Though Woori Juntos was officially founded in June 2021, our story begins long before our founding as an organization. Our work began many years ago through the Korean American Voters League of Houston. As the Korean American Voters League, we focused on empowering the Korean American community in the Houston and Harris County regions to take claim of our American identity and ownership of the political system that impacts us. We were able to utilize the strong network of Korean and Asian American churches in the area as spaces to meaningfully organize and educate our community.
As we began building coalitions with our neighboring communities, we uncovered a need for a separate organization that could focus on community organizing across communities, pushing for systemic change, and civic engagement. The leaders of Woori Juntos recognized that though of a different tenor, the Korean residents in Harris County face issues not unlike those faced by the Latino community, especially around immigration and citizenship justice. Upon its founding, Woori Juntos collaborated with community-based organizations in the Latino community, which helped carry forward our work, especially in language justice. Today, Woori Juntos continues to serve the Asian American community in Houston through our immigrant justice, racial justice, and civic engagement.
Woori Juntos is an affiliate of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC). NAKASEC is a grassroots-based organization founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans and Asian Americans within the social justice movement. NAKASEC has five local affiliates in Illinois, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Our name, Woori Juntos, reflects the founding of our organization, as one with both Korean and Latine roots, as well as our values of solidarity, inclusion, and collaboration. Woori Juntos’ first coalition partner was the Workers Defense Project, an organization that works with low-income immigrants in the Latine community, and it was important that our name honor these origins. Our name, Woori Juntos, combines the Korean word, woori, meaning “us” and the Spanish word, juntos, meaning together, to mean “we rise together.”
Woori Juntos strives to achieve social, economic,
and racial justice for Asians, immigrants, and all Texans.