National Conference of Korean-American Students Coming to Yale

Yale and Wesleyan universities will co-host the 12th annual Korean-American Students Conference KASCON XII , Thursday, March 26, through Sunday, March 29. The theme is “Rekindling the Spirit to Forge Our Tomorrow.” The conference will be held on the Yale campus and at the Omni Hotel in New Haven. Registration information is available at the KASCON webpage, www.kascon.com.

Since its inception in 1987, KASCON has sought to unify and empower the Korean-American community. More than 10,000 students from 200 colleges and universities around the country have participated in the organization’s conferences over the years. This year’s meeting is expected to draw about 1,000 students.

“KASCON XII will grapple with important issues. Students will interact with one another in small, intensive discussion sessions,” says Eugene Auh, a junior at Yale and co-director of KASCON XII. Discussion topics will range from “Economic Problems in Korea,” to “Interracial Dating,” to “Building a More Responsible Korean Students Association.”

“Students should be able to take something back from this conference and apply it to their local schools and communities,” says Mark Im, a senior at Wesleyan and co-director of KASCON XII. “Through KASCON XII, students can become more active concerning Korean-American issues and, in turn, feel the sense of fraternity, accomplishment and even ownership that comes with strengthening one’s own community.”

The conference will inaugurate a new event, the Korean-American Exhibition KAE . The exhibition, featuring displays by Korean student and non-student organizations, will provide an opportunity for visitors to learn how to become more active in the Korean-American community. “There are many different facets of Korean America today,” says Im. “We hope to represent as many as we can, while opening up the eyes of students and stimulating their ideas.” Aiming to develop lines of communication between schools and Korean-American communities, which are often characterized as isolated entities, the exhibition will serve as a focal point for KASCON XII. It will be held on Saturday, March 28, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in University Commons, corner of College and Grove streets.

Keynote addresses will be presented by K.W. Lee, considered the “dean of Asian-American journalism”; Steve Park, an accomplished Korean-American actor; and Pyong Gap Min, professor of sociology at Queens College in New York.

Lee, KASCON XII’s opening speaker, is president of the Korean-American Journalists Association, which is affiliated with the Sacramento Union newspaper in California. He has promoted the Asian-American political voice on the West Coast since the late 1950s and is a legend in his own right, dedicating his prolific work to encourage scholarship in Asian-American and Korean-American studies. His talk will take place in the Main Ballroom of the Omni Hotel at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 27.

Steve Park, who has appeared on television’s “In Living Color” and “Friends” as well as in commercial movies such as “Fargo” and “Falling Down,” will speak on “Non-Traditional Korean Professions” on Friday, March 27, in Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, corner of Prospect and Grove streets. Time to be announced. Park will also participate in the plenary session on Saturday, March 28, 10-11:30 a.m. in University Commons.

Min will give his talk in Battel Chapel during closing ceremonies beginning at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 28. His books include “Changes and Conflicts: Korean Immigrant Families in New York City” 1997 , “Caught in the Middle: Korean Merchants in America’s Multi-Ethnic Cities” 1996 , and “Give Me Back My Youth: The Korean Victims of Sexual Slavery and the Redress Movement in Korea” forthcoming .

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325