mother—desperate to turn his life around—took him to a remote Buddhist temple in Hawaii
Jannie Chung – Part 4
What Jannie Chung thought were Braxton Hicks contractions turned out to be real labor—happening three months too early.
The Dream: Profiles of Undocumented Korean Americans
I came to the United States when I was 2, sleeping on a plane from Korea in my mother’s arms. In the chilly month of October, 1993, she first set foot on American soil, with me wrapped on her back and carrying two sets of luggage. My father received us at the airport. I just stared at him with curious eyes, as I’d do when meeting anybody new. According to my mother, I couldn’t recognize him as my own father for the first year or so of being reunited with him.
My father came to America six years before my mother and I did. He met my mother during a short visit in Korea, got married and came back alone to continue working. He was searching for better quality of life here for his wife and future child. Choosing to find it in America was a daring decision. He ultimately prepared the way to ensure our family a new beginning in America, although many dreams were shattered along the way.