Ju-Bum Cha is a 1st generation Korean American who came to the United States in 1992. He started volunteering at the MinKwon Center (formerly YKASEC) in 1994, and joined its fulltime staff in 2004 where he directed the Immigrant Rights Advocacy Program. Ju-Bum currently coordinates all of the media outreach efforts as well as overseeing internal communications and education. Prior to joining the MinKwon Center, Mr. Cha was working at a related organization, Young Koreans United – New York Chapter.
Kathy Chae is a 1.5 generation, trilingual Korean American who grew up in Korea and Paraguay. Kathy joined the MinKwon Center in 2004 as a Staff Attorney, and is currently the Director of Social Services as well as overseeing the immigration legal clinic.
Christina Chang is a 2nd generation Korean American who grew up in Queens. Before joining the MinKwon Center staff, Christina worked at the Manhattan Borough President’s office as the Korean Community Liaison, and worked with the Chief of Staff to provide services and communication support. As the Advocacy & Organizing Associate, Christina represents the MinKwon Center in coalitions and strengthen our various advocacy efforts.
Steven Choi is the Executive Director of the MinKwon Center. A 2nd generation Korean American, Steven previously was a Program Director at the MinKwon Center and led the Korean Immigrant Workers Rights Project, which provided free direct legal services to low-wage Korean immigrants – the only such project of its kind on the East Coast. From 2004 to 2007, Steven served as a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).
Tony Choi is a 1.5 generation Korean American from New Jersey via Hawaii and Kentucky. Through his interest in Asian American and immigrant rights, he has previously interned at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the Korean Resource Center, which also led him to join the MinKwon Center in July 2012. He is a founding member of the Berea Dream Coalition and serves as a core member for the New Jersey DREAM Act Coalition. As the Communications and Education Associate, Tony seeks to broaden the impact of MinKwon Center's work through social media and other channels of communications.
David Chung is MinKwon Center's Social Services Paralegal. Originally born in Korea, David moved to Woodside, Queens at an early age where he still resides to this day. He joined MinKwon Center in Spring 2012 as an intern for MinKwon Center's Low-Income Tax Clinic and became a full time staff member in August. Mr. Chung is one of the co-founders of KORE (Korean Americans Organized for Reform and Equality), MinKwon Center's immigrant youth group.
Jake Dong first came to the United States as a college student in 2006, and became involved with the MinKwon Center as an active volunteer in early 2010. Jake currently works with the MinKwon Center's Advocacy and Organizing Program as a Housing Organizer. He is active in educating and organizing Flushing community members around housing issues such as landlord-tenant concerns and foreclosures, and is a key participant of a multi-organizational coalition advocating for housing reform.
Sabrina Fong is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter. Having majored in Political Science and Asian American Studies, she hopes to combine these two passions to help better the lives of NYC's burgeoning immigrant community. Ms. Fong initially joined the MinKwon Center as the Public Allies Community Outreach Fellow at the end of August 2011 to provide support on various civic education and outreach efforts. As the Administrative and Development Associate, Ms. Fong supports the work of the organization in all five program areas, helping to play a critical role in increasing internal capacities.
Elisa Gahng was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Elisa recently joined MinKwon Center as a Foreclosure Legal Counselor after graduating from law school, during which she helped advocate for immigration reform and human rights. Prior to law school, Elisa worked on social justice issues with communities of color in Oakland, California at the Women of Color Resource Center.
A 2nd generation Korean American from Miami, Florida, James Hong joined the MinKwon Center in 2010. James oversees the MinKwon Center’s Civic Participation Program, which seeks to empower the community through the electoral process by organizing voter registration, research, education, and mobilization efforts. He was most recently a Senior Research Analyst at Market Dynamics Research Group, Synovate USA and Synovate Korea.
Joan Huang was born and raised in Taiwan. Joan joined MinKwonCenter as a Chinese Community Outreach Coordinator to provide social services for Chinese community members and to strengthen the relationship with the Chinese community. Upon receiving her Master of City Planning degree from Boston University, she worked as a housing counselor with Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) to provide legal consultation for tenants and advocate for tenants' rights.
Hana Kim is MinKwon Center’s Staff Attorney for the Immigrant Rights Clinic in the area of labor law. She was born and raised in Jeju, South Korea. Upon finishing her undergraduate education at Handong Global University, she came to New York to attend law school in 2006. Hana interned at the MinKwon Center in 2009 as a Legal Intern and Legal Fellow for the housing and labor legal clinics. After graduating from law school, Hana worked at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations as a legal officer, and then joined the MinKwon staff in the fall of 2011.
Yoon Ji Kim is a 2nd generation Korean American who first became involved with the MinKwon Center by volunteering with the Advocacy and Organizing Program in 2009. In 2010, she joined the MinKwon Center as a Program Associate, providing social services to community members as well as performing administrative duties.
Young Sook Na is a 1.5 generation Korean American who first came to the MinKwon Center in 1997 as a participant in the Summer Youth Empowerment Program. She became an active volunteer and joined the MinKwon Center in 2003, where she oversaw the Civic Participation Program and the Low-Income Tax Clinic. She currently oversees organizational finances, office operations, and administrative duties.
Emily Park is a 1.5 generation Korean American who became involved with MinKwon Center through DREAM Act activism and internship at the New York Immigration Coalition for the summer of 2011. She joined MinKwon Center in January 2012 as a youth program associate. She hopes to educate and empower youth by working together on issues regarding Asian American, immigration and the human right to education.
Jorim Rhee is a proud daughter of first generation immigrants from Bergen County, New Jersey. As a Flushing-born Korean American, Jorim was began her community work as an intern for MinKwon’s Social Services program in 2011, and she became a full-time Center For Neighborhood Leadership Organizing Apprentice with MinKwon in the fall of 2012. Her current work focuses on housing organizing and advocacy for tenants. She aspires to empower community members to become leaders in their own communities with her passion and dedication.
Grace Shim currently serves as the Deputy Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action. Grace was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a bilingual 1.5 Korean-American, Grace first worked at the MinKwon Center in 2005 as a law school intern. After graduating from law school, Grace litigated child abuse and neglect cases in the Bronx Family Court, and then joined the MinKwon staff in the summer of 2009 as a Staff Attorney.
Cynthia Tomm is a 2.5 generation Chinese American born and raised in New Jersey. Cynthia worked as a musical theatre actress, small business owner, ASPCA Program Associate, and an Advocacy Organizer for the Council of Senior Centers and Services in Manhattan. She hopes to bring her diverse work experience and passion for social justice to MinKwon Center to serve the Asian American community of New York City.