In May, the Korean American Community Foundation Celebrated its 20th Anniversary and Raised a Record-Breaking Amount at the Annual Gala

Thursday, June 16, 2022

In May, the Korean American Community Foundation Celebrated its 20th Anniversary and Raised a Record-Breaking Amount at the Annual Gala

The Korean American Community Foundation (KACF) marked its 20th anniversary at Cipriani Wall Street on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.

Centered around the theme, CELEBRATE ELEVATE, KACF’s 2022 Annual Gala celebrated the Foundation’s 20 years of elevating the community through philanthropy and three individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to lifting up the stories and voices of the Korean American community: Joseph Y. Bae, co-CEO of KKR; Lee Jung-jae, actor and star of Squid Game; and Michelle Zauner, bestselling author of Crying in H Mart and head of Grammy-nominated band Japanese Breakfast.

Returning in person after two years, the Gala sold out three weeks before the day of the celebration, bringing together nearly 900 Korean American leaders and community partners. In a record-breaking night, KACF raised over $4 million to support its mission to empower families and individuals living in poverty to grow self-sufficient and thrive.

Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has awarded over $10 million in grants and provided culturally competent capacity building assistance to nonprofits addressing economic insecurity in the Korean and wider Asian American community. Equally important, KACF has fostered a culture of giving among Korean Americans, mobilizing the power of philanthropy to give rise to longstanding change.

“During the pandemic over the past two years, KACF deployed almost $3 million in grants. That’s 30% of our total grantmaking since our founding in just two years because the community needed us. And we could not have done this without the generosity of our donors,” said KACF President Kyung B. Yoon. “I also want to thank our nonprofit grantee partners – the heroes and backbone of our community, making a difference in the lives of struggling individuals and families, and serving them with compassion, empathy and deep understanding.”

Highlights of the evening included:

  • KACF President Kyung B. Yoon revealed the Foundation’s plans to scale its impact nationally while continuing to support local initiatives in the greater New York area. (VIDEO)
  • Michelle Zauner received the Trailblazer Award and delivered moving remarks about the “profound and healing in stories that show our community in all its complexity.” (VIDEO)
  • Joseph Y. Bae, honored for his long-time support of KACF and leadership in advancing Asian American philanthropy, shared about how his experiences growing up as a first generation Korean American immigrant shaped his commitment to give back and made a call to action to the room to “step up and do the positive work our community needs.” (VIDEO)
  • Lee Jung-jae, took the stage to be honored for his global impact and uplifted the power of K-Content in breaking through cultural barriers and bridging the divide that is often caused by language barriers. (VIDEO)
  • Julia Riew, the 22-year-old Harvard senior who became a social media sensation for creating her own “Korean Disney princess” musical, was joined by friends and vocalists Natalie Choo and Caron Kim on stage to surprise the audience with an inspiring live performance of Dive. (VIDEO)

To see and download photos from event, CLICK HERE.

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