For 30 years, KRC has been passionately working to empower Korean Americans, low income families, immigrants, and communities of color. We are guided by our four principles loosely translated as: Live Rightly, Know Our Roots, Live with Strength, and Live in Harmony.
KRC was founded by political activists from the US and Korea to create a space for Korean Americans to come together; to debate and dialogue, to educate and analyze critically, and to mobilize and organize a largely disengaged community. The Gwangju People’s Uprising in 1980 was a seminal moment in Korea that spurred the grassroots organizing of young people in the U.S. KRC itself focused on providing international solidarity to the peace and democracy movement in Korea. By 1992, events in South Korea and the US determined the need for KRC to focus on the needs of the Korean American community in the US.
As an immigrant community that has laid its roots on this land, we believe in the power of community organizing. By mobilizing our community, young and old, KRC and the Korean American community have won significant legislative victories benefitting all low income families and immigrants from the restoration of SSI and Food Stamps to low income immigrants and the passage of AB540 and the California Dream Act to the reauthorization and expansion of the State Child Health Insurance Program to include immigrant children and the provision of bilingual information to Medi-Cal recipients in Los Angeles County.
KRC follows a holistic empowerment model that combines social service, education and culture with advocacy and organizing. Annually, KRC assists 11,000 individuals access public health care programs, naturalize, register to vote, file their income tax, protect their home from foreclosure, and apply for DACA.
We are looking forward to the next 30 years. There are still challenges ahead --- realizing just and humane immigration reform, ensuring health access for all Californians, advocating for vital health and human services for immigrants, and expanding affordable housing development for seniors. But we are emboldened as we look ahead because we know that the community stands with us. Thank you all for your support.
Zu Kim, Board Chair, Korean Resource Center
The Korean Resource Center (KRC) has strived to advance the voices, rights, and needs of our community based on four guiding principles: Live Rightly, Know Our Roots, Live with Strength, and Live in Harmony.
In the 1980s, KRC and its sister organization Young Koreans United was part of the international solidarity movement for democracy, human rights, and peace in the Korean peninsula. As the Korean government transitioned from a military dictatorship to a democratically elected civilian president in 1992, KRC shifted its focus to organize community members on local and national issues affecting Korean Americans in the U.S.
KRC follows a holistic empowerment model that combines services for low income, limited English proficient immigrants, education on issues and policies impacting the daily lives of community members, and organizing to build a progressive, social justice movement in the U.S.
We are reminded daily that this work would not be possible without our countless volunteers and supporters. We express our deepest thanks to all those who are part of this work and have participated in different and many ways over the past 30 years.
KRC has engaged more than 560,000 Korean Americans in Southern California through service, education and organizing; in our journey towards justice and equality.
KRC will continue to stand with our community to achieve a better life for all. We hope you continue to be a part of KRC for another 30 years.
480,000 community members received information and assistance accessing public benefits and health insurance programs. Of note, KRC has been the only organization in Koreatown that provides free Medicare Part D consultation and application assistance since the program was first introduced in 2005 until today.
In 2010, KRC became a HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) certified homeownership and foreclosure prevention program and has served 2,121 individuals to date.
(Above) KRC volunteers provide free naturalization services at the United Methodist Church in Garden Grove, Orange County (August 4, 2012)
Our services by the numbers:
- 24,234 seniors have received consultation and application assistance with government health insurance programs, social services, and affordable housing.
- 22,265 individuals have received assistance with filing income tax, accessing children’s health insurance programs, renewing permanent residency status, and legal services.
(Left) KRC’s program director, HeeJoo Yoon was recognized in 2012 as a White House “Champion of Change for its provision of quality, culturally competent services.” On April 26, 2012, she had the opportunity to meet President Obama and convey the specific challenges faced by Korean American families struggling to save their homes. (April 26, 2012)
Campaign Fellows Call Voters for the 2012 Civic Engagement Campaign.
The anti-immigrant wave that swept Congress and the US starting with Prop 187 and followed by the welfare reform laws, spurred KRC’s focus on increasing the civic participation and mobilization of Korean Americans. Since 1996, KRC has contacted 430,000 community members through its civic engagement and immigrant rights activities.
Our work by the numbers:
- Voter Registrations: 21,862 new voters
- Get Out The Vote Activities: 93,587 voters
- Voter Guide Mailers: 227,100 voters
- Election Hotline Assistance: 18,503 voters
- Census Outreach (2000 and 2010): 47,507 residents
- Naturalization Assistance: 12,521 Legal Permanent Residents
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Assistance: 7,219 immigrant youth
- AB540 Application Assistance and College Admissions: 2,044 students
KRC engaged in public campaigns to advance human rights and economic justice, involving 80,000 community members in petitions, faxing letters, phone calling, and donations. Major accomplishments of our work include the restoration of SSI and Food Stamps for low-income immigrant seniors re-authorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Medi-Cal language access, and winning in-state tuition and deferred action measure for undocumented immigrant youth.
KRC also conducted cultural programs and poongmul instruction to carry on and develop our culture. KRC provided education on issues sought after by the Korean American community, and internship and scholarship program to prepare tomorrow’s leaders. KRC has also engaged in solidarity work with the different communities in the United States.
200 seniors demanding translations of their Medi-Cal insurance notice letters gathered at KRC’s Language Access Town Hall and made their demands heard to County Supervisor Don Knabe and DPSS Director Phillip Browning. (February 27, 2009)
To engage in these activities, KRC has been organizing in the community, forming the below organizing committees:
- Community Health Promoters (CHP) advocate for language access, health and human services and affordable housing for low-income, Limited English Proficient Seniors. CHP meets the last Friday of each month at 10:00 am.
- JangGuHakDang promotes awareness of traditional Korean culture through workshops, performances, and special events.
- The Alliance of Korean American Students in Action advocates for immigrant rights and equal access to higher education for immigrant students.
- The Summer Youth Empowerment program provides learning opportunities for Korean American high school students on self, community, culture, and social issues while facilitating the development of student-led community projects.