Giving Summit

The Giving Summit brings together Korean Americans from across the country to celebrate giving in its many forms.

Over the past few years, unprecedented crises and uncertainty inspired us to think outside of the box and innovate new or different ways to make a meaningful impact. This year’s theme, PHILANTHROPY REIMAGINED, challenges us to examine how the culture of giving is shifting in the Asian American community and reimagine how we can individually and collectively make a difference.

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Going virtual, the 2021 Giving Summit inspired us to examine how we can make a difference, especially in the lives of the most vulnerable among us, during the most challenging times.

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Anti-Asian Racism & Violence: Then and Now

Our second Giving Summit addressed anti-Asian racism and violence in the United States. Activist and author Helen Zia and US Representative Grace Meng (D-06) provided current and historical contexts of Asian immigration, racism, and violence in the United States. Juju Chang, KACF co-founder and Co-Anchor of ABC News’ Nightline moderated this timely discussion, which took on new urgency after the shooting in Atlanta the day before. 

The Impact of COVID-19 on Jobs & Unemployment

Our first Giving Summit of 2021, moderated by Jeannie Park, KACF Board Member and Former Executive Editor of People Magazine, focused on the long-term effects of COVID-19 and unemployment within the Asian American and Korean American communities with updates from the ground by Linda Lee, President of the Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, and Howard Shih, Director of Research and Policy at the Asian American Federation. 

The Giving Summit™ explores and celebrates giving in its myriad forms, including volunteering, philanthropy and social enterprise. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a climate of uncertainty for everyone, yet, we have also witnessed acts of generosity and kindness across our community. Through the Giving Summit’s virtual programs, we examine how we can make a difference, especially in the lives of the most vulnerable among us, in these challenging times.

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In the Frontline of COVID-19: Roadmap to Recovery

In partnership with the Korea Finance Society, we had our fourth and final event of the “In the Frontline” series. In this live conversation, former World Bank president and co-founder of the global organization, Partners In Health, Dr. Jim Yong Kim discussed his plans to halt this public health crisis, including recent contact tracing research methods in Massachusetts to combat COVID-19 in the state, and ultimately, to reopen the U.S. economy.

In the Frontline of COVID-19: Essential Stories

Moderated by Jeannie Park, KACF Board Member and Former Executive Editor of People Magazine, we had a live conversation with Juju Chang, Co-Anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline,” who has been covering “essential stories” of grocery store workers, truck drivers, small business owners, and many others from the frontline of this pandemic. 

What’s Cooking? The Comforts of Korean Food & Community

Kicking off the weekend, Simon Kim, proprietor of Michelin-starred restaurant COTE, shared some of his favorite Korean recipes, while cooking galbi live! He also discussed the impact of the pandemic on the restaurant and hospitality industries, and the efforts to help and support those struggling right now. 

Our Time is Now: COVID-19 and Anti-Asian Racism

KACF’s very first virtual event for high school and college students! It featured a live conversation with Grace Choi, Director of Policy in the NYC’s Mayor Office; Jane Yoon, a special education teacher in the NYC public school system; and Andrew Kung, Brooklyn-based photographer. As a policymaker, an educator, and a photographer, the three speakers shared their personal stories of how they are taking action to make an impact in the face of heightened racism against Asian Americans.

In the Frontline of COVID-19: Saving Lives

Moderated by Dr. S. Steven Yang, KACF Board Chair and Orthopedic Surgeon at NYU Langone Health, we had a live conversation with two healthcare professionals about their work in fighting the pandemic: Dr. Jung T. Kim, the Executive Vice Chairman of Department of Anesthesiology at NYU Langone Health; and Dr. Hyun Ji Lee, the President of Korean-American Physicians Association of New York, who spearheaded the launch of COVID-19 hotline and telemedicine in Korean language. This project is supported by the KACF COVID-19 Community Action Fund.

In the Frontline of COVID-19: Nonprofit Community

Moderated by KACF President Kyung B. Yoon, we dicussed the short- and long-term health and economic impact of COVID-19 in the Korean American community, as well as what we can do in the face of heightened racism with Linda Lee, the President and CEO of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, and Jo-Ann Yoo, the Executive Director of Asian American Federation.

The Summit featured a Women’s Breakfast, organized with the support of the Associate Board, which will take place in the morning, prior to the Summit Program.

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Opening Plenary: Finding My Giving Voice

  • Speaker: Helen Zia – Activist & Author

Plenary: Empowering Invisible Communities

  • Speaker: Cathy Cha – President, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
  • Moderator: Daniel Lee – Executive Director of the Levi Strauss Foundation

Lightning Talks

  • Robert Lee – Co-Founder & CEO of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine
  • Andrew Kung – Photographer
  • Jenny Xia – Founder & Co-CEO of Free Will

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KACF’s Inaugural Giving Summit™ brought together Korean American community trailblazers, experts and supporters, innovators in philanthropy and social impact and others seeking ways to make a difference, especially in the lives of the most vulnerable among us. The one-day conference served as a space to examine how we can become more impactful individual givers and how each of us can contribute meaningfully to our communities. The Summit culminated in a celebration of our 15th Anniversary, honoring “unsung” Korean American heroes.

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Korean American Community Foundation
135 East 64th Street, New York, NY 10065
Phone: 332-265-0508