Hamkae Center Pursuing Our Dreams 2022 Fundraiser logo

2022 FUNDRAISER — THURS, JUNE 9 — 6:30-8:30 PM

Join us for a celebration of our Asian American community with food and drinks, music and dancing, astrology-themed activities, a silent auction, and more; all are welcome to attend! Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind night centering local Asian American small businesses and our change-makers. Funds raised through this event will support Hamkae Center’s ongoing efforts to achieve social, racial, and economic justice in Virginia.

The recommended dress is business casual or ethnic attire!

The physical invite, webpage background, social media graphics, and program were designed by Sara Cha (@saraa.chaa on IG). The awards were designed by Layla Lee Choi.


Marymount University - Ballston Center

1000 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22201

Ballston-MU Metro station (orange & silver lines) is 2 blocks away.

Before entering the venue, come to our check-in desk at Level G (or enter from the street) so that you can receive your drink wristband (if you are over 21 years old) and get your ticket validated (if you parked in the parking garage attached to the building; more info in the next tab).

This event is not affiliated with Marymount University.

Paid options

Ballston Center’s parking garage (paid) may be accessed from the rear of Ballston Center, off N. Wakefield Street. There will be plenty of space to park, but do NOT park in the spots labeled Faculty/Staff.

After you get your ticket from the parking garage gate, find the University elevators and come to our check-in desk at Level G. The fee to validate your ticket is $6 (we accept cash, check, or credit card). Upon exiting the garage, you may insert the validated ticket and exit without needing to pay. Otherwise, an unvalidated parking ticket will cost $11 upon exit.

Meter parking is also available on N. Glebe Road and N. Fairfax Drive.

Free options

SpotAngels records many streets nearby that you can park for free. Please note the street signs denoting time limits and other restrictions.

Enter the building from the street to get to our check-in desk.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is absolutely required to attend the event. Once you buy your ticket, you will receive instructions on submitting this proof in your confirmation email.

Masks are encouraged when not eating or drinking.

The venue is wheelchair-accessible. This is a cocktail event, which is a primarily roaming and-mingling affair. We will have a few tables with chairs, and some more chairs will be placed around the venue, but the space is not large enough to accommodate everyone to be seated all at once. If you require a chair and don’t see one available, please notify one of our staff.

This is not a seated dinner event; food will be served in appetizer portions.

The poongmul performance will be live at the event. You can watch a recording of it here.

Presentation of our community awards will be live and spoken at the event. You can watch a recording of it here; captions in English are automatically-generated.

Origami Star and Wish-Making

Tarot Card & Astrology Readings

Music and Dancing

Korean Drumming Performance

+ a photo booth!

check out their restaurants!

check out these local businesses!


Kathy Tran
Community Courage Award

Delegate Kathy Tran

When she was just 7 months old, Kathy Tran fled Vietnam with her parents as boat refugees. As the Delegate for Virginia’s 42nd House District, Kathy fights to protect the values that led her parents to risk everything to come to the United States: hope, opportunity, and freedom. Since her election in 2017, Kathy has introduced and passed bills to protect coverage for preexisting conditions, expand voter access, improve worker’s rights, protect waterways, and make Virginia more welcoming and inclusive.

Kathy graduated from Duke University and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. She spent 12 years working at the U.S. Department of Labor and at the National Immigration Forum. The past president of her local PTA, she and her husband Matt live in West Springfield with their five children, all avid Washington Nationals fans.

VPLC logo
People Power Award

Virginia Poverty Law Center

Virginia Poverty Law Center uses advocacy, education, and litigation to break down systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in the cycle of poverty. Since 1978, we’ve been a source of information on poverty law issues.

From new lawyer training to educational outreach to leadership on advocacy issues, we ensure that low-income Virginians’ voices are heard by our legal system. Through our team and our Legal Aid program partners we help Virginians understand and defend their rights in areas such as domestic and sexual violence law, elder law, housing law, family law, public benefits, and consumer law.

