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For Immediate Release
May 24, 2013
Contact: Jane Yoo, NAKASEC 202.630.4013
Dae Joong Yoon Leads NAKASEC on
Immigration Reform as Executive Director
Meeting with President Obama, Mobilization of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Empowerment of Korean American Community
Washington, D.C. – With the commitment to mount effective grassroots campaigns to win immigration reform and promote the full participation of Korean Americans, the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) board welcomes a dynamic leader, Dae Joong Yoon, as its executive director. Yoon comes into this role with more than 19 years of community education and organizing experiences in the areas of immigration policy, health access, civic participation, voting rights, environmental justice and economic development.
Yoon has deep roots with NAKASEC. He was part of the founding of the organization in 1994, and played a critical role in NAKASEC-led campaigns during the early years. These included the 1995 “Justice for Immigrants” Washington Post ad campaign opposing anti-immigrant legislation, the first-ever nationally coordinated multi-faceted campaign to promote civic participation and electoral organizing in the Korean American community in 1996, Restoration of SSI Telegram Campaign, Restoration of Food Stamps Paper Plate Drive and Fix 96’. Yoon is also the founding board member of KRCC in Chicago and served as the national president of Young Koreans United of USA.
Most recently, Yoon was the executive director of KRC since July 2003. He has also supervised many community-led research projects such as the Asian American Voter Exit Poll, Building Health Community Focus Group and the Los Angeles City Services Survey. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Strategic Concept in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE); a Community Advisory Board member for the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services; and an Advisory Board Member for the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. He is a 1.5 generation Korean American who immigrated to Chicago in 1988.
In this critical time for immigration reform, NAKASEC is continuing to represent the Korean American community as a driving force. On May 8, along with 14 other national Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizational leaders, Yoon met with President Obama in a historic meeting to discuss immigration reform, health care and civil rights. This was the first time that the president met with AAPI leaders, demonstrating the growing electorate clout of the communities they represent.
“We had a productive meeting with President Obama,” Yoon said, “ We addressed various issues that affect AAPI communities and immigration was one of the key issues. The President made a strong commitment to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year and also mentioned that after the implementation of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, he was very surprised that so many Korean American youth applied. President Obama specifically expressed his appreciation to the Korean American community and their support for DACA.”
Since DACA was implemented in August of 2012, South Korea has been in the top 5 countries with the most number of individuals applying.
Hee Joo Yoon, newly appointed executive director of the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles said, “We welcome President Obama’s commitment to pass CIR this year. We are working hard to ensure that there are improvements made to the current immigration bill, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that is more affordable and a simplified process. Over the past year, KRC has received close 10,000 calls and visits from community members and we have processed more than 700 DACA applications. Legalization is very important to the Korean American community.”
On June 5, 2013, NAKASEC will lead, with other AAPI organizations, a national mobilization in Washington D.C. to call for immigration reform. The “Stand With Families: National AAPI Day of Action for Immigration Reform” aims to connect community members to their government and elevate the presence of AAPIs in passing immigration reform. Hundreds of families will raise their voices and mark their presence by calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and protects the current family visa program.
“We’re ramping up efforts and bringing hundreds of voices to Capitol Hill. Our communities have been a driving force on immigration reform and we are continuing to shape the debates. Our local organizing is culminating with this national mobilization in Washington D.C.,” said Sik Son, executive director of the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center in Chicago.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a national progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans as a part of a greater goal of building a national movement for social change. NAKASEC is based D.C. and Los Angeles. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).
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Dae Joong Yoon, NAKASEC Executive Director
AAPI National Leaders meeting with President Obama