About Us

OUR VISION
Our vision is for genocide survivors to be proud of their identity no matter where they are in the world
OUR MISSION
We PROTECT, PRESERVE, and PROMOTE the legacy of the Cambodian genocide survivors and their children in the United States and Abroad.
OUR HISTORY

The International Khmer Assembly, Inc ( formerly known as IKA ) was started by founding Chairman Mr. Hoeun Hach and Founding Director Mr. Scott Walker in 2010.  The organization began as a small project to advocate for the recognition of the Khmer Freedom Fighters and Southeast Asian Veterans in the “secret war” of the 1960s and 1970s, and evolved to become a fellowship destination for education and services for the Cambodian American community. 

After a passage of MN State Senate Resolution 2314 in February 2012 and United States Senate Resolution S. Res 462 in July 2014, newly-elected Chairman Mr. Kosol Sek ( 2014-2016 ) recognized that services offered to Khmer Americans in Minnesota and throughout the United States were often limited to fellowship and U.S. citizenship. 

In 2016, in his capacity as Chairman and Transitional Director of the organization, Mr. Kosol Sek spearheaded a new initiative to expand the collection of personal stories and the preservation of the legacy of all genocide survivors of Cambodia and their children. 

However, there was one final hurdle that stood in the crossroad.  The Cambodian community as a whole has been under-developed and under-represented for most of the past 40 years.  The systemic effect of the genocide when millions of intellectuals, religious leaders, historians, artists, and politicians had been exterminated had created a fear and scarcity in the community to promote identity, pride, and history of its people.  To fill in this gap, the organization transformed and rebranded its public name to IKARE to communicate to the world that for effective change to take place, do not wait for others to start, it must start with the individual ( YOU! ).  IKARE became our name and our organizational culture in 2016, whereby the letter "K" stands for KHMER.      

On the weekend of June 23, 2016, the Khmer Legacy Museum ( the “first and only” ) Cambodian museum in the United States was launched.    

The goal of the museum is to utilize the arts and “exciting” entertainment to educate the community, their children, and the public on the importance and contribution of the Khmer people to the world. 

For example, the museum aims to effectuate the following:

  • Educate the community and their children ( online, in person, social media and self-study courses ) on the importance of the Khmer people, culture, and contribution to the world;
  • Utilize arts and “exciting” entertainment to educate about the 3000 years of heritage;
  • Allow the public to sample 3000 years of Cambodian arts and history without traveling to Cambodia; and,
  • Restore and revive lost Khmer arts in a fun and exciting way.    

In addition to the preservation and promotion of the Khmer culture, the organization sponsors the following types of events and activities:  

  • Young artists so that they can have the opportunity to advance their careers;
  • Poor and underprivileged students in Cambodia to advance their education in the United States and Abroad;  
  • Agents of Change in Cambodia so that they can continue working to preserve the environment, human rights, and charity; and,
  • Advocacy for the Khmer people in the United States and Abroad so that they can have a “voice” in democracy.

The beneficiaries of the IKARE work include the Khmer people in and outside Cambodia; the world community, and the general public.  We are forever indebted to the kind support from the Hubbard Broadcasting Foundation ( Thank you Kari and Mr. Hubbard ) and a one-time Holiday grant in 2016 from St. Jude Medical Foundation ( Thank you Chamnap for caring to help ), and the many volunteers who gave their time, money, and commitment to help bring the vision of this organization to life.  

Recently, the IKARE organization was approved for membership in the Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance, making us one of 16,000 nonprofits in 32 states and DC working together to reduce cost of insurance for all non-profit organization members.

We are proud of our achievement because of “Karing” hearts like yours!

OUR LEADERSHIP
Kosol Sek ( Managing Director)

Kosol brings over 20 years experience providing strategic direction to local and multi-national organizations in business, product innovation, and developing strategic branding and marketing communications.   Some of his accomplishments include developing and receiving 7 United States Patent and Trademark business processes and 3 United States Copyright business processes.  He's founded, operated and sold intellectual property to a Fortune 100 company.

He has a lifelong experience as student, trainer, and executive in leadership, communication, and scientific problem solving to transform the IKARE into a world-class organization.

Kosol joined the IKARE because he wants to see the Khmer people and community advance to a level of excellence.  He understands the challenges ahead and willingly accepts the journey to bring the best of the Khmer people and culture to the world.  "The Khmer people came close to extinction in December 1979, I'm going to do my part to make sure this great culture and people continue," is Kosol's motto.  

 

Ream Um ( Chairman of the Board)

Ream serves as Chairman of the Board and comes to the organization with a wealth of experience in education and multi-decade leadership with the United Cambodian Association of Minnesota and other Cambodian refugee non profit organizations.  In 1965, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and from there went on to help build and maintain some of the infrastructure you see in Cambodia like airports and roads.  He arrived in America as a refugee 1981 and served as a teacher for the St. Paul school district teaching math and science.  In 2011, he joined IKARE and began to advance the organization's vision and mission because he believes it is a platform to educate the future generation of Khmer children along with others on the importance of Khmer culture, heritage, and identity.

 
Thal Ngin (IKARE Secretary)

Thal serves as the IKARE Board Secretary. Thal joined the IKARE organization because she wanted to make a difference and become part of a system that protects, preserves, and promotes next generation role models.  Thal wants to see the Khmer community unite so that future generations, like her grandchildren, can carry on the Khmer identity. She believes through IKARE vision and mission, the Khmer identity will stay alive.

Thal is also a Khmer language specialist.  Her experience includes teaching children the Khmer language, dances, and childhood discipline. 

Chamnap Nay (Treasurer)

Chamnap serves as the Treasurer of Board for the IKARE organization. She brings to the organization over 15 years of experience in various different areas. In 2002, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and has since completed multiple graduate study courses in Resource Development and Fundraising, Inter-Cultural Communications, Culture and Development, Transformational Development and Servant Leadership and Management. She also brings with her experience in Marketing, Training, , and Communication from St. Jude Medical, Thai Samsung Electronics, Chevron Ltd (Cambodia), and World Vision. Champnap spends her time championing for the Khmer Community through IKARE because she feels that the mission and vision of our organization will help bring the Khmer community to a better place.

 

 

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