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Our Mission

Korean Family

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower immigrants in the Bay Area through access to education, services, resources and advocacy. We are a bridge helping individuals get needed resources at critical moments in their lives.

 

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Our Vision

Our Vision

Our vision is a world where immigrants and refugees thrive in an inclusive and equitable society and everyone has access to basic health care, housing, work and can be part of a safe, healthy and thriving community.

 

Our History

Early Settlement

Koreans first settled in the Bay Area in the 1900s. The Oakland Korean Methodist Church provided support to these early immigrants.

1977 The Beginning

Five community activists founded the Korean Community Center of the East Bay with support from the Methodist Church. Our mission is to assist newcomer Koreans in accessing basic needs and services.
MLK March with KCCEB Banner

1980 Establishing Non-Profit Status

KCCEB becomes an independent non-profit agency. Essential services for newcomers include: Social services, ESL classes, job skills training and senior citizens services.
Women cooking together

1983 Our First Home

One hundred people pledge to make donations. Their contributions sponsor KCCEB’s first office location at 3538 Telegraph Ave in Oakland.

1984-1989 Koryo Village Center

KCCEB supports a small business incubator project. The project becomes the Koryo Village Center, opening its doors in 1989 at Telegraph Avenue and 44th Street in Oakland.

1991-1996 Immigration & Advocacy

Increasing anti-immigrant sentiment in California propels KCCEB to respond. In 1991, KCCEB hosts its first monthly immigration clinic.
Immigration lawers

1991-1996 Immigration & Advocacy

KCCEB joins coalition efforts to protest the passage of Proposition 187, a proposition that would deny healthcare and public education services for undocumented immigrants residing in California.

1992-1995 Small Business Community

After Sa-I-Gu (the 1992 LA Riots that resulted in devastation for many Korean small businesses), KCCEB helps establish the K-town Family Fund and other programs to support safety, violence prevention and community building.

1992-1995 Small Business Community

Through the Small Business Technical Assistance & Awareness Project, KCCEB provides technical assistance to start-ups and expands Korean immigrant businesses.
Korya Village Plaza Grand Opening

1994 -2002 Youth Development

KCCEB develops afterschool classes and Korean cultural arts for 1.5-2nd generation youth. KCCEB also sponsors Han Ma Um, a youth leadership summer camp in collaboration with UC Berkeley students.

2000 Shimtuh Program

The Bay Area's first & only Korean language domestic violence victim’s assistance program is established in collaboration with Asian Women’s Shelter to address alarming rates of DV in the community.
Women Running Art

2000 Virtual Village Program

KCCEB develops the Virtual Village Program to build community capacity with local faith institutions.

2010 Environmental Scan

KCCEB conducts in-depth interviews with the community, laying the groundwork for KCCEB’s strategic framework for the next 10 years.

2011-2013 BIA Accreditation

KCCEB obtains BIA accreditation to provide credible immigration legal representation for low-income and indigent immigrants.

2013 Covered California

KCCEB is the leading API voice for Covered California in the Bay Area, outreaching to more than 30,000 individuals and enrolling more than 1,000 individuals in 37 cities since July 2013. 

2014-2016 KONA Report

KCCEB conducts and publishes the only disaggregated Korean health and social assessment study in the Bay Area with UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. KONA is used for data-based advocacy.

2017-2018 New Program Launch

KCCEB develops the R.I.P.E. model: Research, Innovation, Participation and Empowerment. Our Senior Jikimee Leaders speak at state and local advocacy meetings.
Sacramento Legislative Visit with Community Members

2017-2018 New Program Launch

Asian Community Wellness Program provides mental health and wellness support to Korean and other East Asian communities. We launch BAKI, the only Korean language information, referral and navigation call center in the Bay Area.

2019-2020 Innovation & Collaborations

KCCEB partners with other immigrant/refugee serving organizations for greater impact on census engagement, youth leadership, mental health apps, immigration and naturalization and COVID-19 response.
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Team

June Lee

Chief Executive Officer
Bilingual in Korean and English
As Executive Director of KCCEB since 2010, June has led KCCEB to quadruple its revenue with a ten-fold increase in community membership.  Under June’s leadership KCCEB has shifted from primarily service delivery to an integrated approach
of service, research, and community engagement. June holds an M.S. in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining KCCEB, June was the Managing Director and Strategic planner of the Asia Pacific Region for major advertising agencies.

As an immigrant and mother of a teenage daughter, June is passionate about women’s empowerment issues. “I make the world a more wholesome place by helping disempowered people to realize their power and become active participants in our society.”

