The ICAS Lectures


Empowerment, Our Voice and Our Place

Jason Kim

ICAS Summer Symposium
August 6, 2005 Saturday 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Montgomery County Community College Science Center room 214
340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422 (

Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.

965 Clover Court, Blue Bell, PA 19422

Tel : (610) 277-9989; (610) 277-0149
Fax: (610) 277-3289

Empowerment, Our Voice and Our Place

Jason Kim
Councilman, Palisades Park, New Jersey

Korean diaspora: past, present, and future

Success of Immigration

Three categories of the measure of success:

  1. Political

    -voter registration: very low political power and involvement of Korean Americans.

    -involvement and interaction of both voters and candidates; more Korean American leaders should be encouraged and allowed to attain important positions.

    -stronger, more coherent voter blocs need to be organized around issues that are crucial to our community's needs.

  2. Social

    -Korean Americans need to create drive forces to unify the community rather than be in conflict. Ways to accomplish this:

    * Remember history

    * Individual and social channels of community involvement and participation; community organizations.

    * More volunteerism and mobilization needed.

    -these efforts need to be meaningful and enjoyable to the people involved so that they would continue to pursue these initiatives. Ex: the Jewish community makes the traditions and culture of Judaism accessible, something to be proud of and to genuinely have fun with. Therefore, it has become a lasting goal to maintain.

  3. Economic

    -severe lack of funding.

    * not enough money in most colleges to sponsor and maintain Asian and Korean American history and language classes.

    * not enough funds for foundations and various NGOs to enable them to have much involvement or impact with the community

    -need financial investment by individuals as well as organizations

    -tithing: setting aside a tenth or whatever amount towards preservation of our culture and language

    Prototype —Jews achieved all three measures of success.


    -we need to disseminate the ideology that maintaining our culture is useful to us all, including non-Korean Americans, and we are able to defend that point.

    -we need concrete projects and function, yet the ideals come first. We need to inspire individuals to enrich themselves economically and politically to set up the groundwork and make these goals possible.

    -We must set the course with the best directions for the Korean American community to go.

    This page last updated 11/5/2005 jdb

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