Basic Organization Information
Minkwon Center for Community Action, Inc.
- Also Known As:
MinKwon Center for Community Action
- Physical Address:
- Web URL:
- NTEE Category:
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
R20 Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups
P Human Services
P84 Ethnic/Immigrant Services
R Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
R40 Voter Education/Registration
- Ruling Year:
- How This Organization Is Funded:
Single Stop USA/Robin Hood Foundation - $175,000
New York State Division of Housing & Community Renewal - $68,833
Rockefeller Brothers Fund - $75,000
The MinKwon Center for Community Action (formerly YKASEC) was established in 1984 to meet the needs and concerns of the Korean American community through our five program areas: Community Organizing and Advocacy, Social Services, Civic Participation, Youth, and Culture.
The MinKwon Center places a special emphasis on meeting the needs of our marginalized community members who have less access to resources, including the youth, the elderly, recent immigrants, low-income residents, and limited English proficient residents.
Our goals are:
To educate community members about issues that are impacting immigrant communities, including the Korean American community;
To increase Korean American civic participation and to promote immigrant rights through long-term organizing, advocacy and education programs;
To serve the marginalized members of our community through various social service programs; and
To preserve our cultural roots by involving members of our community in projects that promote our ethnic and cultural heritage.
Mr. Steven Choi, Esq.
Steve Choi is currently the Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action (formerly YKASEC). He previously directed the Korean Community Law Project, which provides free direct legal services to low-wage Korean immigrants – the only such project of its kind on the East Coast. Since September 2004, the Project has filed over 25 cases in conjunction with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and represented more than 50 workers against employers who have violated the rights of Korean immigrant workers. Through active litigation, the Project has helped secure nearly $800,000 in total settlements, court victories, and awards on behalf of these workers.
Mr. Choi was formerly a staff attorney at AALDEF, and his previous legal experience includes working for the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center in Massachusetts, Greater Boston Legal Services, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) of Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from Stanford University in History with Honors and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Mr. Choi has received numerous awards for his work, including the Korean American Association’s “Man of the Year” Award, the Wasserstein Fellowship, the Skirnick Public Interest Fellowship, the Skadden Fellowship, the the Asian American Lawyers of Massachusetts (AALAM) Scholarship, and the Harvard Law School Asian Pacific American Alumni Award.
Board of Directors
Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation
Highest Paid Employee data is not available for this organization.
Impact Summary from the Nonprofit
Since our founding in 1984, we have made a profound presence in the Korean American, Asian American, and immigrant communities through various grassroots organizing, education, and advocacy initiatives that address important community issues, including immigration policies at the national, state and city levels, voter rights, and cultural awareness. Our recent accomplishments include:
· . In 2010, we mobilized 450 community members to travel from New York to Washington D.C. for the March for America’s Future rally on March 21st, marking the largest Asian American mobilization in the country for comprehensive immigration reform. Throughout the summer and fall, we continued our efforts to shed light on the broken immigration system and urge our elected officials to introduce and pass a humane and just immigration reform bill through numerous actions and educational initiatives.
· . The MinKwon Center co-founded the 12% and Growing Coalition, the first Asian American coalition of organizations and individuals to remedy a shocking disparity in resources accessible to the Asian American community, and to preserve necessary services for vulnerable community members. In 2009 and 2010, we directly engaged more than 1,500 community members, collected more than 4,300 postcards, and mobilized more than 200 persons for the second APA City Advocacy Day as part of our 2010 Coalition campaign. In 2010, these efforts resulted in the restoration of $53.14 million– nearly 76% of our budget priorities - in services for our communities. As a member of the New York Immigration Coalition, we also fought to restore critical funding for marginalized communities.
· . In 2010, we provided free legal and social service assistance, education, and brief consultation – in immigration, tenant-landlord issues, foreclosure prevention, labor, and public benefits – to more than 3,300 community members, resulting in nearly $3,160,000 worth in benefits provided to our community.
· . Our Civic Participation efforts recently reached several milestones by directly registering over 50,000 new voters since the 2004 elections, launching the first-ever “Voice Your Vote NY” comprehensive Asian American voter empowerment coalition, and starting the first-ever nonpartisan voter canvassing drive in Flushing by knocking on 800 doors. In the spring 2010, we ran a groundbreaking grassroots 2010 Census Campaign in Flushing, Queens – knocking on 700 doors and calling 2,000 households – to educate and urge community residents to actively participate in the Census. Our campaign was featured as the cover article in the New York Times on April 1, 2010.
· The MinKwon Center’s Youth Empowerment Program is a year-round program that engages 60-75 Asian American youth in the greater Flushing area to develop academic, life and leadership skills through its main components of in-depth education, hands-on service activity, and grassroots advocacy. In 2010, YEP participants engaged in an intense 6-month campaign to advocate the restoration of funds to free and reduced MTA student MetroCards. With other city youth and community groups, the MinKwon Center organized actions including a historic march of over 1,000 students that ultimately pressured city and state governments to restore the free student Metrocards. In August 2010, YEP participants also organized the ICY (Issues for Community Youth) social justice fair for youth in Flushing.