MEET THE TEAM
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.
Mariam is a strategy advisor committed to supporting teams and individuals looking to transform work culture through programs and policies aligned with their values. For almost 15 years, Mariam worked in the for-profit and non-profit worlds and with the federal government, observing first-hand how each sector struggles with understanding organizational trauma; the role gender, culture, and language can play in determining the health of an office environment; and the value of intersectional approaches when developing a more inclusive workspace. She is committed to helping organizations and individuals become stronger, healthier versions of themselves by identifying areas of growth and developing strategies to help them reach their goals. Additionally, she advises local and national leaders on how to address challenges faced by people outside of mainstream society, while raising awareness of the importance of cultural humility, competency, and of course, self-care. Mariam is a proud Baloch and intersectional feminist who spends her free time photographing the streets of New York.
BAY AREA CONSULTANT
Jessica Ayden Li is a non-profit consultant, trainer, mentor, and advocate. She has over 10 years of experience working with non-profit organizations and in the social sector. She is passionate about ending gender-based violence and promoting immigrant and refugee rights.
Jessica previously served as the Executive Director of San Francisco SafeHouse as one of a few woman leaders of color in non-profits in San Francisco. She was also the Executive Director at the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project in Washington, D.C. She has also served as the Public Outreach Officer with the United Nations Mission in Sudan and worked with the International Rescue Committee, advocating on behalf of internally displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers. Most recently, Jessica was the Director of Impact Initiatives at the LeaderSpring Center in Oakland where she focused on leadership development in the non-profit sector and trainings on diversity, equity, and inclusion. She spends her free time traveling around the world and hanging out with her rescue dog, Hansyn.
PAULINE SOHEE KIM
COORDINATOR OF events and marketing
Pauline Kim is a recent graduate with a double-major in Psychology and Communications. She is presently working part-time in design as a Home Stylist on developing her interest in environmental psychology and feng-shui. She spends her other time investing into projects and hobbies that allows her to connect with people. She believes in making a mark in the lives of people in her community and to make a difference in society. As a Korean-American woman, she wants to play a role in the API community to help other Asian women and those that are marginalized through some of the struggles she has has faced growing up. Pauline enjoys learning and growing her interest in marketing/branding and embodies the youthful ideas for our team.
Manuela Rodríguez is a freelancer with a major in International Relations, committed to woman empowerment and intersectional feminism. She has carried on an investigation about the protection of refugees and their rights in South America. Additionally, she has collaborated with different non-profits like RACI (Argentine Network for International Cooperation) and the Littleton Immigrant Resources Center (LIRC) in Colorado, which helps immigrants connect to community services, learn English, and apply for U.S. citizenship. Previously, Manuela was the director of the International Committee of a Rotaract club (a program by Rotary International) and worked at an Embassy in Buenos Aires assisting the diplomats with Spanish and English. Most recently, she has worked with feminist journalists translating interviews in the US-Mexico border to spread the story of dozens of women who flee from domestic violence. She spends her free time painting and going to trivias.