There is work to be done in the Korean-American community to fill the voids that exist due to language and cultural barriers. The Korean Society of Maryland has striven to provide services to, and serve as a voice for, people of Korean descent in the community since 1972. Korean-Americans need assistance navigating, understanding and fully using the resources that are offered by the government sector and non-profit sector. We work to build the bridges and close the gaps that will enable Korean-Americans to fully receive critical human services, specifically, those services and resources which meet basic needs and provide greater opportunities for individuals and families to be self-sufficient, healthy and assimilated. We bring the English language and American culture and resources to the Korean-Americans and we bring the traditional and authentic Korean culture and the Korean community contributions to the public through our many events. We address needs and we value, embrace and serve our multicultural societal fabric.
-The Korean Society of Maryland (KSM) holds it’s Annual Korean Festival every September and this year celebrated our 39th with a record breaking crowd of over 17,000. Next year will be the first 2 day festival. At the festival we seek to share the Korean culture with all and we allow for a real Korean experience with our cultural tents, authentic performances including dance, music, and artistic expressions from well known Korean performers and choice after choice of delicious Korean foods and drinks. The festival represents traditional and modern Korean life and society in many facets. Many elected officials and dignitaries attend every year.
-The KSM Drug Forum aided Korean parents and all parents in understanding the global epidemic and community epidemic of drug use. KSM provided multiple translating options so all who attended would have a full and complete understanding of the information. The Lt. Governor of Maryland and many other elected officials and dignitaries attended.
-The KSM includes our youth in our Mission and Values. We take seriously the task to prepare our youth to be the most successful and best human beings they can be for themselves, for others and for the world. The KSM Youth Group is a progressive and creative one that encourages our youth to achieve their individual potential. We engage the youth through community volunteerism opportunities, team building activities, desired career exposure and multiple mentoring programs. The youth use the tools gained by these experiences to propel themselves and others forward in a positive way.
-Our Annual End of Year Gala is a cultural event that shares the rich and vibrant culture of Korea. We will have traditional and modern day Korean performances along with dinner, dancing, authentic games, raffles and genuine fun. This is a Black Tie event and the expected attendance for this year is over 600.
-The Korean Society of Maryland holds multiple Memorandums of Understanding and Community Partnerships with government agencies and private sector organizations. These include, however, are not limited to, a translating partnership with UMBC, a partnership with a government agency to provide Korean translations on their hotline number, and serving as the liaison between government agencies and the Korean language Newspapers and other Korean language media.
-The Korean Society of Maryland gives back to the entire community through our Rainbow School which offers citizenship classes and assorted industrial technology classes and this year celebrated its 4th anniversary. The Home Depot recently held a local job seminar at the Rainbow School.
-During the most recent Korean Festival we raised funds for the Ellicott City Flood Victims by donating all of the proceeds from drink purchases. The KSM met with the Howard County Executive and presented a check.
– The KSM was invited to and attended the Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman’s Asian Roundtable where multiple topics regarding existing, new and pending legislation were discussed.
– The KSM participated in and spoke at the Opening Ceremonies in honor of the Port Discovery Children’s Museum’s traveling exhibition Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea. This exhibition explores the heart and soul of Korean culture and introduces modern-day South Korea to children and families right here in Maryland.
-The Korean Society of Maryland donated and served free Korean food items with the First Lady of Maryland at the UMB Community Spring Festival helping to feed the attendees, as well as, the less fortunate and homeless; we turned away no one.
-The Korean Society of Maryland volunteered in the cleanup of Baltimore after the protests and volunteered in the cleanup of Ellicott City after the flood.
-The KSM desired to honor the contribution of Korean-Americans to the Baltimore Area and sought to have a 5 mile stretch on Route 40 in Howard County, Maryland to be dedicated as Korea Way. Route 40 contains over 170 Korean owned businesses.
– The Korean Society of Maryland was invited to and attended the Inaugural Dinner for Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford.