Members of the Community
Within the Korean Amerasian community, there are many people who have contributed a great deal of time and effort in helping fellow members of their community. Listed below is a few of those many.
Thomas Park Clement
Clement’s birth parents are assumed to be a U.S. military man and a Korean woman. A war orphan who was abandoned by his mother at four or five when his father disappeared, he was homeless for a time before he was brought to an orphanage. He was adopted by the Clements, a white American family, in 1958. Clement graduated from Purdue University with a psychology degree, though he would later go back to Purdue to complete the electrical engineering degree he had before he had switched it to psychology.  Clement was reintroduced to Korea through enrolling in a taekwondo class, eventually ending up visiting Korea in 1998 along with twenty-seven other Korean adoptees from around the world. That same year, Clement decided to start his own company, Mectra Laboratory Inc. Unlike many Korean adoptees, he does not wish to find his birth mother. He has written an autobiography, The Unforgotten War: Dust of the Streets, which was published in 1998, but before he ever went to Korea.

A successful entrepreneur, inventor, and humanitarian, Clement is currently the CEO of Mectra Labs Inc., a medical manufacturing company for a wide variety of surgical instruments. He has pledged $1million on 23andME DNA kits to help people find their biological ties. 2,550 of the kits were donated to Korean adoptees and Korean War veterans in America, and 450 kits were given to 325Kamra, a volunteer organization, to distribute in South Korea. He is still very involved in the Korean adoptee community.

Katharine Bradtke

Born in the Bupyeong district of Incheon in 1957 to an American G.I. and a Korean woman, Bradtke stayed in an orphanage until her adoption by a U.S. family in 1961. In 2015 Bradtke discovered that she had two half-siblings through the DNA test she had completed. Bradtke is still searching for her birth mother, knowing nothing but the name Kim Chang-Soo. That name may not be her mother’s true name however as many adoption documents had been fabricated by adoption agencies since the 1950s.

Bradtke is one of the founders of 325 Kamra, a volunteer organization reuniting Korean adoptees with their biological families through DNA. She has been very involved in the Korean adoptee community, helping organize and establish nonprofit Mosaic tours for Korean adoptees visiting Korea to get them acquainted with the community.

Hines Ward

Born in Seoul on March 8, 1976 to Kim Younghee, his Korean mother, and Hines Ward Sr., his African American father, his family moved to Georgia when Ward was one year old. A year later, his parents divorced, leaving Ward to at first live with his mother and then his paternal grandmother after his father convinced a family court that Kim could not raise Ward independently as she could not speak English. Ward and his mother would reunite at age seven. Ward attended the University of Georgia, where he played college football. He later became the wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, an American football team, of the National Football League (NFL), from 1998-2011.

He was the first Korean American to win the Super Bowl MVP award, which threw him into the spotlight of South Korean media in 2005. Ward then used his new found fame to encourage political and social reform for biracial children in South Korea and set up the “Hines Ward Helping Hands” foundation, which targets biracial discrimination, especially among the mixed race children of Korea.

Paul Lee Cannon

Cannon was born in California  to Lee Chong Sun, a Korean woman born in Gimpo, and Arnold Cannon, an American serviceman from Iowa. Cannon was raised by his biological parents, unlike many Amerasian children. His parents faced a lot of stigma from both of their cultures in Korea for being an interracial couple. Despite this, they eventually married and moved to California, where they would have six children together.

Cannon attended San Francisco State University, graduating in 1993 with a B.A. in journalism. He is an award winning freelance writer, who has written for Salon, Sunset, the San Francisco Chronicle, The American Gardener, Pacific Horticulture, KoreanAmericanStory.org, and Grow. He is currently living and working in Oakland.