Group Photo RCKC Conference 2019

On Friday, October 25, 2019, the Research Center for Korean Community (RCKC) held its 9th academic conference, "Korean Americans' Transnational Ties to the Homeland." Scholars and activists from around the United States as well as one scholar from Kazakhstan (Professor Natalya Yem of Al Farabi Kazakh National University) submitted papers and gave presentations. The conference took place at the James Muyskens Conference Room at Queens College.


On Thursday, September 26, 2019, there was a film screening of "Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of the Comfort Women Issue" at the Queens College Patio Room (inside the student dining hall). The director, Miki Dezaki, talked before and after the screening about his documentary film, which uses the controversial "comfort women" issue as a case study for historical revisionism. The film is approximately 2 hours long. This event was co-sponsored by the Research Center for Korean Community (RCKC), the Asian/American Center, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding (CERRU), all of which are affiliated with Queens College. Approximately 100 people attended the screening.

The “comfort women” issue is one of Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandaries. In Japan, the issue has divided the country across clear ideological lines. Some of the issues in question include empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world. This film, which is based on the producer’s 30 personal interviews with Japanese neo-nationalist denialists and another 30 interviews with supporters of the redress movement, delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of “comfort women.” Most important, it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were “comfort women” prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited? And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former “comfort women?”


August 29, 2019 - Prof. Hyesuk Ha Gave Talk on "Behind-the-Scenes Brain Mechanisms" at GLF in Flushing

On Thursday, August 29, 2019, RCKC hosted a talk on "Behind-the-Scenes Brain Mechanisms" featuring Dr. Hyesuk Ha of Korea National Open University as part of our regular ongoing seminar series. The event took place at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), 46-20 Parsons Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11355. An interesting question-and-answer session followed the lecture.

This seminar examined the nature of how we pay attention to things and unseen mechanisms that affect how we perceive and interact with stimuli. Sometimes, people pay close attention to things that are unseen; the things that we see are temporary and fleeting, while unseen forces can be eternal. Things that are really important in life are often invisible. Professor Ha will discuss some of the invisible brain mechanisms that operate behind the scenes of our visible behavior. Fundamental issues of trauma, identity, and relationships will be examined from a psychological point of view.

Professor Hyesuk Ha earned her Ph.D. in Educational Counseling from Seoul National University. She is currently a professor of youth education at Korea National Open University and teaches counseling. She has published a number of books and scholarly articles, including Secrets of Psychotherapy, Multicultural Counseling, Youth and Parents, and Counseling for Youth.



On Thursday, June 20, 2019, RCKC hosted a talk on the "The Impact of the March 1st Korean Independence Movement on the Korean Community in the U.S." featuring Dr. Edward Taehan Chang of UC-Riverside as part of our regular ongoing seminar series. The event took place at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), 46-20 Parsons Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11355.

Early Korean immigrants in the U.S. played an important role in the Korean Independence Movement of the early 1900s. Despite low income, harsh working conditions, and racial discrimination, Korean immigrants actively participated in and funded their homeland's fight for freedom against the Japanese Empire. When news of the March 1st uprising in Korea reached overseas Korean communities, it served as an impetus for active engagement in the movement. This talk focused on (1) the Hemet Valley incident, (2) how the movement ignited support for armed resistance against Japan, (3) the important role of Korean women in the movement, and (4) English-language newspaper coverage of the movement.

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.


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