from the New York-based Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association
provided a colorful ending to "Reunification: Empowering the
Korean Diaspora," the third biennial Oberlin Korean Students
Association (OKSA) conference, held on campus in late February.
the works performed in the Conservatory's Warner Concert Hall was
Buchae Ch'um (Fan Dance), a beautiful Korean folk dance.
theme of the conference -- which was organized entirely
by students and attended by nearly 400 students, faculty members,
and parents, as well as by students from several other colleges
-- was inspired by last summer's summit between North and South
multiciplicity of our culture has inevitably caused tension and
fractures, and by addressing a number of social issues facing the
Korean and Korean American community, we sought to prompt reunification
of the different facets of our multicultural society," said
Julie Kim, one of OKSA's co-chairs.
workshops focused on a variety of topics: intergenerational tensions
among immigrants and their children; adoption, assimilation, and
retention of cultural heritage; the challenges and prospects facing
Korean immigrant workers; Korean studies as part of the academic
movement toward area studies; the political reunification of Korea;
coalition building and race relations in the Korean community; and
issues of sexual orientation in Korean and Asian Pacific American
and presenters included author and filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem;
Lili M. Kim, Five College Fellow at Hampshire College; Sheila Jager,
Luce assistant professor of East Asian studies at Oberlin; Jin Sook
Lee, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance;
Do Kim, founder of the Multiethnic Youth Leadership Collaborative
in Los Angeles; Korean American attorney John Kim; and unification
activist Paul Liem.
keynote speaker was pioneer Asian American journalist Kyung Won
Lee, founder of the first Korean American newspaper in the United