meet the Team


samantha joo
founder. Executive director

Samantha Joo is an independent academic and business entrepreneur who has a passion for social justice.  She has worked at a number of universities and seminaries, including Seoul Women’s University.  While teaching most of her life as a tutor, teacher, and professor, she also has vast experience in the hospitality industry.  As a child of immigrant parents who believed in running their own business, she has operated and managed a motel and hotel for them.  During her spare time, she has pursued her passion to serve the marginalized. She is the founder of Queer Koreans Alliance which jumpstarted Dding Dong, a queer teen safe space in Seoul, and this organization, Platform.  She is most happy hiking with her two rambunctious dogs, Kimchi and Benji.



clara yoon
director of public relations

Clara Yoon is a proud Korean mother of a transgender, bisexual son. She is the founder of the API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC chapter, a group providing support for LGBTQ individuals and families of Asian heritage. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the PFLAG NYC chapter. Clara is passionate about supporting and advocating for LGBTQ youths specifically to prevent bullying, suicide and homelessness.  She believes in the importance of improving LGBTQ equality in homelands and faith groups to create better acceptance to LGBTQ individuals within the API communities.  She conducted and spoke in many workshops and events across US, Japan and Korea on such topics.

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mish southgate
director of programs

Mish Southgate is an executive coach for Asian professional women and the founder of Visibility Careers. She is devoted to helping Asian women have more impact and success in their careers. She works with clients in the US and in Asia with the mission to give women the tools, confidence and know how to be recognized for their true value. She is the author of the book “The Silent Dragon: How Asians Can Advance in Corporate America by Increasing Their Visibility Quotient.” She believes that while many Asian women hit a ‘ceiling’ at some point in their career, breaking through that ceiling does not mean changing who they are. She has been featured in articles offering career advice in Business News Daily and Her Campus. Mish also volunteers her time as a mentor and job search coach through organizations supporting women and API professionals. 

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pauline Kim
coordinator of social media & events

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