The ICAS Lectures


Remarks on Tim Hugo's Liberty Award

Linda Han

ICAS Summer Liberty Dinner

August 12, 2017 Saturday 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Hee Been Korean Restaurant
6231 Little River Turnpike
Alexandria, Virginia 22312

Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.

Biographic sketch & Links: Linda Han

Remarks on Tim Hugo's Liberty Award

Linda Han

Good afternoon!

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. Kim Sangju of ICAS who's responsible for putting this event together. I would like to also recognize Mr. Tim Hugo, Dr. Chol YungHong, Harold Byun and the entire greater Washington D.C. area Korean Community.

During my tenure as the Chairperson KAAW (Korean American Association of Greater Washington) in 2013 to 2014, I wanted take on a project that was challenging yet something that needed to be done. Peter Kim and I discussed (over the phone) the possibility of pursuing what was started by NOVA Korean Community in 2006 - which was to engage Virgina Department of Education to correctly name East Sea (commonly known as the Sea of Japan). We started with a Five-dollar campaign to fund the project.

Peter warned me of the first attempt which was voted unfavorable seven to six yet Peter was receptive and eager to knock on Department of Education's door again.

The KAAW was the umbrella organization for the project. I sought, then State Representative, Honorable Tim Hugo and connected Peter Kim to garner Mr. Hugo's support.

In total, there were 48 different groups and communities registered for the petition. We also learned there were eight (8) separate adjudication or hearing process involved. Representative Mark Keam and the State Senator David Masten provided assistance during the process.

To provide some perspective (and context) to motivation and energy we placed on the project:

(1) We were able to rally our support group to attend eight separate hearings that required two hours of bus rides. Not to mentioned the cost for transportation and lunch.

(2) This was from January 7 to early March -

(3) We also solicited support from Korean communities in the southern part of the state.

(4) Truly, the project wasn't possible without the will and endurance of the entire community and the State Representative who wanted to be on the right side of a history - albeit it wasn't on the most populate side nor really significantly impact the status-quo.

(5) I must admit that KAAW worked through this laborious project yet paid a great attention to the details. For example, after the law was passed by 82 to 16 votes, to rename to reflect East Sea, our staff wrote a letter to every single members to thank them individually.

(6) KAAW was the driving force behind the scene; from strategy development, engagement and funding and coordinating the logistics. What started as a dinner event to thank the State Representative in 2013 and 2014, Korean community continued this event even today in 2017.

(7) I'll be remised if I do not single out and recognize Mr. Tim Hugo for championing this project from the beginning to the end. Thank you!

Again, Dr. Kim and ICAS for inviting me and thank you all for coming. God bless!

This page last updated August 22, 2017 jdb