About

Our History

On September 10, 1972, six Korean American women: Sun Ki Griffith, Kim Hale, Sin Hwa Justis, Lee McCleary, Chey Chey Moore, and Gi An Peterson established a Korean women’s social club.  The purpose of this organization was to:

  • Learn and acclimate to the American culture and lifestyle;
  • Nurture and preserve Korean cultural heritage and tradition;
  • Improve the welfare of the Korean senior citizens; and
  • Assist Korean immigrants in their pursuit of the American Dream.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the organization expanded its services to provide interpretation, transportation, and social service assistance to domestic violence victims.  In addition, they also hosted annual Thanksgiving dinners for Korean senior citizens in the Metropolitan Baltimore and Washington area focusing on serving the local limited English proficient Korean elderly population.

Today, the Korean American Women’s Society (KAWS), a regional, 501 (c) (3), not-for-profit organization, is working diligently to bridge the connection amongst Korean American women and youth to:

  • Cultivate the advancement of Korean American women and youth;
  • Promote the interests of the Korean American community in mainstream America; and
  • Advocate civic engagement, cross cultural communications, and leadership.

Our Mission

KAWS advances leadership opportunities and cross-cultural awareness of Korean American women and youth through social interaction, civic engagement, educational and mentoring activities.

Our Vision

KAWS will assist Korean American women and youth in the mid-Atlantic region – Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia, York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D. C. succeed and lead in their communities while embracing and bridging their Korean and American cultural identity.

Our Goals

  • To work with other organizations and government entities to help serve as a voice for Korean American women and youth within the broader community
  • To promote and sponsor activities that address the needs of Korean American women and youth
  • To create shared opportunities between first and second generations Korean American women and youth for knowledge and cultural exchange
  • To promote a positive image of Korean American women by recognizing and celebrating their accomplishments
  • To confront the problems faced by Korean American women and youth navigating two cultures
  • To inspire and empower Korean American women and youth to take on leadership roles in all areas of American society

Meet Our Team

Marianne Hyang Nam Brackney
Marianne Hyang Nam Brackney
President (CEO)
Yun Jung Yang
Yun Jung Yang
Executive Vice President (COO)
Chong H. Lee
Chong H. Lee
Vice President
Anne Avery
Anne Avery
Vice President