Edward Park SeminarPic Sep27 2016

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Professor Edward J. W. Park of Loyola Marymount University in L.A. gave a talk titled "Divergent Paths: Korean American Politics in an Age of Globalization" at KCS. This event was part of RCKC's ongoing seminar series. KCS is located at 35-56 159th Street, Flushing, NY 11358. Approximately 20 people attended this event.  

In the 1980s, Korean American political attention shifted away from democratization in South Korea to urban politics in large American cities. From New York, to Chicago, to Los Angeles, Korean Americans struggled with their middlemen minority position as merchants in inner-cities, situated between indifferent white power structure and hostile African American activists. Punctuated by the Los Angeles Civil Unrest of 1992, Korean Americans committed unprecedented attention and resources to increase their political visibility and influence in American cities. By 2015, this effort to claim their rightful place in mainstream American politics resulted in modest success measured in electoral victories and significant appointments. However, this familiar pattern of American ethnic political incorporation has been complicated by dramatic changes in laws and policies by the Korean and the U.S. governments. From the Overseas Korean Act of 1999 to the ratification of the Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement in 2012, transpacific politics are once again pulling Korean American attention and resources as these changes redefine the terms and conditions of being Korean American in a globalizing world. Korean Americans have vigorously pursued their interests on this front, seeking to maximize their professional opportunities as bilateral trade and relationships grow while minimizing the personal disruptions of pursuing transpacific lives. Once again, Korean American politics stand at the crossroads.

Edward J.W. Park is director and professor of Asian Pacific American Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His publications include “Competing Visions: Political Formation of Korean Americans in Los Angeles” (Amerasia Journal, 1988) and “Labor Organizing Beyond Race and Nation: The Los Angeles Hilton Case” (International Journal of Sociology and Social Research, 2004).

Click the link below to access an article that Professor Park wrote reflecting on Korean Americans in L.A. after the 1992 Uprising:

From an Ethnic Island to a Transnational Bubble

MOU QC Korea National Assembly PicSep16 2016

We are pleased to announce that Queens College has established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Secretariat of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. The Office of the Secretariat is the government agency that supports the activities of the Korean National Assembly, including Assembly members' research activities and visits to other countries. 

A small formal ceremony to make the MOU official was held at Queens College on Friday, September 16, 2016. The event was attended by (left to right in the photo above) Mohamed Tabrani (Director of Education Abroad at Queens College), Sunghee Shin (Professor of Education at Queens College), Yoon-keun Woo (Secretary General of Korean National Assembly), Felix Mattos-Rodriguez (President of Queens College), Elizabeth Hendrey (Provost of Queens College), Pyong Gap Min (Director of RCKC and Professor of Sociology at Queens College), and William McClure (Dean of Faculty at Queens College). 

The purpose of the MOU is to develop academic/educational cooperation and to promote relations and mutual understanding between Queens College and the Korean National Assembly. Some of the activities will include mutual exchanges through seminars and workshops, briefings on public policy and scholarly topics, joint research projects, and mutual exchanges of research personnel and former and current officials.  

The Research Center for Korean Community (RCKC) will play an intermediary role between Queens College and the Korean National Assembly in fulfilling the content of the MOU. In addition, RCKC will most likely conduct research on behalf of the National Assembly. 


KoreanTeachersBookPartyAuthorPicSep1 2016

In July 2016, Bookorea Publishing Company in Seoul published a book titled 뉴욕의 한국어 선생님들 (Korean-Language Teachers in New York). This Korean-language book was edited by Pyong Gap Min (Director of RCKC) and Sejung Yim (Research Associate at RCKC), and it features 15 personal narratives written by Korean language teachers in weekend Korean schools and public schools in the New York-New Jersey area. Min and Yim began working on this book in early 2014.

On Thursday, September 1, 2016, a party celebrating the release of this much-anticipated book was held at KCS (Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York), 35-56 159th Street, Flushing, NY. Along with our research center, this event was co-organized by The Korean Language Foundation and The Northeast Chapter of the National Association for Korean Schools. Approximately 40 people attended this event.

The book project began as a result of Professor Min conducting interviews with Korean language teachers in weekend Korean schools and public schools for a paper he was working on. During the course of his interviews, he was continually impressed and moved by the dedication shown by these individuals in teaching the Korean language to both Korean and non-Korean children. Consequently, he decided that he wanted to publish an edited anthology of these teachers' stories to share with Koreans in Korea and Korean immigrants in the United States.

Mr. Tae Myung Hong, Ms. Jounghye Rhi, Ms. Jeongsook Hwang, and Ms. Hyunjoo Hwang—four Korean language teachers who wrote essays for the book—read passages from their narratives and gave presentations at the event.

If you are interested in ordering the book, you can order copies by contacting qcrckc@gmail.com. The price will be $25, including shipping, and you should receive the book within 10 days of ordering it.

KoreanLanguageTeachersInNewYork BookCover

ChigonKimSeminarPicAug9 2016

On Tuesday, August 9, 2016, Professor Chigon Kim of Wright State University gave a talk titled "Political Participation among Korean Immigrants in the United States" at KCS in Flushing. Approximately 30 people attended the Korean-language presentation. An interesting question-and-answer session followed Professor Kim's talk. 

Professor Kim discussed patterns and modes of Korean immigrants’ political participation, including party affiliation, voter registration, voting in presidential and midterm elections, political donations, contacting public officials, and working with others to solve community problems. Using detailed data from a variety of sources, he compared Korean immigrants’ political activities with those of four other Asian immigrant groups (Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, and Vietnamese) and non-Hispanic whites. His talk focused on the role of Korean ethnic and religious organizations as institutional contexts for political participation. Professor Kim also discussed challenges that Korean communities face in facilitating Korean immigrants’ political participation. 

RFKC RCKC GroupPic 2016 HaeMinChung80Bday

We would like to wish a happy 80th birthday to Hae Min Chung—President of the Research Foundation for Korean Community (RFKC).

 On Thursday, July 14, 2016, President Chung's family members, board members of RFKC, and staff members of RCKC met at the Great Room of 20 Riverwalk Place in West New York, New Jersey for a delicious, fun, and festive 80th birthday celebration for President Chung. In Korean culture, both the 70th and 80th birthday celebrations are important milestones in one's life. In particular, if someone made it to their 80th year in the old days, it was considered a sign of great health, fortune, and prosperity. He has served as President of RFKC since 2012, and towards the end of the birthday party, he announced that he will be stepping down as President at the end of this summer. Jea-Seung Ko, who is currently the Senior Vice President of RFKC, will take over once President Chung steps down.

Over the years, President Chung has worked very hard to help and serve the Korean and Korean-American communities in the New York-New Jersey area. Since immigrating to the U.S. in 1974, he has founded and established a Korean school, worked for the New York City government as an outreach and community coordinator for the NYC Citizenship Program and Office of Immigrant Initiatives, been Chair of the Board of Directors of the Korean American Voters' Council of New York and New Jersey, and been a Co-Chair of the New York Coalition for House Resolution 121 (the "Comfort Women" resolution). In 2013, he received the Vision Award from Korean Community Services, and in 2010, he received Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Congressman Michael Honda. These are just a few of his many accomplishments and activities.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to President Chung for all of the hard work he has done for our Research Center as well as for the Korean and Korean-American communities at large. We wish him continued good health and prosperity.

Click the link below for some video footage from the event:

President Hae Min Chung 80th Birthday Party 


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