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OPENING LETTER ....................................................................................... 5 VISION STATEMENT ................................................................................... 6 STAFF BIOGRAPHIES .................................................................................. 7 WELCOME TO BROWN/RISD CAMPUS DESCRIPTION ............................................................................. 12 PROVIDENCE .......................................................................................... 13 BUILDING DESCRIPTIONS ............................................. ............................ 19 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS ...................................................................................... 15 WORKSHOP SESSION ONE ........................................................................................ . 23

SESSION TWO ........................................................................................ 25 SESSION THREE ....................................................................................... 27 SESSION FOUR ........................................................................................ 29 DINING @ BROWN ....................................................................................... .. 31 TRANSPORTATION ........................................... .............................................. .. 35 BUDGET OVERVIEW ....................................................................................... .. 37 LETTER OF SUPPORT ..................................................................... .................... 40 KOREANS @ BROWN .................................................................................... .. 43

KOREANS @ RISD ............................................................................................ 47 T-SHIRT PROPOSAL ......................................................................... ................. 48 PERSONAL STATEMENTS ................................................................................. .. 49


KASCON was initially a string of facts and fragmented, secondhand stories from friends who had attended KASCON 23 at UPenn. Over 1,000 student participants. Established at Princeton University in 1987. Michelle Rhee. James Sun. Kollaboration. We did not truly understood the potential of a conference to change perspectives and act as a facet for larger social change -- not until much later. We were simply drawn to the idea of a student-organized national Korean American conference that brought together student from all over the nation. We heard that Brown University had never hosted the conference and decided to take part as bid committee members. The past two years have had its ups and downs: days spent scrambling for a graphic designer, learning that we did not win the bid last year, losing graduating members, starting a new committee this year, and many hours in classrooms working feverishly towards an abstract deadline. We particularly struggled trying to find the overlap between our personal goals and motivations for KASCON, which spanned from defining the Korean American identity and networking to need for grassroots political movement in our community. We ended up conducting one online poll after another to vote on our theme. 7

However, in the end, when the bid packet was compiled and designs were set, we stopped and took a step back -- and realized that the packet itself was a mere secondary product of the larger process we had gone through. What had started as background research of Maria Yoon for the conference had led to discussions about marriage and our own pressures to marry a Korean man or woman. The conference planning gave us a safe space to talk about our own unspoken stories, challenge each others views, and overall, better understand the multidimensional nature of the social issues that we wished to discuss through the conference. Now, there are faces and personal stories attached to the cold, hard statistics, and an individualized sense of drive when we talk about hosting KASCON 26. We hope KASCON 26 will facilitate the same type of conversations that led to our own realizations about Korean-American issues and self-identity. The discussions will hopefully examine topics that may be taboo, discover inspirational ideas amid conflict, and expose problems that were once hidden behind a veil of contentment and status quo. We wish to make participants comfortable with being uncomfortable. We must move past the safe and repetitive reexamination of our history. The next step requires that we break down our white picket fences, push ourselves until we reach a breaking point, breakthrough our chains, and break out from this cycle of contentment and self-oppression. Our Korean American community requires action. With this drive for change, we present to you, Brown Universitys KASCON 26: BREAK!

Margaret Kim, Juhee Kwon Brown University KASCON XXVI Bidding Committee Co-Directors






MARGARET KIM 13 Brown University 908-461-2250 CONCENTRATION: Computer Science CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Korean American Student Association, Hansori, Ballroom Dance Club

JUHEE KWON 14 Brown University 763-300-7508 CONCENTRATION: Biology, Ethnic Studies CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Mock Trial, Brown Asian Sisters Empowered (BASE), Minority Peer Counselor Friend, Rhode Island Korean School Assistant Teacher, Asian Students United

AUDREY CHANG 13 Brown University 516-426-5899 CONCENTRATION: Biology CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Matched Advising Program for Sophomores, Community Health Advocacy Program, Reformed University Fellowship, Korean Adoptee Mentorship Program (KAMP)



