Standing Up for Justice Awardee
Kristopher is an intercountry adoptee from Saigon, Vietnam, who came over during the evacuation of Saigon in 1975 during US Military Operation Babylift. Raised in Alaska, he attended the University of Alaska Anchorage and was recruited as a Systems Engineer to design a local bank’s fiber infrastructure. Kristopher most recently worked as the Director of IT and Apprenticeship Opportunities for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. He works with local tech companies and disadvantaged communities to educate, train, and prepare communities of color for fair opportunities in the IT Sector.
He also volunteers with several organizations that support formerly incarcerated people in accessing training and jobs and that fight for immigrant and human rights. Kristopher also teaches robotics and code block programming to high-school students. Kristopher sits on several Boards that stem around Social Justice, Education and is the post-prison employment advisor for Seattle City Council. He has been involved in adoptee organizing and advocacy since 2016, and is a co-founder and the Co-Director of Adoptees for Justice. Kristopher strongly believes in the organization's mission: “Educate, empower, and organize transracial and transnational adoptee communities to achieve just and humane adoption, immigration, and restorative justice systems.”
The Bravo Family’s mixed status activist journey branches from across the border and has ignited a commitment towards something bigger than immigration reform. It’s about speaking truth to power, dismantling systems of oppression, and mobilizing existing community power. Together they are stronger.
Vicky and Enrique embarked on a pilgrimage for citizenship walking 280 miles from Sacramento to Bakersfield, a journey all too familiar. The imprints from this peregrination were deeper than walking in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters, they were about challenging legislators to act with compassion and kindling community power.
Luis, Daniel, Jessica and Alex living with mixed status in the United States have evolved in different capacities in their committed towards justice.They have organized local and national phone banks, lead marches, canvassed tirelessly, participated in OC Fast, coordinated civic engagement, and confronted OC’s anti immigrant legislators.
Living in a system that continues to dehumanize our communities, they continue to challenge their deportation. In different capacities the Bravo Family has and will continue their commitment towards, speaking truth to power, dismantling systems of oppression, and mobilizing existing community power because together we are stronger.
In accepting this award, the Bravo Family aspires to influence legislators, stakeholders, community members to ignite that same force that moved them, in our community.
Kyung A Jeon met KRC 9 years ago. She received various service consultations and felt energized by KRC's committment to the immigrant community. After the Trump administration's push to cancel the DACA program became a major issue, she has been actively participating in rallies and community meetings. She believes that when parents stand up to set an example for their children, the children themselves will also live as proud members of the community and stand for our rights.
Currently, people are marching from New York to Washington DC. Kyung A believes that attacking immigrants is and attack on every family, and that our community's future depends on it. Discrimination against immigrants and minorities will impact us all. She hopes that KRC will continue to impact our community towards the right way, and will stay engaged in the community.
Kyung A Jeon
Youth in Action Awardees
Jimmy Le is a student who cares about his community. Growing up in an immigrant household, he particularly draws his inspiration to fight for racial equality from his mother. Jimmy remembers coming home from school and asking his mother why she did not vote. She responded, “I am not American. No matter how long you live here, you will never be American. They know that we look different; they will always treat us different.” Jimmy was saddened that his mother appeared to have given up and succumbed to the unfair standards of American society. Jimmy wants Asian Americans of today and the future to never give up on their rights, aspirations, and dreams because society is often unfair to them.
Jimmy started his internship with NAKASEC in mid-2019. Alongside a wonderful team, he began his journey in becoming an effective organizer. He has also worked with Asian American LEAD as a youth program coordinator. He is a branch manager of GIVE, a program that offers accessible tutoring to youth in the community. In his free time, he likes to try new food with family, swim, and go on adventures in the city with his friends.
Briseida Quero Merino
Briseida is a senior at Westminster High School, and wishes to pursue a career in the medical field. As an undocumented individual who identifies as Mexican-American, Briseida struggled with understanding her identity and the limitations of her status. Coming from a low-income and marginalized neighborhood, discrimination and injustices were prevalent in the community.
As these unjust perceptions continued to rise, Briseida decided to join the Youth Advocacy Alliance high school program to understand the policies that affect underrepresented minorities. She was also able to strengthen her passion for empowering marginalized communities and advocating for an inclusive society. She aspires to continue her advocacy work by incorporating her values with her medical career to provide all individuals with comprehensive health services.
Jasmine Anuntarungsun is a college student at Harold Washington College in Chicago pursuing sociology. Growing up in a predominantly White neighborhood, Jasmine grew up feeling ostracized because of her Thai heritage, causing her to subconsciously undermine the impact of her voice as a womxn of color in her community.
Despite these pressures, Jasmine continued trying to find a safe and brave place to learn more about her Asian heritage. She eventually became involved with the HANA Center during her sophomore year of high school. From there, she participated in rallies and voter registration drives, learned Korean Traditional Drumming, become a core youth leader in HANA Center’s social justice youth council, Fighting Youth Shouting-out for Humanity (FYSH), and eventually became a Youth Organizing Fellow after graduating.
Through these experiences, Jasmine has grown to embrace and be proud of being a second generation Thai womxn. She continues to be involved in her community, challenge views that attack marginalized populations, and promote the values of people of color and womxn like herself to demonstrate to the world why they are worth cherishing.
Briseida Quero Merino