Yeri Shon, MPH, MSW

Associate Director
Bilingual in Korean and English
Yeri focuses on integrating and evaluating programmatic work to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness. Yeri previously worked at KCCEB from 2011-2016 where she led direct service delivery and community engagement. She played a critical role in
strategizing and successfully implementing an unprecedented ACA education and outreach campaign to reach 15,000 API community members.

Yeri completed her MPH/MSW from the University of Michigan and has a BS in Chemistry from UC Berkeley. Coming from a struggling immigrant family and with over nine years working at non-profit organizations, Yeri developed insights into how systemic barriers cause social inequities leading to negative health outcomes. During her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring diverse eateries around the Bay Area, and being a die-hard Warriors fan when the basketball season starts.

Amy G. Lam, MA, PhD

Chief Program Strategist
Speaks Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and English
Since 2016, Amy’s (she/they) focus is to create projects that are responsive to community needs and strengthen the community mental health and social service arms of KCCEB through grant writing. Amy has a MA in
Counseling Psychology (UCSB), a Ph.D. in Cultural/Social Psychology (UCD), and a postdoctoral fellowship in Psychology and Medicine (UCSF). Growing up in an immigrant family in NY, Amy has always had a passion for giving voice to the immigrant experience. Amy brings over 15 years of grassroots experience in developing innovative and culturally-resonant programs through grant writing and using art as a tool for community building, empowerment, and healing.

Amy is also an energy healer and a published poet, playwright, and composer. Amy’s mantra is: “Let’s dream the world we want to see into being.”

Pysay Phinith, LCSW

Program Director & Wellness Specialist
Bilingual in Khmer and English
Since 2018, Pysay has led the development of KCCEB’s first community mental health program, Asian Community Wellness Program, Senior Case Management Program, and provides support for the Community Health Access Program. Pysay also supervises mental health
trainees and provides mental health counseling to children, youths and adults.

Pysay is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds an MSW from UC Berkeley. She has over 12 years of depth and experience in community-based prevention, early intervention, clinical case management, and mental health treatment services for Asian and Pacific Islanders and the greater communities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Pysay loves running for self-care, “Running is my high! Running is my freedom!”

Christina Yu, LCSW

Clinical Supervisor and Lead Clinician
Bilingual in Cantonese and English
Christina facilitates the clinical competency of the MSW and MFT associates and interns at KCCEB, and provides mental health services under the Asian Community Wellness Program. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her
MSW at UC Berkeley. With over 15 years of community work in Oakland Chinatown, 12 years as a case manager in Alameda County, and 7 years in the medical field working with patients facing general to chronic health conditions, she utilizes trauma-informed lenses to serve others and is passionate about holistic treatment that supports overall well-being and empowerment of individuals and community.

Christina was born and raised in Oakland by a family who immigrated from Toisan, China. In her spare time, she enjoys visual arts, cooking challenges with her friends, exploring the food scene in the Bay Area, hikes amongst the redwoods, bathing in the sound of the ocean, and tending to her plants.

Christine Yang

Wellness Counselor & Case Manager
Speaks English, Mandarin, and Taigi (Taiwanese)
Christine Yang (she/they) is a queer, first-generation, Taiwanese immigrant who moved to the Bay Area at the age of 15. She’s a proud alum of City College of San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz, where
she learned to think critically and open her mind. Yang is passionate about social justice, youth mental health, and community building. They have dedicated their time to working with low-income, immigrant youth and families of color since 2016. Working with young people has led them to pursuing and obtaining their MSW degree from UC Berkeley. Yang honors the value of authenticity, compassion, and creativity in their work and hopes to hold space for self-finding and healing through those values.

Outside of work, you can probably find Christine in front of a sewing machine, doodling, or doing other crafts by hand. On a more rare occasion, you can find her hiking in nature or baking something sweet. Christine goes by both Christine and Yang as a way of gender expression and fluidity.

Jeehee Moon, AMFT

Clinical Case Manager & Wellness Counselor
Bilingual in Korean and English
Jeehee joined KCCEB in the fall of 2021 to provide preventive counseling and case management for the Asian community. Jeehee is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT #131623) and a Registered Art Therapist –
Provisional (ATR-P #22-161). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Visual Design and Gerontology, a master’s degree in Art Psychotherapy from Seoul Women’s University in Korea, and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Dominican University of California in the U.S.

As an international student herself, she understands the challenges of living in an unfamiliar culture and the difficulties of having a language barrier. Jeehee values working as a team with her client. The therapist-client relationship comes before the theoretical approach for her. To build the relationship, she treats her clients with empathy, genuineness, respect, and non-judgmental regard.

Dana Kurlander, MS

Advocacy and Impact Manager
Speaks English
Dana (she/they) is a queer biracial white Filipinx survivor of violence and child of an Asian immigrant mother. Navigating the world from these intersecting identities and experiences, Dana is personally dedicated to building an inclusive, safe, and equitable society,
in which Asian immigrants and refugees can thrive.