SUNG HYUN CHO 13 Brown University 415-745-5432 CONCENTRATION: Political Science CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Korean Adoptee Mentorship Program (KAMP), Hansori, Fusion Dance Company

ANDREW CHUNG 13.5 Brown University 401-489-1700 CONCENTRATION: Biomedical Engineering CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Brown Korean International Student Association, Brown Global Medical Brigades

FLORA HWANG 14 Rhode Island School of Design 401-533-2579 CONCENTRATION: Interior Architecture CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: RISD Korean Students Association


DENNY KIM 14 Brown University 917-843-5009 CONCENTRATION: Biology CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Korean American Student Association, Korean Adoptee Mentorship Program (KAMP)

KRYSTII H. KIM 13 Brown University 909-241-2402 CONCENTRATION: Literary Arts CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Korean American Student Association, Korean International Student Association, imPulse Dance Company, Brown Cheerleading Squad, Korean Adoptee Mentorship Program, Brown China Care

WILLIAM KIM 13 Brown University 551-579-2610 CONCENTRATION: Chemistry, Economics CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Korean Adoptee Mentorship Program (KAMP), Korean American Student Association


HANNAH LEE 14 Brown University 201-694-4319 CONCENTRATION: Biology/History CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Korean American Student Association, Meiklejohn Peer Advisor, American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, Community Health Advocacy Program, Dash for Diabetes, MedLife, Asian Christian Fellowship, Korean Adoptee Mentoring Program (KAMP), Brown CareerLab Student Ambassador


SEON YEONG PARK 13 Brown University 3474010363 CONCENTRATION: Neurobiology CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Korean Adoptee Mentorship Program (KAMP), Hansori

MIN JUNG YOO 14 Brown University 9177330308 CONCENTRATION: Applied Mathematics - Economics CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Learning Exchange, Korean Adoptee Mentorship Program (KAMP), Korean International Student Association


Located in historic Providence, Rhode Island, BROWN UNIVERSITY is a private Ivy League institution founded in 1764 the seventh-oldest college in the United States. Its main campus is located on College Hill and constitutes 143 acres and 235 buildings that reflect the Georgian style of American colonial architecture. The Brown campus is open to its surroundings and pedestrian-friendly walking from one end of campus to the other takes about 15 minutes. The Brown community consists of a very vibrant diversity with students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Named the #1 College in America for Happiest Students by Princeton Review in 2007 and 20102011, Brown is recognized its unique sense of style, global reach, numerous cultural events, and active student community. The iconic Van Wickle Gates that enclose the Main Green consists of academic and dormitory buildings. The campus outside of the gates also consists of University buildings, dormitories, libraries and Victorian-era houses acquired from the outer neighborhood. Thayer Street is easily accessible as it runs directly through campus and hosts many restaurants and shops popular with students and faculty. Additionally, College Hills special Wickenden Street is another commercial district offering restaurants and shops. At the base of College Hill is the exceptional fine arts and design college, RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN. Its main art museum, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, has the twentieth largest collection in the country. Brown and RISD share many academic and community resources and offer joint courses.





PROVIDENCE is the estimated second or third largest city in the New England region. Situated at the mouth of the Providence River, the city limits enclose a small geographic region characteristic of eastern seaboard cities, and includes many historic buildings. The Brown campus is within a walking 16

distance (10-20 min) to various downtown restaurants and shops, the Dunkin Donuts Convention Center, the Providence Place Mall (among the largest in southern New England), the Biltmore hotel, and the Bank of America Skating Center. College Hill is beautifully situated in a larger city that offers much to college students in Providence. While countless restaurants and variety stores are near College Hill, the downtown of Providence is definitely a place to explore. Simply a fifteen-minute walk to the core of the city from the top of College Hill, students can explore streets lit with lights from tree to tree and different stores at every corner. Cuisines offered in Providence range from French dining to authentic Thai food and Italian tastes. A creative capital of Rhode Island, Providence combines the accessibility and friendliness of a small town with the culture and sophistication of a big city. It encompasses a thriving art community, vibrant neighborhoods, various shops, and of course the scenic beauty of Providence River running through the city.




With over 150,000 square feet of space, the Rhode Island Convention Center can provide a big enough space to hold large performance concerts like Kollaboration. With a 100,000 sq ft Exhibit Hall, 23 meeting rooms, and 20,000 sq ft ballroom, it is one of New Englands premier meeting and exhibition facilities located in the heart of downtown Providence. The center holds various cultural events and festivals that are elemental to Providence identity, and is within walking distance to restaurants, hotels, and more.


Located in the center of downtown, Biltmore, Radisson, and Marriott is conveniently located near the Brown University, RISD, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence Place Mall, and other major parts of the city. Amenities of the various hotels include a luxurious spa, fitness centers and business centers that run for 24 hours. At these hotels, KASCON attendees will enjoy comfortable rest at night during their stay in Providence.



02:30 PM - 06:00 PM 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM 06:30 PM - 08:00 PM 08:00 PM - 09:00 PM 09:00 PM - 11:00 PM Check-In & Registration Providence Tour Opening Ceremony Classy Mixer Basketball Tournament Museum After Dark Movie Screening Scavenger Hunt Multipurpose Room (KASPAR) Starts at the Hotel Salomon 101 & 001 Sayles OMAC RISD Museum Granoff Center Multipurpose Room (KASPAR)

11:00 PM - 01:00 AM

To showcase the city of Providence The Creative Capital where Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are located, there will be tours allowing KASCON attendees to explore the city and absorb the citys role in history. Stops will 18

include the artsy RISD Museum, the historical Benefit Street, and the lively downtown area of Providence. The tour will finish at one of Providences downtown restaurants, where attendees will be able to relax and enjoy the Providence dining experience.

Brown University and RISD will officially welcome students to KASCON 26 with an opening speech from the Executive Director presenting this years theme, BREAK!, and outlining the itinerary of activities and events for the duration of the conference. The opening remarks will be followed by the keynote speaker, who will offer an insightful and current perspective on the issues and movements relevant to contemporary Korean-Americans. Moving forward from the current issues of Korean America, the speaker will discuss the need for more proactive participation by young Korean-Americans in their communities and beyond. In conclusion of the opening ceremony, a multimedia presentation will be shown, featuring board members of KASCON 26 and a quick glimpse of various conference seminar sessions, speakers, and events.

Attendees will be given a chance to meet new people and get to know students from other university through a tastefully executed speed-dating event. Through oneon-one chats, they can learn about the Korean American community in other universities and also make new friends.



Athletic students who like a little competition can show off their skills and represent their schools through the Basketball Tournament. Held at the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center, there will be necessary referees and equipment to enable the 5-on-5 basketball tournament. As an incentive, the winning team will win a prize and the title as the KASCON 26 Basketball tournament champions.



For students who want to explore their artsy side. The RISD Museum of Art will hold various workshops and performances to encourage and inspire art. With all art materials provided, attendees can fingerpaint, sketch, and learn art techniques like blowing glass. There will also be music performances and live performance art to enjoy.

As a way of promoting the works of Korean Americans in the film industry, we will be showing a movie featuring Korean American actors/directors for the avid movie-goers and film fanatics. Popcorn and beverages will be provided to make this movie experience even more pleasurable.

To those who want to explore Providence but dont know where to start, we will provide a checklist of places to visit and each locations highlights! Given the checklist, attendees can check-off each place they visit, and when they finish, one of the finished groups will win a surprise prize.



