On Thursday, May 3rd, the Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) and the Los Angeles HUD Office presented a faith-based economic development conference called "Towards Greater Service Beyond the Walls." This first-time event targeted to the Korean American community in the greater Los Angeles area was held at the historic Wilshire United Methodist Church and attended by over 300 multi-racial and denominational representatives from various churches and local organizations.
The conference was held to provide technical assistance and information to Korean American churches and other interested non-profit organizations interested in the challenges and opportunities of seeking government and corporate funding sources for faith-based projects.
Before President Bush issued two Executive Orders that underscored his commitment to faith-based initiatives and Secretary Martinez announced he would seek and remove barriers to faith-based groups use of HUD programs, Korean churches had not paid much attention to outside resources - primarily relying on informal resources in their respective communities. However, with the announcement of the President's initiative and HUD's newly created Center for Community and Interfaith Partnerships, religious organizations and other nonprofit entities have a greater awareness and interest in technical assistance resources and funding opportunities to address social issues that affect those who live and work in the community.
|There are over 3,300 Korean American churches nationwide - 600 in the greater Los Angeles area alone. In the LA area, many play a vital role in helping new immigrants adjust to this country's lifestyle, and also helping empower the poor to bring economic opportunity and decent, safe and affordable housing to all members in their communities - regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation.|
|KCCD President Hyepin Im addresses |
faith-based and non-profit
The day-long conference began with an explanation of "What is faith-based community development?" and "Why should a church become involved in this initiative?" by Lloyd LaMois, Program Coordinator from HUD's Washington-based Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Other discussion topics and presenters included "HUD Funding Sources" by Senior Community Builder/Coordinator Nelson Hernandez; "Respective Funding Sources" by Los Angeles City Community Development Department and County Community Development Commission Executive Staff; "Funding for Economic Development and Other Programs" by LAAO staff and speakers from the U.S. Economic Development Administration; "Community Reinvestment Act" by Wilshire State Bank; and "Healthcare and Support Services Opportunities" by QueensCare Health and Faith Partnership.
|The participants also heard Community Development Testimonies by a local housing and community development corporation; heard about Workforce Development & Youth Mentoring Programs by the President of Catholic Big Brothers of Los Angeles; and learned about Starting and Where to Get Assistance from representatives of University of Southern California's Civic & Community Relations Department; World Vision Community Leadership - Vision LA; and Little Tokyo Service Center. The keynote speech was given by the executive director of the 1st AME's (FAME) Renaissance Program.|| |
Monsignor Cox, LA's Catholic Charities Archdiocese
The conference theme and title, "Towards Greater Service Beyond the Walls," is most appropriate for the Korean American community because it will serve as a calling to Korean Churches for greater service "that reaches beyond the walls of the church and into the surrounding neighborhood." KCCD's President Hyepin Im said: "I believe that when the Korean American Church have mastered this model and reach out to the outside community more effectively, a new day will be evident for not only the Korean American, but for America as well."
HUD helped organize the conference to reach Korean American churches in their language so they could understand how to improve their community's well-being by accessing government and corporate funding. As a largely immigrant community, many walls have prevented the Korean American community from doing more for itself, and related walls that the community built to protect itself.
KCCD is a non-profit, nonpartisan faith-based community development organization, and its mission is to help the Korean American church community carry out their mandate of "greater service within the walls of the church, as well as beyond." It plans to accomplish its mission by disseminating timely information and training to help build local capacity for economic development, affordable housing, youth programs, job development and child care, as well as advocating and representing the interests of the Korean American church.
|CA State AssemblymanHerb Wesson presenting Certificate of Recognition |
to KCCD President Hyepin Im
|Closing ceremony: recognition of HUD Staff, KCCD Board Members & other presenters|