September 27, 2017 - Korean "Comfort Women" Film Screening at YWCA in Flushing, Queens

On September 27, 2017, there was a screening of the film Spirits' Homecoming (2015) at the YWCA Queens, 42-07 Parsons Blvd, Flushing, NY. This film was inspired by the plight of Korean "comfort women," who were forced to be sex slaves at military brothels for Japanese soldiers and officers during the Asia-Pacific War and World War II.

This film is the story of two Korean girls, Jung-Min (age 14) and Young-Hee (age 15), who were kidnapped by the Japanese imperial army and taken to a “comfort station” in China. There, they join other kidnapped girls in serving Japanese soldiers as sexual slaves known as “comfort women”. By the end of the war, only one of the girls survived. Decades later, an elderly lady attempts to reunite with the spirit of her lost friend. This film is inspired by the testimony of Kang Il-Chul, a "comfort woman" survivor.

We would like to thank all who attended the film screening, and we would also like to thank the YWCA Queens and their kind and helpful staff members for hosting the screening.

 ChigonKimSeminarPicKCS Bayside June9 2017

On Friday, June 9, 2017, Professor Chigon Kim of Wright State University gave a talk on "The Aging Korean Immigrant Population in the United States: Living Arrangements, Health Conditions, and Socio-economic Status of Older Korean Immigrants" at the new KCS location in Bayside, Queens. This event was part of RCKC's regular seminar series.

The Korean immigrant population aged 65 and over has continued to grow rapidly over decades. The percentage of older Korean immigrants (ages 65 and older) among the total Korean immigrant population has increased from less than 5 percent in 1990 to more than 17 percent in 2015. The aging of the Korean immigrant population has shown distinct demographic characteristics. For example, women outnumber men in the older age groups in part because of their longer life expectancy. More than two out of five older Korean immigrants live in two major Korean population centers, Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas. This presentation will focus on the living arrangements, health conditions, and socioeconomic status of these older Korean immigrants using data from the U.S. Census and American Community Survey. Results show that 62 percent of older Korean immigrants are married and living with their spouse. Among the non-married, a third of them live in an extended-family household (e.g., living in their own child’s family). Yet, almost half of non-married older Korean immigrants live alone. More than a quarter of older Korean immigrants have experienced one or more health problems with the most common difficulties being ambulatory (e.g., walking and climbing stairs) and independent living difficulties. These health problems are more prevalent among the non-married and living alone. About 18 percent of the older Korean immigrants participate in the labor market, and 40 percent of them are self-employed. Besides wages/salaries and business income, older Korean immigrants have various income sources such as Social Security, investment, and pension. Nonetheless, one out of five are in poverty. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how the aging Korean immigrant population will have wide-ranging implications for families, businesses, and communities. 

We would like to thank Professor Chigon Kim, KCS, and everyone who attended the seminar.

ConferenceKoreatownsGLF2017 Pic1comprssd

On May 4, 2017, an international conference titled "Ethnic Enclaves and Urban Regeneration" was held at Global Leadership Foundation in Flushing, Queens. This event was co-organized by the BK21+ Ethnic and Koreatown Urban Regeneration Research Team at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Seoul, South Korea) and the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College. This international conference featured presentations by researchers from China, Japan, Korea, and the United States. Topics included transnationalism, cultural contents, Hallyu (The Korean Wave), digital mapping, ethnic retention, and other interesting subjects related to Korean ethnic enclaves all over the world.

This conference was sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Global Cultural Contents Research Center. 

We would like to express our appreciation to Professor Young Sang Yim of the Department of Global Cultural Contents at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies for all of his hard work organizing the conference. We also thank members of the community who attended this conference in the middle of a weekday.

Click the photo at the top of this newsletter or here for a link to a full schedule of the conference presentations.   



ProfMin SeminarPic GLF Apr19 2017

On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Professor Pyong Gap Min of RCKC and Queens College gave a talk titled "The Advantages of Suburban Enclaves Over Urban Enclaves in Community Empowerment: A Comparison of Korean Enclaves in Queens Borough and Bergen County in the NY-NJ Area." This event took place at Global Leadership Foundation on Parsons Blvd in Flushing from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. Approximately twenty people attended this talk, including three of RCKC's 2017 visiting scholars, the co-director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, and a reporter for Korea Central Daily News.

Professor Min's talk focused on the advantages of suburban enclaves over urban enclaves in community empowerment, using Korean immigrant communities in the NYC borough of Queens and New Jersey's Bergen County as case studies. Using census data, newspaper articles, and personal interviews with Korean politicians and community leaders, the talk covered three components of community empowerment: (1) electoral politics, (2) the promotion of the Korean language to American public schools, and (3) erecting "comfort women" monuments. Professor Min also discussed some of the advantageous benefits of other suburban Korean enclaves in the U.S. 

Conference 2016 Religion Group Pic

On Saturday, November 5, 2016, RCKC held its 7th annual conference at the Rosenthal Library at Queens College. The theme of the conference was "Korean Religious Experiences in the U.S." Presenters included Ruth H. Chung (University of Southern California), Grace Ji-Sun Kim (Earlham School of Religion), Rebecca Kim (Pepperdine University), Pyong Gap Min (Queens College and RCKC), Jerry Z. Park (Baylor University), Hye Sung Park (Won Institute of Graduate Studies), Andrew Cha (St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Roman Catholic Church), Hyoung Keun Kim (Modern Buddhism magazine), and Jin Eun Park (Won Buddhist Temple of New York). Dr. David Yoo of UCLA and Thomas Chung of RCKC moderated the conference sessions.

RCKC would like to thank Queens College, Research Foundation for Korean Community (RFKC), the presenters, and everyone who attended the conference.

Gala 2016 RFKC Pic


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