08:00 AM - 09:00 AM 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM Breakfast Seminar Session One 20 Hotel Various buildings*

10:10 AM - 11:10 AM 11:10 AM - 01:00 PM 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM 01:10 PM - 02:10 PM 02:20 PM - 03:20 PM 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM 04:40 PM - 06:00 PM 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM 07:00 PM - 10:30 PM

Seminar Session Two Lunch Career Fair Seminar Session Three RISD Art Workshops Seminar Session Four Closing Ceremony Dinner Kollaboration

Various buildings* Alumnae Hall, Andrews Hall Sayles Hall Various buildings* List Art Building Various buildings* Salomon 101 & 001 Restaurants Providence Convention Center

08:00 AM - 12:00 PM Farewells & Check-out Hotel *Various buildings: List Art Building, W. Duncan MacMillan Hall, Salomon Hall, Wilson Hall, J. Walter Wilson Building

At the KASCON 26 Career Fair, various companies and employers will set up booths in order to offer KASCON participants opportunities to converse and ask questions. A considerable amount of diverse companies and employers will be represented from industries such as Consulting, Education, Energy, Finance, Government, Health, Law, NonProfit, and Technology. Business casual attire and resumes are recommended.

The attendees will be able to get to the core of the conference, the examination of the theme, BREAK!. During each session, students will be able to select from multiple seminars focusing on variety of topics related to Korean American involvement in our society. Guest speakers who are expertise in their respective fields will lead the seminar by discussing their own knowledge, experience, and inspiration with the attending students at each seminar. To stimulate the students minds, the guest speakers will be encouraged to promote student participation throughout discussion. Each seminar session will be an hour long and there will be 15 minutes available for travel time between each site.





As a break from the continual seminar sessions, attendees can choose to attend art workshops and partake in learning about calligraphy, traditional Korean watercolor painting, origami, and more. RISD students in the respective majors will lead these workshops. Through this hands-on experience, students will not only be exposed to RISD environment, but also discover and learn about the beauty of Korean art.

We leave the best for the last, Saturday night ends with Kollaboration and an after-party. Kollaboration will present fantastic live performances by musicians, dancers, and more! The fun continues at the after-party at one of our hotspot clubs, Colosseum, where the music will be bumping and the crowd will be jumping

At the closing ceremony, attendees will reflect on their experience at KASCON 26 at Brown University and RISD.




The newly renovated Robert Campus Center is the social nexus of student life. Faunce house was named Rockefeller Hall in 1904, Faunce House in 1930, and finally Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center after a drastic renewal and expansion in 2010. The lower floor consists of the Underground which houses concerts, pool tables, a piano room, convenience store, and a Kaspar Multipurpose Room. The Blue Room is located at the ground level and serves as the main food court. The upper level has various meeting and event spaces, such as the Leung Gallery and the Petteruti Lounge.

Wilson Hall was built through the bequest of George Francis Wilson for the use of the Physics Department. In 1965, the physics department moved to Barus and Holley, freeing up the space for classrooms and lecture halls. Regularly used for a cappella rehearsals, weekly meetings for extracurricular activities, and small discussion sections, Wilson Hall has a recently renovated lecture hall seats 112 people and has been updated with advanced teaching technology.

The Salomon Center for Teaching, which has for its full name the Richard and Edna Salomon Center for Teaching, was dedicated on May 6, 1989. The two auditoriums of Salomon Center are used widely for large classes, special lecture series, and guest speaker events. The De Ciccio Family Auditorium seats 594 people and was used in 2011 to accommodate speaker events featuring prominent people such as actor James Franco and American anthropologist and physician Dr. Paul Farmer. The lower lecture auditorium seats 224 people and is most often used for mini-lecture series as well as class lectures. 23

SAYLES HALL Sayles Hall was dedicated on June 4, 1881, a memorial to William Clark Sayles 1878 donated by his father, William F. Sayles. Built in a Romanesque style, the hall consists of a front section two stories high with a central tower one story higher. A variety of classes, including classes in the language programs, is held in Sayles Halls small classroom settings. The large meeting hall on the ground floor contains portraits of all the past presidents of Brown University and used frequently for events such as the Research Fair and Career Fair. Sayles Hall is best known for the organ, which was a gift in 1903 from Lucian Sharpe in memory of his parents. Every year at midnight on Halloween, students cram into the Sayles Hall for the famous organ recital.


