Our Partners

Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance

Bringing Together Koreatown's Immigrant Communities for a Just Los Angeles

KIWA's mission is to empower Koreatown immigrant workers and to develop a progressive constituency and leadership in the Koreatown community that can struggle in solidarity with other underrepresented communities. KIWA's mission is to empower Koreatown's low-wage immigrant workers for dignity and respect in the workplace and community, and to work together with other communities to realize a vision of a just Los Angeles that works for everyone. As one of Los Angeles' most unequal local economies, the struggles of the Koreatown's low-wage immigrant workers point to the core problems in our society and systems, as well as offer up potential solutions. Koreatown is an important battleground in the struggle to create a more equitable city.

KIWA is one of the nation's most established workers centers and one of the few community groups organizing Korean workers in the country. KIWA's model brings together workers from targeted local low-wage industries with community members and students in a broad, multi-ethnic vision for social justice. KIWA's strategies include grassroots organizing and leadership development, strategic industry-based campaigns that target employers directly, advocacy, and multi-ethnic coalition building.





"KIWA hopes that our participation in the NGEC's Organizational Fellowship Program will help us grapple with the complex issues and intersections of race, gender, class and sexuality and the related oppression that affect our communities. We are a diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-issue organization that seeks to organize at a grassroots level to address the many injustices our community members face. While we are often engaged in focused single-issue campaigns and direct actions, we believe these campaigns must be understood within a larger framework and movement for social justice. It will be useful to see how other organizations put their work in this broader context. This program, we hope, will challenge us to think in innovative ways about how we organize and how we build a truly inclusive movement through our work. All of us have a lot to learn about how the dynamics of racism, sexism, heterosexism and class-ism play out in our communities, in our organizing efforts and within our organizations. Taking the first step of acknowledging these dynamics and then working together to think about solutions will be great for us and can perhaps help create models for the progressive movement generally." - Eileen Ma, KIWA