LGBTQ Korean volunteers who plan and implement the project’s activities every day and who are building a Korean community that welcomes its LGBTQ family members.
Mark Ro Beyersdorf
Mark is a queer, second-generation, mixed-race Korean American activist who grew up in San Diego, CA and now lives in Queens. He has worked for grassroots organizations, political campaigns, the federal government, and national civil rights organizations addressing racial justice, LGBTQ issues, and sexual exploitation since high school. Mark is currently on the staff of the Educational Equity and Youth Rights Project at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). Prior to AALDEF, Mark worked on the staff of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) for then-chair Congressman Mike Honda and as a Field Organizer for the Obama Campaign in rural Ohio. In New York City, he is active in the local AAPI community as a member of Nodutdol, a progressive Korean diasporic organization, the Board of Directors of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, and the Coordinating Committee of the Dari Project.
Elena is an organizer and performer, striving to continue her work as an artist and activist to shed light on various social, political, and humanitarian issues. Elena has also directed as a visibility advocate for the Asian Pride Project, an online platform to share stories of family and friends of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islanders. She is thrilled to be working with fellow “queer-eans” on such a meaningful publication.
Eli is a second-generation, queer-identified, Korean American and native New Yorker residing in Brooklyn. After a long hiatus from activism in the LGBTQ community (life happens), Eli is excited by the opportunity to re-engage with the API LGBTQ community through Dari Project. Eli balances corporate life in the software development industry with discovering new food spots in NYC with comrades, babysitting other people’s pets and getting lost in the woods.
Rej is a 1.5-generation Korean American born in Seoul and raised in Portland, OR. After graduating from Wagner College in Staten Island, he has spent the last 9 years serving various marginalized communities (i.e., homeless youth, LGBTQ, API, and HIV-affected) as a youth advocate, a community organizer, an activist, and a case manager. He is currently in graduate school at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health (working toward a MPH -Master’s in Public Health-). Rej enjoys staying physically active through martial arts and one day aspires to be a good Janggu & Buk player (korean drumming).