J. WALTER WILSON J. Walter Wilson was originally dedicated on October 5, 1962 for the Biology Department. Since the fall of 2008, the former biology building has changed into an administrative center comprised of offices, a campus mail room, and 11 seminar rooms equipped with smart boards with large flat display panel displays for both classroom use and study space. As Browns main student resources and service building, it represents the key objectives of Browns liberal academic philosophy as it is home to the Advising Central, Office of International Programs, and Writer Center.

W. DUNCAN MACMILLAN HALL W. Duncan MacMillan Hall, completed in 1998 and named for its largest donor, Duncan MacMillan 53, was built to create a shared teaching and research space for Environmental Studies, Geology, and Chemistry. The building contains the CV Starr Auditorium that regularly holds large science course lectures with a 300-seat capacity. The hall is also equip with smaller lecture halls and small student study areas





After a long-awaited grand finish, this 38,815 square foot, three-story art center was officially opened to students and faculty of Brown University on February 10, 2011. The revolutionary Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts is an interdisciplinary art center that sits at the heart of the College Hill campus. It has many hopes for fostering bold new directions in research and creative production among the many scholars and artists at Brown. As President Ruth Simmons says, The Granoff Center reaffirms the Universitys belief that the arts are integral to a liberal education. The center features the 218-person Martinos Auditorium (a common performance venue and lecture hall), four production studios, the Cohen Gallery for display of various exhibitions, a recording studio, and even an outdoor amphitheater.


List Art Building was completed in 1971, six years after the building project was launched by a donation 25

by Mr. and Mrs. Albert List, private collectors and art patrons. It is the five story concrete building with distinctive rooftop skylights and cantilevered sunscreens, highly visible in all directions. The first floor has a large lecture room for 225 people.



Located through the Chace Center entrance, the prominent Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Art Museum owns over 84,000 art works from all around the world. It is southeastern New Englands only comprehensive art museum and is accredited by the American Association of Museums. The museum is a great resource for artists, students, and residents of the greater Providence area. It welcomes faculty and students to teach and conduct research directly from its collection all year-round. While displaying works ranging from ancient decorative art to contemporary installations, the museum lends its space to various exhibitions. RISDs Act of Incorporation listed three objectivesinstruction, career training, and the general advancement of public art education by the collection of and exhibition of works of art.



The Olney-Margolies Athletic Center was dedicated on October 31, 1981. It is named after two principal donors, both members of the Class of 1936, Joseph Olney and Moe Price Margolies. It serves as the main athletic facility for Brown student and faculty. The center offers a 6-lane running track, 3 basketball courts, volleyball and badminton courts, free weight room, an aerobics/dance studio, and cardio equipment area. The OMAC also stands right next to a newly built swim house finished in February of 2011.

Session one features lecture-style workshops where speakers introduce their research and work. The workshops ease participants into the conference by giving background information about the work of Korean Americans in current society.


The Nightmare Behind Disney Movies: Race, Gender, and Class

Dr. Chyng Sun, Clinical Associate Professor of Media Studies at NYU Many of our own childhoods were filled with Disney films that seemed to tell us stories of innocence, magic, and fun. However, the underlying messages about race, gender and class draws a disturbing picture about the kinds of values that are propagated under the guise of fairytales and quests of knights on white horses. In this workshop, Dr. Chyng Sun will analyze Disneys cultural pedagogy, examine how it was influenced by the Disney Corporation and helps us reexamine the childhood stories that we have been told and have innocently believed.

Asian American Representation in the Media With Yul Kwon

Yul Kwon, lawyer, actor in Survivor Ninjas, Nerds, and exotic trophy wives constitute the majority of Asian American roles in the American media. Yul Kwon will speak about his motivations for participating in the reality TV show Survivor and also barriers he faced as an Asian American male. The workshop will not only discuss past misrepresentation of Asian Americans in the media but also how we can break these stereotypes and what an ideal equal representation media would look like.

