NAKASEC was founded by local Korean American organizations from across the nation who saw the need for a prominent, national voice for the Korean and Asian American communities in the United States. To guide their organizing, our founders developed the following principles: Live Right (바르게 살자), Know Your Roots (뿌리를 알자), Live Strong (굳세게 살자), and Live Together (더불어 살자). These original organizing principles are the core values that NAKASEC uses to guide our work today.

Though the context for these principles is always evolving, the interpretation and lessons that can be drawn from them are incredibly relevant today. Read on to learn more about these principles and the way NAKASEC interprets them for our present day fight for justice!

Live Right

To live right means to struggle for justice. At NAKASEC, we strive to live right by pushing for genuine, holistic justice. This means we will not support anything that attempts to pit our community members against one another. We refuse to bargain the safety of our community in exchange for the oppression of another community.

To live right also means to center the most marginalized of our people. This is why at NAKASEC we work to engage and build the leadership of recent immigrants, undocumented immigrants, queer and trans folks, adoptees without citizenship, women, youth, seniors, disabled people, formerly incarcerated individuals, and all other vulnerable community members.

Know Your Roots

The original founders and members of NAKASEC were primarily Korean American and established NAKASEC with the mission of exploring their ethnic history and pushing for a progressive Korean American agenda at the national level. Since then, NAKASEC has grown both in membership and cultural identity as more folks from diverse AAPI backgrounds have become involved. We are excited to continue to grow and organize as an Asian American community!

NAKASEC retains our cultural heritage by engaging our members with traditional aspects of our different heritages that teach universal lessons (i.e. using traditional Korean drumming as a form of resistance and meditation for healing).

Live Strong

As low-income Korean American immigrants, the founders of NAKASEC interpreted “live strong” as working through the hardships of being immigrants in a new country and exposing the real challenges our community faces. We maintain our founder’s vision of a world that thrives with equality, humanity and love.  Today, we interpret “live strong” as committing ourselves 100% and engaging everyday people through bold and creative strategies such as our DREAM Action outside of the White House for 22 days to #ProtectDACA or biking from border to border for #Citizenship4All. We here at NAKASEC throw down for our people.

Live Together

In addition to living together as Koreans, our founders understood the importance of living harmoniously with other ethnic groups. At NAKASEC, we know that we are stronger together, so we strive to organize with other communities towards a shared vision. We are in strong solidarity with Black, Latinx, and other marginalized communities as we know our liberations are tied together.