If there was ever a year to make a difference, 2020 was it. Here, we celebrate 17 people who—in the face of challenges and crises of all kinds—took risks, broke new ground, and found ingenious answers to some of today’s most urgent issues.

SUSUN KIM

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONTRA COSTA FAMILY 
JUSTICE CENTER, CONCORD

Susun Kim works not only on the established programs of the Contra Costa Family Justice Center, where she is executive director, but she is also constantly searching for new ways to serve the community. “I look to identify unmet needs and underserved communities and develop strategies to meet those needs,” says Kim, an immigrant from South Korea.

An attorney with 17 years of legal aid experience, she refers to the Family Justice Center as a “warm and welcoming one-stop center” for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking. She manages three locations (Concord, Richmond, and East Antioch), with 16 staff members and more than 50 partner 
organizations.

She is quick to credit her mentors and colleagues with helping her achieve 
success. “I learned from caring and brilliant teachers,” she says, “and I have worked with critical
and thoughtful colleagues who have challenged my 
thinking.” —M.J.

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