Clumping of East Asian Food Culture

Jennifer 8. Lee, journalist, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles Food is an integral part of any culture. In America, what is commonly known as Asian food is mostly eaten by Americans who are unfamiliar with Asian culture. Asian food does not distinguish between different nationalities or even smaller sub-regions. What kind of implications does this have on how our culture is perceived by American society? Jennifer 8. Lee has extensive knowledge of the Asian food culture in America and will discuss the effects of these false assumptions. 27


Dr. Chyng Sun is a teacher, scholar, and filmmaker. She currently teaches as a Clinical Associate Professor of Media Studies at New York University (NYU) and is a prominent scholar in research regarding the representation of gender, sexuality, and race in the media. Mickey Mouse Monopoly and Beyond Good and Evil were two of her documentary projects that focused on her research in the media culture, and her most recent work involves the increasingly mainstream issue of pornography, especially its trend and presence among college students.

Yul Kwon was born in Flushing, New York to South Korean immigrant parents and graduated with a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. He attended Yale Law School and has worked with a variety of positions in law, politics, business, and technology. Yul Kwon is best known for his role in the CBS reality show, Survivor: Cook Islands. After the show, Kwon appeared in numerous television shows, including Live with Regis & Kelly, recognized for his inspiring character and for breaking stereotypes of Asian-American men in entertainment media.


Jennifer 8. Lee is a journalist and author of the book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, about Chinese food in American culture, which hit #25 on the New York Times best seller list. She has been featured on a TED talk speaking about the origins of General Tsos chicken and produced the documentary The Search for General Tso. She is involved in the Knight News Challenge, an initiative to support news innovation. Ms. Lee was vice president of The Harvard Crimson during her time in college and also spent nine years reporting for The New York Times covering technology, politics, crime, poverty and culture, and wrote for City Room, the Times New York City metro blog.

This session brings the participants into a smaller space and within closer proximity with the speakers. The sessions are small group workshops that are discussion-focused and based on sharing individual narratives.


How Pornography Influences our Sexual Identities and Relationships

Dr. Chyng Sun, Clinical Associate Professor of Media Studies at NYU In her workshop, Dr. Chyng Sun will address how certain aspects of life and social institutions such as pleasure and pain, commerce and power, liberty and responsibility are intimately weaved into our sexual identities and relationships. Students will be able to honestly engage and reflect in an open environment on the intricacies behind this controversial medium. Dr. Sun will specifically focus on exploring the production, content, and consumption of pornography to help Korean-American students engage in thought-provoking discussions about their own sexuality and identity.

Korean War in Color

Daniel Kim, Associate Professor in English at Brown University Professor Kims research focuses generally on 20th century American Literature involving AsianAmerican/African-American traditions, ethnic studies, gender studies, and the Cold War. He will enlighten students on the contents of his upcoming novel The Korean War in Color and examine Americas cultural representations of the Korean War, especially in the depiction of Asians, Asian Americans, and African Americans. He will discuss the creation of the dominant cultural narratives of 29

race and empire that survive in history or the conception of cultural memory and how secondgeneration cultural memory of Asian Americans have changed concepts on ethnic identity.

Breaking the Binary: Transgender Identities

Pauline Park, New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) Activist Park regularly leads keynote conferences and presents lecture series for a wide array of organizations all around the United States. Her workshop on Breaking the Binary: Transgender Identity will be an introduction to transgender identities, an interactive discussion on the different terminologies of LGBTQ groups, as well as the distinctions between transgender identity and other queer identities. With her own stories as a transgender individual, she will foster a safe and comfortable environment to help students open up and explore their own gender and sexuality.


Actress Lynn Chen who made her feature film debut in Sony Pictures Classic's "Saving Face," started a food blog after years of battling eating disorders. One day she stumbled across Lisa Lees story about her past struggles with food and body image and especially about how being Asian specifically played into her obsession over being skinny, Chen knew the two of them had to meet. After connecting over their experiences, they decided to launch their site Thick Dumpling Skin to provide a space for Asian Americans to share and discuss their unhealthy quests, past and present, for the perfect body.


