Michelle MiJung Kim joins Jerry to discuss her journey as a queer Korean American woman navigating academic, corporate, and now entrepreneurship life as she uses her voice to challenge the status quo in tech and beyond. Her first book THE WAKE UP is available everywhere today.
Meet Michelle MiJung
Michelle MiJung Kim (she/her) is a queer immigrant Korean American woman writer, speaker, and social entrepreneur challenging the status quo in tech and beyond. She is CEO and co-founder of Awaken, a leading provider of interactive equity and inclusion education programs facilitated by majority BIPOC educators, where she has consulted hundreds of organizations and top executives from Fortune 500, tech giants, nonprofits, and government agencies to spark meaningful change. Michelle has been a lifelong social justice activist and has served on a variety of organizations such as the San Francisco LGBTQ Speakers Bureau, San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Advisory Committee, LYRIC nonprofit’s Board of Directors, and Build Tech We Trust Coalition. Michelle currently serves on the board of Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE). Her work has appeared on world-renowned platforms such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The New York Times, and NPR, and she has been named Medium’s Top Writer in Diversity three years in a row.
Michelle is the author of the book, The Wake Up (Hachette, Fall 2021). Order the book here: https://www.hachettebooks.com/titles/michelle-mijung-kim/the-wake-up/9780306847202/
About The Wake Up
In The Wake Up, Michelle MiJung Kim shares foundational principles often missing in today’s mainstream conversations around “diversity and inclusion,” inviting readers to deep dive into the challenging and nuanced work of pursuing equity and justice, while exploring various complexities, contradictions, and conflicts inherent in our imperfect world. With a mix of in-the-trenches narrative and accessible unpacking of hot button issues—from inclusive language to representation to "cancel culture"—Michelle MiJung Kim offers sustainable frameworks that guide us how to think, approach, and be in the journey as thoughtfully and powerfully as possible.
The Wake Up is divided into four key parts:
- Grounding: begin by moving beyond good intentions to interrogating our deeper “why” for committing to social justice and uncovering our "hidden stories."
- Orienting: establish a shared understanding around our historical and current context and issues we are trying to solve, starting with dismantling white supremacy.
- Showing Up: learn critical principles to approach any situation with clarity and build our capacity to work through complexity, nuance, conflict, and imperfections.
- Moving Together: remember the core of this work is about human lives, and commit to prioritizing humanity, healing, and community.
The Wake Up is an urgent call for us to move together while seeing each other’s full and expansive humanity that is at the core of our movement toward justice, healing, and freedom.
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