TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, LOS ANGELES EXPERIENCED THE WORST RIOT IN AMERICAN HISTORY.
Over a period of six days of civil unrest, there were over 3,700 fires, 55 homicides, and $1.3 billion in property damage, with about 40% suffered by Korean American small business owners. Although many suffered, the silver lining was the call to action for many community leaders to engage in dialogue with one another.
We chose “Embrace Unity” as the theme of our dinner as we felt the commemoration should be a call to action for all of us to embrace each other and celebrate our different heritages. Our logo is an infinity symbol filled with butterflies signifying the importance of love that has no beginning and no end. The “butterfly effect”, where something very small can have large effects, highlights how each of us through our own small actions can have an impact on the world.
Council of Korean Americans is hosting this dinner with the goal of inspiring its own members, other Korean Americans in the community, as well as other community groups to come together to provide funds for nonprofits serving underserved youth in ethnic communities. All funds raised in excess of the costs of the dinner will be devoted to these nonprofits, and it is our small way of funding our future by empowering these community based organizations who are in the trenches giving young people resources to succeed. It is easy to give to one’s family, to one’s own nonprofit, or to causes helping one’s own ethnic group. It is a far greater challenge to love and care for those who are “not like us”. Embrace Unity has chosen a wide range of nonprofits to support 5 major nonprofits focused on providing scholarships or resources to underserved youth:
1. The UCLA Foundation
2. The Tiger Woods Foundation
5. Three nonprofit Korean American organizations to be shared among:
a. Korean Churches for Community Development, KCCD
b. Korean American Coalition, KAC
c. Korean American Federation of LA, KAFLA
As we remember the tragic violence that occurred 25 years ago, our hope is that all on the evening dinner on Friday, April 28th at UCLA, each of you finds inspiration and hope that we can all make America a better place.
Mrs. Jihee Huh and Dr. Kenneth Kim