Last week the KPWA held a conference gathering leaders in the community for their “You Are A Changemaker” Conference, a kick-off to their Leading Change Initiative.  With a special video greeting by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the event drew in an attendance of 150+ “changemakers” at the St. Andrew´s Club & Conference Centre in Toronto’s financial district.  The conference was followed by a cocktail and networking session and concluded with dinner.

Check out the KPWA on Facebook for more photos from the event – link to the photo album here.

Janet Oh, President of the KPWA gives opening remarks at the KPWA's You Are A Changemaker conference

Janet Oh, President of the KPWA gives opening remarks at the KPWA’s You Are A Changemaker conference

The event was opened by Janet Oh, President of the KPWA, followed by a few words of support from the Consulate General of Korea.  Shortly after The Honourable Senator Yonah Martin made her way to the podium to deliver the keynote address. She has been very active in the Korean-Canadian community and has helped Hanvoice to establish internships for North Korean refugees. During her presentation she spoke about her mother as a source of her inspiration and father’s demonstration of courage with the hardships that come with age and health.

Senator Yonah Martin speaks at KPWA's You are a Changemaker conference

The Honourable Yonah Martin, Senator speaks at KPWA’s You are a Changemaker conference

She also highlighted Ji Young Kim who went to Ghana to assist in the transformation of empowering women’s rights as part of Crossroads International.  A few volunteers into the program, the women still remembered Ji Young. From here she emphasized that it really only takes one person to change the world. Fun fact: Ji Young Kim speaks 5 languages.

Phillip Cho - President of the KCSF

Phillip Cho – Chair of the KCSF

Closing off the keynote speaker’s portion, she shared a saying passed down from her mother:  “All that you can and will become, you are already.”   Put into context, this means that you shouldn’t limit yourself and to not only dream big, but also to do big. Some people fear that they are not good enough for a job, for a date, etc. However, we all have the ability to become something great, and it’s already within us and just waiting to be harnessed.

Panelists answer questions at the KPWA's You Are a Changemaker conference

Panelists answer questions at the KPWA’s You Are a Changemaker conference

The conference continued with the structured Q & A period from 4 panelists*. With varying industry experiences and paths taken to recognition within their fields, it gave a great sense of inclusion to the whole message of being a changemaker. The panelists included:

Erin Kang, Founder of Stories of Ours
Won Kim, Founder of Kim Orr Barristers PC
Wayne Kim, CEO, KIGALabs & Serial Entrepreneur
Sharmila Setaram, Former President of Amnesty International

*Full bios can be found here.

Panelists answer questions at the KPWA's You Are a Changemaker conference

Panelists answer questions at the KPWA’s You Are a Changemaker conference

The closing address was given by Karen Lee, the first Korean female police officer in Canada.  After the conference segment, guests were given an opportunity to meet with the panelists and fellow attendees during the cocktail and networking session.  Guests were invited to stay for dinner and this concluded the event.

We’re looking forward to joining and working with the KPWA on future events.  Again, we would like to congratulate and commend the organizers on such an exceptional conference that is sure to be remembered by all attendees and guests who came out to support the cause.

If you are interested in the KPWA’s initiatives and events like these, you can visit their website and be sure to watch out for their upcoming events.