Network of Korean American Leaders (NetKAL) held a “Virtual 2020 Forum” on Thursday, August 6, from 6 pm to 9 pm (Pacific Standard Time). With the theme “Unlocking the Ethnic Minority’s Power and Influence in Mainstream America,’ the forum featured live streamed two moderated panel sessions.
The purpose of the forum was to bring different communities together and to learn from the successes and best practices of other ethnic minorities. The goal was to see how to best apply these successes in the Korean American community and to further discuss the steps that needed to be taken to be a strong advocate for our communities and to effectively move and influence the decision making process in issues involving the Korean Americans in the U.S. and/or international relations affecting both North and South Korea.
For the first panel session, we brought together prominent leaders representing the African American, Chinese American, and the American Jewish communities to hear about their experiences and best practices in advocating for their communities in Mainstream America. For the second panel session, we brought together Korean American leaders and experts from the media, government, and professional services industries to bring the Korean American perspective and to discuss how the Korean American community can learn from the different ethnic communities, build coalitions, and advocate more effectively on the issues affecting the Korean community in the U.S. and in Korea. This forum also addressed what impacts the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide protests in the U.S. and worldwide have on the Korean community both locally and internationally.
For the advancement of the Korean community in the U.S., we have to continue to strive for change, advocate for our rights, build coalitions, and empower our communities to act upon and influence mainstream America in a united voice. In order to elevate the Korean image and take control of the narrative because oftentimes the narrative is controlled by outsiders, we have to tell our story. Others, oftentimes, can misrepresent and misinterpret, for instance in the media, in politics, and other public forums so this NetKAL 2020 Forum was all about raising awareness and advocating for ourselves. It was about educating and informing, and learning from other communities. The forum concluded with the emphasis on the importance of allyship with other communities and for the Korean American community to take action and to get involved in the process and be at the table to make a difference.
You can watch recorded NetKAL 2020 Virtual Forum on KorUS Voice YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/pN06IO1rNQI
First panel: “Best Practices in Advocating for Your Communities in Mainstream America”
Moderator: May Lee | Host/Executive Producer “The May Lee Show”; Former CNN Anchor
John Chiang | Former California State Treasurer
Richard S. Hirschhaut | Regional Director, American Jewish Committee (AJC) Los Angeles
Rev. William D. Smart Jr. | President & CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California
Second Panel: “How to Apply Best Practices in Unlocking Korean American Community’s Power and Influence in Mainstream America”
Opening Remarks: David S. Kim | Secretary, California State Transportation Agency
Moderator: Roy Choi | Managing Partner, Knighted
Angela Killoren | Chief Operating Officer, CJ ENM America
John Lim | Managing Partner, LimNexus LLP
Dr. Paul Y. Song | Vice Chair & Chief Medical Officer, NKMax America