Joe Kim was born and raised in the Bay Area. He graduated from San Leandro High School and received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. During his undergraduate studies, Joe developed a passion for social justice, student organizing, and Hip Hop music.
To expand and deepen his social justice work, Joe moved to Australia in 2011 to perform music and tour through South East Asia. During his time in Australia, he also worked as an Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) social worker at a residential withdrawal/detox unit for young people. His appreciation and respect for music and its historical significance in the resistance/resilience of youth culture continues to inform his work today.
For the past two years, Joe has been working at the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond where he has been supporting the clinical work of the Community Mental Health Department. He provides individual therapy and case management wraparound services for young people in West Contra Costa County who may not have access to affordable mental health services. Joe currently facilitates the Young Men’s Group at RYSE that collaborates with the statewide Building Healthy Communities initiative/Sons and Brothers Campaign to reduce health disparities amongst young men color. He also has been integrating trauma-informed/Restorative Justice practices into RYSE’s integrative program model.
Most recently, he has been involved in supporting and presenting the model for RYSE’s Listening Campaign, a research project focused on acknowledging the lived experiences of trauma and coping mechanisms amongst young people in Richmond, at local, regional and national conferences.