On Saturday, April 13, 2019, the MinKwon Center for Community Action and the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College co-hosted a screening of "Tracing the 30-Year History of the MinKwon Center for Community Action," a Korean-language documentary film produced by Mr. Chang Jong Kim, who is the photographer and videographer for RCKC, a prominent and prolific photographer for various media outlets and the Korean community in New York and New Jersey, and one of the organizers of Open Forum. This film screening took place at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), located at 46-20 Parsons Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355. After the film was shown, there was a discussion and a question-and-answer session with Chang Jong Kim (the filmmaker), Pyong Gap Min (director of RCKC), and Ju Bum Cha (long-time and prominent staff member of MinKwon).

This documentary is the first in a series that RCKC initiated last year with support from Overseas Koreans Foundation (OKF) to document the history and issues related to the Korean community in the New York and New Jersey area. This is the first film in this series, and it is fitting that it details the 30-year history of this very important and active social service organization, which has not only helped and advocated for the Korean community, but also other marginalized and under-represented communities.

On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Dr. Young Mi Lee gave a talk on "Research Trends and Practical Application of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Foot Reflexology" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), located at 46-20 Parsons Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355. Approximately 30 people attended this seminar.

Foot reflexology, a field of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, has recently emerged as a health care intervention. Foot reflexology stimulates the reflex zones and areas of the feet, which correspond to the organs of the human body. This includes 120 cells of the body, which respond to each reflector and have a corresponding reflexive effect on organs, muscles, and nerves. Reflexology also promotes blood circulation, relaxes tension, promotes psychological relaxation, improves sensory functions, controls pain, alleviates dyspnea, and reduces insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Lee will analyze the global research trends related to foot reflexology and discuss practical applications for health care.

Dr. Young Mi Lee is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatric Nursing at Kangwon National University in Chuncheon, South Korea. She is also one of RCKC's visiting scholars for 2018. She earned her Ph.D. from Catholic University of Korea in Seoul, and is the recipient of the 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Her research interests include alternative medicine, addiction, stress, and a variety of gender-related health issues.

On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, Dr. Sou Hyun Jang gave a talk about "Korean Immigrants' Medical Tourism to South Korea" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), located at 46-20 Parsons Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355. Approximately 25 people attended the talk.

Dr. Jang presented findings from her recently published book, Medical Transnationalism: Korean Immigrants' Medical Tourism to South Korea (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018). Jang examines Korean immigrants' distinctive healthcare behaviors, contributing factors to their medical tourism, and their experiences and evaluations of medical tourism. By analyzing survey data and conducting interviews with Korean immigrants in the New York–New Jersey area, Jang found that Korean immigrants utilize three main behaviors to deal with their limited English and lack of US health insurance: (1) they depend on Korean co-ethnic doctors in the US, (2) they frequently utilize Hanbang (traditional Korean medicine) in the US, and (3) they travel to their South Korean homeland for medical care (i.e., medical tourism).

Sou Hyun Jang, Ph.D., is a post-doc fellow at the University of Washington (UW) and a former research associate at the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College. She earned her doctoral degree from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) and her master’s degree from Columbia University. Her research areas include Asian Americans, international migration, medical transnationalism, and immigrants’ healthcare behaviors. She has published articles in Sociological Perspectives, Sociology of Religion, and Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Click the link below for a Korean-language version of this announcement:

(한국어) Korean-language Flyer for Dr. Sou Hyun Jang's Seminar)

On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, Dr. Eunjin Lee of Gyeongsang National University in South Korea gave a presentation about "The Modern Interpretation and Application of Korean Traditional Costume (Hanbok)" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), located at 46-20 Parsons Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355.

Dr. Eunjin Lee discussed how hanbok (Korean traditional costumes) are utilized both in South Korea and abroad in a contemporary context. She examined in detail different types of hanbok designs that have been recently used in the work of Korean and foreign textile/clothing designers. In addition, Dr. Lee talked about some of the recent changes that have been happening regarding hanbok, such as it being worn as daily wear, as well as the recent trend of teenagers and Koreans in their twenties utilizing hanbok as a form of play culture (for example, in Korean historic folk villages, palaces, and famous shopping districts such as Insa-dong and Gwangju Art Street, people can rent hanbok by the hour so they can take "period" pictures in front of historic architecture and other picturesque settings).

Dr. Eunjin Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clothing and Textiles at Gyeongsang National University in South Korea. She earned her Ph.D. in Clothing and Textiles from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, and her research areas include traditional Korean costume, traditional Oriental/Asian costume, traditional textiles of Asia, and culture and costumes.

Last Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Dr. Yoonsun Choi of The University of Chicago gave an interesting and well-attended talk about "Growing Up Korean American (코리안 어메리칸으로 성장하기)" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF) in Flushing, Queens. Approximately 40 people attended the talk, and there was a lively and interesting Q & A session and discussion after the lecture.

Dr. Choi showed how Korean cultural traditions are maintained among the immigrant parent generation, but also how some of these traditions persevere among the second-generation youth. She presented longitudinal research that showed some of the complexities involved in Korean immigrant parents raising U.S.-born children. Some of her findings illustrated the huge cultural gap that often exists between Korean immigrants and second-generation Korean Americans, particularly regarding educational and occupational achievement and self-esteem and other psychological issues. However, she also emphasized that many Korean-American youth show an integrated bicultural identity despite being socialized in the U.S. and "growing up American." She suggested that Korean immigrant parents should make a greater effort to understand the difficulties that their U.S.-born children face as racially othered Americans, rather than simply pushing too hard and being too strict.

Yoonsun Choi is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Her fields of special interest include minority youth development; effects of race, ethnicity, and culture in youth development; children of immigrants; Asian American youth; and prevention of youth problem behaviors.


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