Dana has a M.S. in Medical Anthropology from University College London and a B.A. in Global Health and Sociocultural Anthropology from University of California San Diego. Throughout the years, Dana has worked supporting diverse immigrant, refugee, and asylum seeker communities in public health advocacy, direct service, and community-based participatory research in both non-profit organization and academic research settings. In her work, she focuses on centering diverse community wisdom, prioritizing collective care, and advocating for systems change. During her free time, she enjoys dancing, being in nature, exploring new coffee spots, and learning about different healing traditions.

Hye-Yun Graves

Health Access Program Supervisor
Bilingual in Korean and English
Hye-Yun provides resources to those who are in need and is involved in the Jikimee Senior Leadership Training Program and the BAKI program. In her previous life, she worked with children for more than 10 years.
By working with children and their parents, she started to ask: What else can I do for my community? And that is how a new chapter of her life began.

Hye-Yun developed a strong sense of devotion to make a community in a healthier and better way while working in another community center. Her experience gave her a deep appreciation for an organization like KCCEB for how to bring positive changes into the community with passion and effort. In her spare time, she loves taking a walk and watching movies.

Juhee Hong

Data Coordinator
Bilingual in Korean and English
Juhee manages clients’ data and provides administrative assistance for the organization. Also, she provides navigation assistance to those in need and plays a critical role in the BAKI program.

Before joining KCCEB, Juhee worked as a barista
and managed a family restaurant in Oakland for the past five years. Since the pandemic, Juhee has been volunteering at KCCEB to deliver meals to Korean seniors in the East Bay area. Through this experience, Juhee found a profound joy and purpose in serving underrepresented communities. In her spare time, Juhee enjoys cooking and spending time with her family dog, Mocha.

Julia Chen

Navigation & Community Engagement Coordinator
Trilingual in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English
Julia provides resources navigation assistance to those who are in need and plays a critical role in the BACHI program. She empathizes with the challenges immigrants face, because of her own lived experiences. Julia finds
peace while working in her small garden with vegetables, trees and roses.

Jisoo Kim

Immigration Counselor
Bilingual in Korean and English
Jisoo is an accredited representative providing immigration legal services for the Northern California immigrant community. She is passionate about working with individuals to help them find their voice and tell their story. In her free time,
Jisoo enjoys traveling, reading, discovering new cafes, and working on perfecting her tomato pasta recipe.

Manith Thaing

Community Outreach Manager
Bilingual in Khmer and English
Manith (she/her) is a daughter of refugee parents. Her parents were the first community advocates that she learned from and they were the ones who inspired her to do the work she does now. She has
over 20 years in the non-profit sector and is very passionate about working with the community. She will continue to dedicate her time to the community as long as time permits.

Fatai Tokolahi

Partnership Program Manager
Bilingual in English and Tongan
Fatai (he/him) first began his career as a youth development worker in the Kingdom of Tonga
nearly 20 years ago. His main areas of focus were adolescent health, social and emotional development, and leadership development. He
was a UNICEF Life Skills Master Trainer for several years, where he taught youth leaders to teach essential skills to their peers. Before moving to the US, Fatai was a project manager for a United Nations Population Fund and UNAIDS’s initiative that focused on HIV/AIDS prevention among Transitional Aged Youth.

Fatai is a graduate of Tonga College and holds a Certificate in Youth Development from
the University of the South Pacific. He has loved rugby since childhood, and has
learned to also love Bay Area baseball, basketball and football. He lives in San Rafael
with his wife and kids.

Victor Lau

Health Promotion and Safety Instructor
Bilingual in Cantonese and English
Victor (he/they) enlisted in the US Navy after high school, where they spent five years serving as a chef aboard a submarine. After graduating from University of California San Diego with a degree in Social Science
and International Studies, they pursued a graduate degree in Gemology from the Gemological Institute of America. After that, Victor traveled across Asia to study martial arts. They attained teaching credentials for both Wing Chun and Tai Chi in Hong Kong and Beijing, respectively. Their dedication and talent led to recognition in various tournaments and competitions, resulting in national awards and accolades.

Art Choi

Program Manager
Bilingual in Korean and English
Art began his role as the Rapid Response Coordinator as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. He focuses on programs that need quick and effective responses to the Korean community’s needs due to COVID-19.

From spearheading the beginning phases
of the senior wellness program, maintaining strong relationships with various organizations, coordinating with Korean lawyers for pro-bono legal clinics, assisting with census outreach, organizing and overseeing the senior food delivery program, and supporting staff with other programs, he plays a critical role in sustaining partnerships and leading various projects.

