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 civil engagement, cross cultural communications, and leadership.