Some of the systemic barriers we are helping to dismantle include lack of healthcare, economic exploitation of the economically vulnerable and lack of affordable, stable, and safe housing. VPLC:

  • Led the multi-year advocacy for Medicaid expansion in Virginia resulting in hundreds of thousands of Virginians getting access to healthcare. Thousands more have gotten access to healthcare through the Affordable Are Act thanks to the guidance of navigators with Enroll Virginia.
  • Led the legislative effort to bring fair lending to Virginia with passage of the Fairness in Lending Act and we kicked out the payday and car title lenders.
  • Is leading the fight to protect the rights of Virginia tenants to stable and safe housing and advocacy for affordable housing funding.
  • Has advocated for legislation that led to thousands of Virginians getting access to SNAP (food stamp benefits) and our SNAP helpline and calculator have helped thousands determine if they are now eligible.
Kim Cook of Vietnamese Resettlement Association (VRA)
People Power Award

Vietnamese Resettlement Association

The Vietnamese Resettlement Association (VRA) is a nonprofit organization located in Falls Church, Northern Virginia. Since 1989, we have assisted ethnically diverse low income refugees and other residents with limited English to adapt and improve their health and welfare.

The VRA provides a wide variety of health, housing and social services in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner. Clients are given personal and confidential assistance tailored to their specific needs. We provide many direct services and work closely with many government agencies and organizations to bring our clients the help they require.

The VRA has received financial support for many years from the Virginia Department of Health, Fairfax County, Avon Foundation and many private sources.

The VRA staff is fluent in six languages and together has many decades of experience assisting low income clients. We also are fortunate to have exceptionally strong volunteer support.

Onion Ha
Young People Power Award

Onion Ha

My name is Inyong “Onion” Ha and I was born in South Korea. I moved to the states when I turned 6 years old and overstayed our Visa. I tried my hand in college twice and realized it wasn’t my path and decided to join the restaurant industry. It was a great  place for me to learn about the world because I am generally open-minded and free spirited. After knowing the restaurant industry system up and down I decided to leave and pursue a new passion I had, woodworking. I am an apprentice carpenter and I enjoy listening to music, dancing, and writing these days.

I have tried to live life as if there aren’t lines and papers that separate us. When I was younger I stayed away from politics because it meant taking a stance in something and I always thought there was someone else more educated, engaged, invested etc.

I dealt with my immigration issues by focusing on myself internally and shutting out the world. I’d focus on what I already had and what I can do with my own hands. I’d blame myself for being too materialistic or expecting too much from life. Sometimes we can look internally and find/address struggles but there are also times we must fight for what is right. I was playing in a volleyball league and I met Joshua Nam from NAKASEC. I opened up about my status and he let me know about his work and we got connected. Hamkae Center really made an impact on my life because they challenge me to think more critically and they provide so much helpful information and resources. I’ve met so many people in situations I thought I was alone in. It also gives me a reason to fight for more than just myself. Even though I was a little more involved, it wasn’t till Mitch told me one day, “if you don’t tell your story, who will?” Since then I’ve been trying to be more vocal and do more actions to stand up for what I believe in. I’m still learning more each day and I’m learning that no one else will fight our battle for us. What we see is what we have. The people fighting, are fighting, and those that aren’t fighting… aren’t. This award means a lot to me. At first I didn’t feel as if I deserved it because there’s so many people putting in work for so many years. Now I feel proud and honored to receive the award because I have seen and experienced so much over the past year and I felt a lot of growth and healing. I feel like there is so much more work to be done and I’m excited for what Hamkae Center will do in the future.


Each of our 5 sponsorship tiers (starting at $250) comes with commensurate benefits! Download the form (PDF) or visit our ticketing page to learn more.


Alpha Centauri



Got extra time on your hands? Interested in fundraising and development? Help make our event happen! Contact our Growth & Operations Team Lead, Patrick Canteros, at pcanteros@hamkaecenter.org to learn more.