Minha Yoon, MFA

Manager of Philanthropy and Communications
Bilingual in Korean and English
Minha (she/her) manages KCCEB’s marketing, communications, and donor cultivation. With a diverse set of tools from a background spanning education, design, and school administration, Minha is excited to expand KCCEB’s capacity and reinforce the community’s collective
voice. As a Korean immigrant, she deeply values the work of community-based organizations like KCCEB in helping under-resourced communities lead full empowered lives. In her work, she strives to amplify the voices of folks with lived experiences that are often unheard. Outside of work, Minha enjoys exploring BIPOC-owned vegan eateries in the Bay Area and caring for her two lionhead rabbits.


 

Catt Olazabal

Chief Financial Officer
Speaks English
Since 2012, Catt has guided KCCEB’s financial compliance and practices through the years of transition and growth. As KCCEB’s trusted CFO, she steers all aspects of finance from policy, practice, and governance. Catt runs her own successful business in
the Bay Area, supporting multiple organizations in social services, housing, philanthropy, arts, and education. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Dancin’ Power, a nonprofit that provides interactive dance lessons to hospitalized children including those facing chronic and life-threatening illnesses.  Dancing’ Power uses the power of music and adaptive movement to bring joy to hospitalized children and their families.

Seokjune Hong

IT Volunteer
Bilingual in Korean and English
Seokjune has been KCCEB’s IT volunteer since 2014. He leverages his education and experience as a Software Engineer to troubleshoot KCCEB’s technical problems. He offers technical advice and support for IT hardware and software issues. Seokjune
has a degree in Computer Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

As a first-generation immigrant, he is keenly aware of the need to provide helpful information to all newcomers. He hopes that by volunteering, KCCEB staff have one less hurdle to deal with in their jobs.
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MHAP Program Interns

KCCEB’s Mental Health Asian Pipeline (MHAP) Program provides comprehensive community mental health service training with attention to culturally informed practices, advocacy, and innovation.

MHAP’s goal is to increase the number of mental health social workers in the U.S. with specialized experience with Koreans and other Asian immigrants.

We currently have six MSW Graduate Trainees in the Adult Mental Health and Community Mental Health concentrations.

  • Zaina Rose Berger (English)
    • Dominican University
  • Yen Ha (Cantonese, Vietnamese, English)
    • UC Berkeley
  • Alina Kim (Korean, Mandarin, English)
    • Palo Alto University
  • Hye Yun Graves (Korean, English)
    • CSU East Bay
  • Ellen Lhee (Korean, English)
    • UC Berkeley
  • Nicole Soong (Cantonese, Mandarin, English)
    • UC Berkeley

Board of Directors

The volunteer board of directors at KCCEB is responsible for long-term strategic and programmatic planning, financial oversight and investments, fundraising, and general governance.

Dr. Bhupendra Sheoran

Dr. Bhupendra Sheoran is a physician and public health thought leader with over 24 years of global health experience working at the intersection of equity, technology, and innovation with experience in both social and for-profit sectors. He began his career caring for HIV/AIDS patients in India, and since then has worked throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the U.S. on social impact, youth development, LGBTQ+ healthcare access, and digital health technology/innovation.

Carolline Kim

Carolline Kim is a Program Manager with the Levi Strauss Foundation responsible for oversight of the grants that advance Immigrant Rights, Democracy, and Philanthropic Leadership. She brings a wealth of knowledge in engaging excluded or under-represented communities and developing relationships with key stakeholders in the immigrant rights and democracy space. Carolline is a founding member of the Black & Asian Pacific Islander Solidarity, a group of activists, organizers, and community members that seek to create a safe space for Black/API unity.

Jen Lee, MPH

Jen Lee is the Deputy Director at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Care Organizations (AAPCHO). With 23 years of service within and on behalf of community health centers, Jen brings her passion for providing equitable, quality, affordable, culturally responsive, and accountable health care for all communities. Prior to joining AAPCHO, she served for 14 years at Asian Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Oakland, California, first as a community health worker to then providing oversight of the health center’s prevention education programs, school-based health expansion, community outreach, translation and medical interpreter certification, and advocacy initiatives including the Health Center’s Patient Leadership Council program.

Joe Lee, MSHA

Joe Lee is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Community Health Synergy, LLC, a queer and Asian-owned business dedicated to advancing health equity through community-centered capacity building. In the span of his 14-year career, Joe has supported Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), FQHC Look-Alikes, community-based organizations, County agencies, Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans, and national training organizations across the continental U.S., Hawai’i, U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, and Freely Associated States. Joe also serves as a Lecturer of an undergraduate community health equity course at UC Berkeley and advisor for several student-led service and research organizations.