Hamkae Center Pursuing Our Dreams 2024 logo

2024 FUNDRAISER | MAY 23 | 5-8 PM

Join Hamkae Center for a celebration of Asian American community power-building in Virginia! We’ll have a cocktail hour with drinks and snacks, a buffet dinner of Asian cuisines, an exciting raffle, a DJ and dancing, and presentation of awards to honorees.

All are welcome to attend. The dress code is festive (up to your interpretation)!

Funds raised through this event will support Hamkae Center’s ongoing efforts to achieve social, racial, and economic justice in Virginia.

Ramsha holding up the program of her comedy class graduation show

Program MC: Ramsha Saad

Crescendo Studios

8101A Lee Hwy. Falls Church, VA 22042

The entrance is on Porter Rd. Look for satellite dishes and a big antenna.

Free parking is available in the Crescendo Studios lot, on Porter Road, and nearby parking lots. There are some accessible parking spots at the front of the building; if you require accessibility assistance, contact Shina at skang@hamkaecenter.org. There is a ramp from the parking lot to the building’s main entrance.

Dunn Loring-Merrifield (orange line) is the closest Metro station it is 0.8 miles away (a ~17 min walk). You can also take a free shuttle to Mosaic District, and then walk for 0.3 miles (a ~6 min walk) to Crescendo Studios.

Doors and check-in open at 5pm. At check-in, we will hand out drink tickets to those who are 21+ years old, so don’t forget to bring your ID.

We ask that all guests please take a COVID-19 rapid test the day of the event and stay home if the results are positive and/or you aren’t feeling well.

Masking is highly encouraged when not eating or drinking. We have masks available for all attendees.

We will collect your contact info at check-in for contact tracing purposes.

The venue is wheelchair-accessible. The DJ will play loud music during the dance party. More info coming soon!

If you have specific questions, contact Shina at skang@hamkaecenter.org.

  • 5pm – Doors and check-in open
  • 5-6pm – Bar opens; cocktail hour begins
  • 6pm – Dinner buffet opens
  • 7pm – Program starts
  • 8pm – Dance party starts!

The awards presentation will be on a raised stage, with an accompanying slideshow. Please get food and drinks before our program begins, and try to keep movement and chatter at a minimum when the program starts, out of respect for our awardees.

Activities & Performances

Hamkae Center community members talking with each other at Pursuing Our Dreams 2022

cocktail hour with drinks + snacks

Zowee singing at the 2023 NAKASEC Network Convening

song performance by Zowee Aquino

Attendees stand in line for a buffet of Asian cuisines at Hamkae Center's 10th Anniversary: Pursuing Our Dreams.

pan-Asian buffet dinner

Hamkae Center staff and community members pose and hold up astrological sign props at the photobooth for Hamkae Center Pursuing Our Dreams 2022 Fundraiser.


People with henna on their hands

free henna

Lush 'Relax More' gift set

raffle for LUSH ‘Relax More’ gift set

Hamkae Center staff and community members dance during Pursuing Our Dreams 2022.

DJ + dance party


Kevin Xu

Kevin Xu

Kevin Xu is a second generation Chinese American. His family immigrated from Shandong province in the early 90s and settled in Northern Virginia soon after Kevin was born. After graduating from William & Mary in 2017 and working in public accounting, Kevin became concerned with the lack of Chinese American empowerment in the face of xenophobia from COVID and political scapegoating such as the China Initiative.

He started re-engaging with Asian American advocacy in the fall of 2020, helping William & Mary students pen a response to a Flat Hat editorial calling on the disbandment and monitoring of Chinese international students. Soon after, he was directed towards the works of Hamkae Center and other advocacy organizations. Some of his highlights from the advocacy front was assisting Hamkae Center with Lobby Day (including driving on snowy roads to pick up members), using his firm’s donation suggestion platform to direct $50,000 to Right to Be (in recognition of their work on training bystanders of Asian American attack prevention and their continual work on bystander training in general), pushing language access as a key constituent item at state representative town halls, and his work on Saddam Salim’s primary campaign as part of a rising tide of Asian American political representation in Virginia politics.

In his free time, he likes to listen to historical podcasts like the Age of Napoleon and Epic History TV, and learning more about black history and current events through books and live sessions (one of his prized possessions is a signed copy of “How the Word Is Passed” by Clint Smith).

ADAMs Compassionate Healthcare Network (ACHN) logo


ADAMS Compassionate Healthcare Network (ACHN) is a free primary care clinic for low-income, uninsured individuals. ACHN’s goal is to serve as the medical home for low-income, uninsured individuals by providing them access to healthcare providers (primary and specialty care) at no cost, access to low cost and free prescriptions and labs, as well as care navigation to obtain advanced services such as surgery through hospital-based charity care programs. Their organization focuses on providing healthcare access to uninsured individuals and families to help attain stable physical health as well as increase their literacy through educational information and engagement by providing access to patient portals.
Delegate Irene Shin

Delegate Irene Shin (HD-8)

A resident of downtown Herndon, Irene Shin has been involved in public service in Virginia since 2014. Outside of session, Delegate Shin works as Executive Director of a nonprofit organization that organizes communities to increase civic education and engagement across the Commonwealth.

Irene is the daughter of Korean immigrants and was raised in Burbank, California. Her father was a small business owner, and her mother, in addition to being a homemaker, served as a compassionate caregiver for individuals with health issues, assisting them in leading independent lives.

Irene understands the real-life implications of an inadequate healthcare system on families. In her 2021 election campaign, her top priority was to improve and expand Virginia’s healthcare system.

As a Delegate, Irene has worked diligently to make our government work better for families. Whether it is fighting for utility disconnection protections for the most vulnerable customers, securing greater support and access to resources for Virginians living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, cracking down on exploitative profiteering in our correctional system, or ending inhumane animal testing and breeding practices — Irene has stood up for her community’s values and priorities and for her constituents.

Irene is proud to serve as vice chair of the House Communications, Technology and Innovation Committee and as a subcommittee chair of the Virginia House Counties Cities and Towns Committee. She was also recently appointed to serve on both the House Health and Human Services Committee and the House Labor and Commerce Committee. Additionally, Irene serves on the Commission on Youth.


Alpha Centauri




Host Committee

Eric Lin; Sutisha Simulang; Susie Lee; Neel Saxena; Mitchell Yangson; Jennifer Lai-Peterson; Jessica Yoo; Olivia Yu; Tuyet Duong; Katie Zhang; Kylie Stamm; Sara Yaseen


Contact our Growth & Operations Team Lead, Shina Kang, at skang@hamkaecenter.org to learn more about Pursuing Our Dreams 2024.