This week, Faith Action introduces the newest staff member, Soon Kim. Soon joins three other bright, talented women who comprise the Faith Action Staff: Executive Director Ashleigh Loa and organizers Cassie Chee and Kiki Mills.
Soon Kim, Organizer
E komo mai, Soon! Soon (she/her) is a new organizer at Faith Action and a full-time student majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Pre-Law. Her parents are from Hanguk (Korea), and her ancestry can be traced to the Kaya Confederacy and the Silla Kingdom.
“There are three principles that have kept me grounded during my years of organizing:
1. Autonomy first, always;
2. Seeing the value in others, even if they’re not of service to you;
3. Building qualitative relationships– that’s mutual aid.”
Soon organizes for two Faith Action task forces, HousingNOW and the Transformative Justice Taskforce. When Soon isn’t working, she enjoys eating. “My favorite food is soup. It makes me feel elated and connected. These recipes were born out of survival, struggle, and solidarity. One ingredient alone does not make a meal, but when people gather and contribute to the pot, it adds flavor and feeds tenfold.”
Given that COVID-19 restrictions have prevented so many opportunities to meet in person, it is only fair that we also use this opportunity to reintroduce the other three staff of Faith Action.
Ashleigh Loa, Executive Director
Ashleigh Loa (she/her) is from the Pearl City/Aiea area. She attended Holy Family Catholic Academy and later transferred to Pearl City High School where she graduated in 2008. She is Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Filipino, and English. She has two daughters, Aleigha (11) and Rylie (5). Ashleigh majored in business administration and has previously worked at a homeless shelter to connect families with affordable housing. As the executive director of Faith Action, she plays a crucial role in furthering the organization’s mission. Under the direction of the Board of Directors, Ashleigh is responsible for administrative operations, fund development and organizing with the Long-Term Care Task Force. She is also responsible for hiring, training, and supervising staff to assist in fulfilling the mission of Faith Action.
Cassie Chee, Organizer
Cassie Chee (she/her) is a Community Organizer for Faith Action and a recent graduate of Garrett-Evangelical, a United Methodist Seminary in Evanston, IL. Her roots are in Okinawa, Korea, and China and her family have been settlers in Hawaiʻi for a few generations. Cassie was raised on Duwamish land (Kirkland, Washington) and now lives in Honolulu. She attends Pearl City Community Church and is passionate about building power locally for a more just and loving world. As an Organizer, Cassie primarily works on building and growing the Faith Action membership base and developing leaders and strategies with the Transformative Justice Taskforce.
Kiki Mills, Organizer
Kiki came to Faith Action in August 2020 as a social work intern. In May 2021, she was hired as a part-time Organizer. A typical work week for Kiki involves putting together the Faith Action weekly newsletter, one-on-ones, task force meetings, and organizing with the Environmental Justice Task Force. She is Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, South Asian, and Caucasian. She lives in Honolulu and attends UH Manoa, where she is a full-time grad student earning her master’s degree in social work. Kiki is passionate about empowering others to advocate for themselves and their communities, decolonizing social work and community organizing, and meeting people where they’re at to help them get to where they want to be.