The past 10 days since November 8, 2016, NAKASEC and our affiliates, the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles and the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center in Chicago have dedicated our full resources to holding urgent and heartfelt conversations with our membership and wider community.
Our three organizations began with the mission to educate, serve, and organize Korean Americans on a progressive social justice agenda. NAKASEC itself was founded at a time when Proposition 187 had passed in California and the LA Civil Unrest signaled the need to bring communities of color together and to organize within low-income communities.
Our focus hasn’t changed and, in the years since our inception, we have seen the passage of important state and federal policies that have improved the lives of immigrants. Most recently, our organizations provided information about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to 14,210 individuals and processed 2,200 applications. Even before DACA, KRC provided in-state tuition assistance to 4,675 Dreamers since 2005. During the 2016 elections, we reached out to 229,757 voters and directly contacted 36,467 voters to turn out and vote on Election Day. Finally, we have educated, outreached, and mobilized tens of thousands more to advance and defend their civil and immigrant rights.
This work will only intensify in the coming days.
The election of Donald Trump to our nation’s highest office opens the door to a dangerous new period for women and girls, immigrants, communities of color and working people — the very communities we treasure, defend, and organize within. Mr. Trump’s rhetoric was damaging and, in the days since, the first nominations the President-elect has made for key Cabinet posts and senior advisors indicate that this rhetoric will be matched with unparalleled and egregious policies that will tear families apart, turn away refugees fleeing war and persecution, racially profile and target Muslim Americans and other communities of color, undermine a woman’s right to control her own body, and so much more.
The unimaginable may be happening but not without a fight. We will be part of the growing opposition movement. And in this work ahead we need all of you to join us.
While plans are still forming, what we know is this:
- We will hold meetings with community members in our base cities to ensure that our strategy and actions, from this day forth, will continue to represent and be led by those directly impacted.
- We will build a Rapid Response Network that includes a hotline to respond to inquiries about DACA and other immigration related programs, provide timely policy alerts to community members, and create a support system with a team of attorneys and other professionals.
- We will organize with a broad spectrum of allies to establish sanctuaries in local cities and other areas. We will expand the concept of sanctuaries to become havens for immigrants, Black people, Native people, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and people of all faith.
- We will strengthen our alliances with communities of color, Arab and Muslim Americans, immigrants, and low-income communities and unite like never before to develop a pro-active progressive agenda within a human rights framework.
We will mobilize our communities locally and nationally to oppose any actions that harm our communities.
- The conversations we are having with all of you, our community members, has emboldened us. Let us continue to stand together to uphold America’s democracy and its richest values of justice and equality for all.
NAKASEC, KRC, and KRCC