“Go home!” was not an uncommon thing to hear as I, age 13, walked down the street in Salt Lake City in the late 80’s. Though American-born, as the oldest daughter of Korean immigrants, I grew up keenly aware what it felt like to be different and to belong, and the shame and anxiety of constantly trying to bridge different spheres of my life. After being raised in San Francisco, moving to Utah for several years, and then returning to California for college, I had the opportunity, support, and luck to find community and then a calling in embracing my whole self—my identities, experiences, and values—to advance justice on a broader and systemic level through organizing, and now as a consultant. I’ve found my home, and I’m so grateful to have the chance everyday to live my values and work for a world that, at the core, affirms our human dignity and interconnectedness.
Grace Kong brings over twelve years of experience as a consultant and facilitator working with social change organizations, and nearly twenty years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She values a client-centered approach, rooted in deep listening and grounded in an equity framework. Her practice offers consulting on organizational development, strategic direction and work planning, and organizational change. She has extensive experience with planning and facilitation of processes and meetings and enjoys guiding program and leadership development. Grace has had the honor of working with many local and national organizations and coalitions, as well as progressive foundations, based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Grace’s experience is deeply grounded in her work as an organizer in low-income Asian immigrant and refugee communities in the environmental justice movement in the 90’s and early 2000’s. On staff for many years with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, she led APEN’s teen/young women’s leadership development and organizing project and their multilingual multi-ethnic adult membership organization, the Laotian Organizing Project in Richmond, California. A graduate of Stanford University, Grace was a recipient of the Leadership for a Changing World Award by the Ford Foundation in 2002. She serves on the board of VIA, an organization that provides transformative cross-cultural leadership programs for young people in the US and Asia. She lives in Berkeley, California with her two sons, partner, and pet chickens, snake, and gecko.