Professor Daniel Y. Kim is the Professor of Ethnic Studies at Brown University. He specializes in 20th-century U.S. literature with a particular focus on the Asian American traditions, ethnic studies, gender studies and the Cold War. He is currently working on a book titled The Korean War in Color where he examines how the Korean War was depicted in U.S. popular culture as it was taking place with a particular focus on how it catalyzed a wholesale transformation of both domestic and transnational narratives of race.

Pauline Park co-founded the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), a state-wide transgender advocacy organization in 1998 and the Queens Pride House in 1997. She is currently the chair of both organizations and has spearheaded numerous projects in New York involving equal rights and protections for transgendered or gender nonconforming people in health care, education, and work force. Park completed her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her M.Sc. at the London School of Economics and finally her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She helped to oversee the first fully transgender-inclusive legislation enacted by the New York state legislature in 2010 and has had her literary works on LGBT issues published in countless publications.

The third session will feature larger lecture-style workshops discussing the proposed solutions for problems within our communities. Rather than identifying issues relevant to our community, the workshops take a broader look at our community and propose social activism models as a method of moving forward.


Did I Just Laugh At a Racist Joke?

Helen Hong, Standup comedian Helen Hong often uses her sense of humor to address other racial stereotypes to bring the crowd 31

together with laughter. She will speak about how to diffuse the Asian stereotype and how to assert the Korean American identity through humor. At the same time, she will discuss the fine line between funny stereotypes and racism in the comedy world.

I Chink, Therefore I Am
Kate Riggs, Performer, Spoken Word Artist Kate Riggs has worked extensively with college students of color, and thus developed various methods on workshops and group discussions. This is not for the weak-hearted, as her hands-on workshops are intended for students to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. She will use her valuable experience from travelling as a performer and the encounters with the Asian American communities to provide a forum to discuss the nature of race in America from the Asian American perspective.

Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery

Katherine Chon, President, Co-Founder of Polaris Project Katherine Chon found the company with Derek Ellerman in 2002 during their senior year at Brown University after being shocked by the forced prostitution of six South Korean women in Providence. Human trafficking is the third largest criminal industry in the world and Chon is very passionate about spreading awareness. She will talk about the mission of Polaris Project and the roles we can personally take in stopping human trafficking.

Korean Americans in Social Justice

Franny Choi, Spoken Word Poet, Community Organizer Franny Choi is a fervent spoke word artist that has earned numerous recognitions and awards nationally. She currently works in the area of community organizing. Choi will discuss her personal experiences as a college student trying to mobilize the campus community. She will also examine whether the difficulty to organize social movements in the Korean American community stems from our culture, our generation, or our contentment with the status quo. She hopes to talk about larger Asian American organizing and where we as Korean Americans fit into the fight for social justice.




Helen Hong is a comedian, TV host, dating coach, and star of Logo Channels reality dating series Setup Squad. Helens adorable stage presence and mischievous point of view have landed her on The Huffington Posts Favorite Female Comedians list and a profile in The New York Times. As a standup comedian, Helens cute little Asian girl demeanor leaves audiences totally unprepared for her naughty and irreverent material. She was a semi-finalist in the 2011, 2008, and 2007 NYs Funniest Stand-Up Competition, was selected for the Emerging Comics Showcase at the 2007 NYC Underground Comedy Festival, and was a semi-finalist in the 2006 Californias Funniest Female Contest.

Kate Rigg is a comedian and Spoken Word artist. Shortly after graduating from Juilliard with a degree in acting, Kate Rigg became a stand-up comedian and musician in New York. Her work often features sociopolitical commentary about cultural stereotyping and discusses issues related to race, women, and tolerance. Her shows, including Kates ChinkO-Rama: featuring the chinkorama dancers and Birth of a nASIAN have toured at many comedy festivals. She has spoken/written publicly about Asian American culture and representation, and her words have been featured in publications such as Time Magazine, NPR, The Globe and Mail.

