At the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund since 2021, Susan helps to ensure that its operational and grantmaking systems run smoothly and effectively. Before starting at the Fund, she provided support to various nonprofits such as the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, Orange County Civic Engagement Table, Korean Resource Center, and Community Magnet Charter School. Prior to that, she was at UCLA teaching in the sociology department and conducting research at CHOICES: Access, Diversity and Achievement in Higher Education and the Center for Research on Race, Politics, and Society. She also formerly worked in the Midwest as a secretary in Chicago and an engineer at a steel company outside of Detroit. She has a PhD in sociology from UCLA and a BS in materials science from Columbia University.
Susan was born in Nebraska but raised in NYC and is a second generation Korean American of parents who were first in their families to arrive pre-1965 Immigration Act when very few KAs were on the mainland. Her first real introduction to community activism was in the women’s movements in the Midwest, including volunteering at and then a board member of KAN-WIN (formerly Korean American Women in Need), a CBO serving AAPI women and children with a mission to eradicate gender-based violence.
She has been characterized as “intense” ever since she was a teen becoming politically aware, but loves to laugh and makes doing it a priority to help counteract internalized and external isms, reaffirm our shared humanity and connectedness, and as a gentle bearing witness that all life is precious and (too) short.