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.
Gala Co-Chairs: Lisa Kim, Chris Park, Jeannie Park
Dinner Co-Chairs: Prisca Bae; Elli & John Bai; Margaret Jan & Alex Chi; Hajin & Michael Chung; Laura & Mun K. Hong, MD; Katie Song & Mike Joo; Sonja & Jay Kim; Philip Kim; Nayun Shin & Simon Kim; Grace Koo; Joshua Lederman; Christopher Lee; Hayan & David H. Lee; Hee Yoon & Edward J. Lee; Miky Lee; So-Chung Shinn & Tony W. Lee; Serena & John Liew; Michelle Lee & Chul Pak; John Park; Lauren & Michael Park; Sunhee & Richard Park; Sarah Min & Matt Pincus; Miyoung Lee & Neil Simpkins; Katherine & S. Steven Yang, MD
Anniversary Sponsors: Janice Lee & Joseph Bae; KKR
Champion Sponsors: CJ Group; Jeannie Park & Larry Hackett; Millennium Management; Naeil Foundation; SeAH
Diamond Sponsors: Friends of The Asian American Foundation; Bank of America; Fundstrat; Kakao Entertainment; Kirkland & Ellis; Latham & Watkins; So-Chung Shinn & Tony W. Lee; Young Ju Rhee & Young J. Lee; Serena & John Liew/AQR; Mizuho; Michelle Lee & Chul Pak; Sunhee & Richard Park; Sarah Min & Matt Pincus; Simpson Thacher; SK Group; UBS
Platinum Sponsors: Margaret Jan & Alex Chi; Lisa Kim & Eunu Chun; Citi; Cleary Gottlieb; Credit Suisse; Debevoise & Plimpton; Deloitte; Dow Kim Family Foundation; Gibson Dunn; Goldman Sachs; Laura & Mun K. Hong, MD; Jane & Inseon Hwang/Ascend Partners; Jay & Sonja Kim Foundation; JOH Foundation; J.P. Morgan; Hee Yoon & Ed Lee; Gina Sohn & Gregory Lee; Soo Hyun Cho & Michael Lee; Mayer Brown; McKinsey & Company; Morgan Stanley; Michelle Jang & Chris Park; Nancy Chung & David K. Park/Sidley; Proskauer; Sandra & James Seo; Miyoung Lee & Neil Simpkins; Wells Fargo; Katherine & S. Steven Yang, MD; Jean Yun, MD & Daniel Yun; Zide Family Foundation
Gold Sponsors: 3LAB; ABC News; Bain & Company; Banneker Partners; Ji-Yeun Lee & Riccardo Benedetti; Angela & Jacob Buchdahl; Susan Choo & Chul Chung; Hannah Yang & Michael K. Chung; Dentons Lee; Hudoson River Trading; Nayun Shin & Simon Kim; Jamie Jae Myoung & Daniel Lee; Hayan & David H. Lee; Eun Sun Chun & Eliot Lee; Sophie & John Lee; Macquarie; MCM; Quinn Emanuel; Boram Nam & Suk Park; Poongsan; Primer Sazze; Mary & Dan Riew, MD; Samsung; Cathy Oh & Mike Tran; Weil; Dr. Yeh & Associates; Kyung B. Yoon