Last October, we hosted the first annual Symposia: An Intersection of Conversation & Innovation, a forum in which alumni of The Seattle School presented the ongoing work they are pursuing at the intersection of text, soul, and culture. Integrative education does not end at graduation, and our alumni are proof of that. Symposia highlighted the ways that our alumni are continuing to wrestle with big questions and big dreams in theology, psychology, and culture.

This week, we’re featuring Richard Kim (MDiv, ‘11), The Seattle School’s Intercultural Credibility Coordinator, and his presentation “Staying Human: A Framework for Redeeming Identity in a Rapidly Changing Context.”

In this talk, Richard addresses shifting cultural dynamics and how they shape identity—our sense of self, our sense of the other, and our sense of the world. “In many ways the orienting conversation centers around three questions: Who am I? Who does the world say that I am? And to bring it into a present moment, who do you say that I am?” Whether we realize it or not, we are all carrying these questions in all our individual and relational experiences.

Richard pulls from art, sociological research, and his own story as a Korean-American to explore how notions and categories of identity are evolving and unfolding in our society, and the implications that those changes have on how we see ourselves and how we interact with others.

“Being able to root ourselves in a context, in a place, in a history, gives us the opportunity to imagine something new in terms of the way that we engage with each other. The critical self-awareness work that we do here at The Seattle School is an important and lost art in our society. […] The ability and freedom that emerges from owning an identity is the ability to be contended with in a way where I am no longer subjected by or subjected to the objectifications of others, but I’m able to more freely live into the uniqueness of who I am, the mystery of who I am. In that space we are able to engage not just ourselves but begin to wonder what it means to engage others in their humanity.”

The Seattle School has been deeply impacted by Richard’s passion and commitment to work in the realms of identity, diversity, and cultural renewal. Richard, The Forum, and the Intercultural Credibility Resource Team are curating Humanity Through Community on June 4. We invite you to gather with educators, practitioners, and advocates for conversation, awareness, and skill-building as we work toward living, working, and leading in culturally responsive ways. Learn more at