Nice to Meet You!
I am a transracially adopted Korean, Jewish, queer, antibias and antiracist nationally recognized educator, author, and consultant. My identity as an Asian American is complex—it has taken me a long time to grapple and reconcile the intersections of that identity.
I was born in South Korea and grew up in Washington D.C. in an Ashkenazi Jewish family and as one of the few Asians in my community. As a kid, I didn’t learn anything about Asian or Jewish history in school—those were things I had to teach myself.
Curiosity led me to research Asian Jewish history. I learned that not only have there been Jews in Asia for centuries, but there has also been a history of Asian-Jewish solidarity. This discovery helped me make space for both my identities.
My thirteen years in education have been formative all along the way. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis I moved to Oakland to work as an AmeriCorps teacher. Teaching in Oakland was a pivotal experience in my journey as an educator. It was here that I began to unlearn many of the harmful beliefs I had been taught as a child about saviorism and paternalism when working with a marginalized community.
My education continued in L.A. where I got my Master’s in UCLA’s Teacher Education Program. From there I taught a 5th grade class in Watts, and was on the founding faculty of a school in East Hollywood. Since returning to my D.C. roots in the summer of 2020, I have taught 6th grade, and have been an elementary school librarian where I also worked in my school’s office of equity and inclusion.
Many of us didn’t grow up familiar with the concepts of allies, advocates, and bystanders. I wanted my students not only to understand these concepts and how they fit within the context of history, but also realize how they can become change agents themselves. Fluid Films produced a documentary short about that process while I was teaching at Citizens of the World Silver Lake, and from there my work has been featured by CNN, The Washington Post, NPR, and the BBC.
I work in classrooms of many kinds, and am also an antibias antiracist facilitator and consultant for schools, organizations, and companies across the country. I have been fortunate to partner with many stellar organizations including The North Face Explore Fund Council, The Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, and Central Synagogue in New York City. I was also named one of Top 100 Influential Jews 2022 by The Tel Aviv Institute.
In 2018, I received Learning for Justice's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2019 delivered a TED Talk called "Education Everywhere" on building foundations of equity with young learners. I’m thrilled to say that with over 2 million views I’m one of a constellation of educators helping grow awareness about this urgent work.
I’m also delighted that my first book, Start Here Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work In Your School Community was recently put out by Heinemann Publishing and I’m soon to release four children's books with HarperCollins.