Fellows in the school’s Network of Korean-American Leaders, which promotes civic leadership among second-generation professionals, came together to rally for Korean Americans who were impacted during the recent riots in Baltimore. Much like the 1992 Los Angeles riots, the Baltimore protests severely affected numerous Korean-American business owners in the city.
NetKAL members, whose careers include journalism, law, nonprofit, government and more, collaborated with other civic and local entities to show support for Korean-American victims in Baltimore. There have been fundraising efforts for some business owners – four stores were completely burned down and 55 seriously damaged – and David H. Kim, chair of the Korean American Grocers Association, penned an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun.
Another project is The Dream Unfinished: A Symphonic Benefit for Civil Rights, a gathering of musicians and prominent artists and figures who will join the chorus of calls for civil rights, social justice and an end to systemic racism. The concert will be held on July 17 at the Salvation Army Centennial Memorial Temple in New York City to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Eric Garner’s death.
In addition to NetKAL’s recent efforts in Baltimore, the organization was highlighted in the bookConnecting to Change the World (Island Press, 2014) as one of more than 30 successful network projects with social impact. The program was recognized for its connectivity network, linking people together to create a powerful pipeline of Korean-American leaders that crosses political, economic, social and cultural silos.