by Scott Douglas Jacobsen.
Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH) is thrilled to welcome the new Chair of GNH Community Advisory Board, James Kim! As part of the annual election for positions on the board of GNH, James will fill the position. The previous chair, Matt Schroeter, stepped down from the role to contribute to GNH in different ways. We appreciate the service of Matt and James.
James has been profiled in a previous GNH Blog post about the branding of the GNH, What’s in a Brand? Community Journalist Gavin Reid Explores the Gordon Neighbourhood House Rebranding Process. At the time, James said, “It is important to create a good first impression. A brand reflects personality and helps make it recognizable in different environments.”
James notes that the huge increase in visitors to GNH since 2012. James is curious about the world and the local, and wider, Vancouver culture as well, especially related to food. He likes to eat. He likes to cook. He likes to share meals. A perfect fit for the GNH community!
He has been associated with GNH for some time as the Communications Consultant (since November, 2012). Even before GNH, he knew Paul Taylor. He heard about the GNH when Paul became the executive director. “Gordon Neighbourhood House was also a good place for me insofar as the catchment area, which is the Downtown Peninsula,” James said, “I’ve been living here for the last 12 years. That worked out for me.”
For the role as the chair, James will be involved in meetings, fundraising efforts, meeting with the city, signing various documents for grants, and so on. “With certain types of grants, for example, there is a request that along with the executive director or staff at Gordon Neighbourhood House there is an indication of endorsement from the advisory board,” James said, “Usually, that would be the chair signing.”
James wants the board to be as inclusive and representative of the community members that GNH is integrated into as much as possible. He wants the conversation of poverty reduction and food security between the community, the city, and the province to continue. James stated that GNH is an important part of that movement to “try and make the world a better place.”
“It has to do with trying to keep the conversation going with a poverty reduction strategy, food security…for everyone from elders to students,” James said, “As part of that strategic goal I think GNH is doing a great job of speaking to the right people and hopefully making a bit of an impact.”
He described the community, and the energy that “informs and influences the GNH,” as his favourite part of the neighbourhood house community. That is, GNH is a community hub or a “home away from home.” James has been touched most by attending some of the volunteer events.
When his parents came to Canada in the late 1960s, they did not have jobs. They weren’t quite food insecure but options were limited. There was less of a Korean-Canadian community compared to today. And there was no such as a neighbourhood house such as GNH and its outreach programs. GNH is good because it can bring people in.
“When I sit down with people, in some cases, I feel like it is revisiting an opportunity when we were young, or my parents were young,” James said, “I feel it is an amazing thing that we are able to do this, to be frank, with the limited resources that we have at neighbourhood houses.”