Young Oak Kim Center to Offer Lectures, Historical Display During May

Exhibit at Tomás Rivera Library to show history of Riverside's Pachappa Camp

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The life of Colonel Young Oak Kim and the Korean American experience will be celebrated at events through the month of May at UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at the University of California, Riverside will celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month in May with a series of events that highlight the Korean American culture and experience.

Founded in June 2010, the YOK Center is dedicated to understanding what it means to be a Korean American in the 21st century, the history of Korean Americans, the Korean diaspora in the United States and globally, and the role of Korean Americans in the reunification of South and North Korea. It is named after Colonel Young Oak Kim, a highly decorated U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

All the events are free and open to the public. Free parking permits will be available in designated lots for selected events.

The center will kick off the month-long celebration with the annual Korean American Lecture series, held each spring quarter. This year’s four speakers include:

  • K.W. Lee
    “The Untold Story of the So-Called L.A. Riots of 1992 Half Lies, White Likes and Beautiful Lies”
    Thursday, May 8, 2014, 2 – 3:30 p.m. – INTS 1128

Born in 1928, K.W. Lee immigrated to the United States in 1950 and studied journalism at West Virginia University and earned a master’s degree at the University of Illnois. He would go on to become the first Asian immigrant to work as a journalist for mainstream publications in the U.S. IN 1979 he founded the first national English-language Korean American newspaper, the Koreatown Weekly  and later launched and edited The Korea Times English Edition. He is the founding president of the Korean American Journalists Association and has won awards from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Associated Press News Executive Council

  • Pyong Gap Min
    “Personal Narratives on Ethnic Identity among Younger-Generation Korean Americans: The Differences between Two Cohorts”
    Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 2 – 3:30 p.m. – INTS 1113

Pyong Gap Min is distinguished professor of sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and serves as director of  The Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College. He has written five books on the Korean American experience and editor or co-editor of seven books.

  • Jung-Sun Park
    “The Emergence and Success of the Korean Wave: with a brief note on ‘Gangnam Style'”
    Thursday, May 15, 2014, 2 – 3:30 p.m. – INTS 1128

Jung-Sun Park is professor of Asian Pacific studies at California State University Dominguez Hills. Her current research focuses on transnational flows of Korean/Asian popular culture and South Korean citizenship.  She is author of Chicago Korean Americans: Identity and Politics in a Transnational Community and co-editor of The Borders in All of Us: New Approaches to Three Global Diasporic Communities. In 2003 she was a visiting scholar at the Asia Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

  • Johng Ho Song
    Topic TBA
    Tuesday, May 27, 2014 2 – 3:30 p.m. – INTS 1128

Johng Ho Song is executive director at the Koreatown Youth & Community Center (KYCC). The center is a non-profit, community based organization which hosts programs and services directed towards recently immigrated, economically-disadvantaged youth and their families.

The Tomás Rivera Library will play host to an exhibit of Korean American history between Wednesday, May 14 and June 20, 2014. The exhibit, curated by history graduate student Hannah Brown will explore the history of Riverside’s Pachappa Camp, the first Korean American settlement on the U.S. mainland. Founded by Korean patriot Dosan Ahn Chang Ho in the early 1900s, the settlement was located near the corner of Cottage and Commerce Streets in downtown Riverside, just west of what is now the 91 Freeway.

The exhibit, which will be located on the first floor near the lobby, will also include information on the life of Colonel Kim. It will be open during normal library hours.

A grand opening reception will be held on Wednesday, May 21 at 3 p.m. and will feature several guests, including prominent Korean American leaders.

On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 100 students, parents and teachers from the Los Angeles-based Young Oak Kim Academy Middle School will tour the UC Riverside campus, enjoy lunch at the A&I Residential Restaurants, and learn about the opportunities available to those who choose to attend college. Among the students are the winners of the school’s annual Quiz Bowl, held April 30, where students are tested on their knowledge of the life of Col. Kim.

The curriculum at Young Oak Kim Academy emphasizes and stimulates student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math careers.

For more information on any of these events or the YOK Center, please contact or call (951) 743-7517.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

Carol Park, research assistant, YOK Center
Tel: (951) 743-7517

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