Katherine Chon founded the Polaris Project during her senior year at Brown in 2002 after hearing about women being forced into prostitution near her hometown in South Korea. The Polaris Project is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that provides transitional housing and case management to human trafficking victims. Ms. Chon helped establish one of the first community-wide Human Trafficking Task Forces in the U.S. and played a part in passing federal legislation that would create services for human trafficking victims. She is a recipient of the Do Something BRICK award, the Peoples Voice award, and the Legacy award, among others, in honor of her leadership and social entrepreneurship. Polaris Project has grown rapidly since its beginning and has become one of the largest and recognized anti-trafficking organization in the U.S.



The final workshop session will embody the theme of the conference Break! and urge students to take action in their communities. The discussion focused workshops provide multiple facets for participants to speak and act out against injustices through art, writing, speech, or activism.

Who Needs Marriage?: Breaking the Binding Obligation of Marriage

Maria Yoon, Artist For many Korean women, the duty of getting married weighs down upon them during their 20s. Even men are actively discouraged from staying single. Why is marriage so necessary in Korean culture? Maria Yoons workshop will involve the dismantling of an institution that has been a part of American culture as well as of many other cultures for hundreds of years. By discussing her work and projects in depth, Yoon will speak about her personal difficulties with societal expectations and obligations as a first generation Korean-American unmarried woman.

How to Make Yourself Heard!

PJ Kim, NY City Council Candidate We should speak up boldly, fluently, and persuasively as assertive individuals and as a community. This workshop is for anyone who feels that they have great ideas and opinions but wish to find better means of communicating them to get the attention they deserve. PJ Kim, Harvard Business School graduate and NY City Council Candidate, will teach participants about effective public speaking to make our voices heard loud and clear in any public forum related to politics, business, or anywhere else.

Angry Asian Girl: Our Silenced Narratives

Lela Lee, Author of Angry Asian Girl comics Korean women are socialized to be feminine, to be quiet, to be polite, to be nice. And our anger is denied us. What can we do to break out of this repressive cycle of thinking and feel free to express justified anger like men do? This workshop for women and men will raise awareness for the issues that Asian American women and women in general face because of societys unrealistic and belittling expectations. She will discuss how this affects our lives in subtle ways.

Writing Ourselves Into Existence

Anida Yoeu Ali, Artist How does our perception of who we are conflict with images and stereotypes of who we are not? This workshop will explore the complicated truths of what it means to be Asian American. Through popular theater games, exercises, and writing prompts, participants will learn to write about their lives. We will address issues related to our names, home, neighborhood, family life, childhood memories and more. This workshop is meant to provoke, inspire, and extract stories from our personal experiences so that we may better understand our identity politics. 34



As a Korean-born artist, Maria Yoon holds a BFA from the Cooper Union and currently works in New York City as a Contractual Senior Educator/Consultant for the Education Department at museums across the city. In 2001, she began an ongoing-project involving a unique artistic series of works entitled Maria the Korean Bride. Maria the Korean Bride is a multimedia performance that includes photography-collages and videos that highlight social pressures as a Korean-American, and it has received widespread attention from Asian-American communities in the New York area. As a part of her project, she married fifty men in fifty states across America. Yoons work is exhibited throughout the US and Korea, and she is an annual guest lecturer/performance artist for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Former NYC Council Candidate, PJ Kim is a first generation immigrant who ended up receiving his BA in public policy at Princeton and his MBA/MPA at Harvard Business School. Instead of going into the corporate finance world, Kim decided to enlist his passion for public service and business experience to expand economic opportunity for all New Yorkers. He is currently helping to start and lead numerous nonprofit anti-poverty programs that have helped tens of thousands of low-income residents in NYC and across the country to access public and private assistance, move out of economic crisis, and begin to build assets.

Lela Lee created the comic, Angry Little Asian Girl during college in response to her frustration at sexism and racism in popular culture. After graduating, she became an actress but continued working on this comic strip about an Asian American girl named Kim who dealt with stereotyping. Her comics became wildly popular and have been turned into a series of short films, books, and web comic. She also began a companion comic strip called Angry Little Girls with new characters of all different races. 35

Dining facilities on the Brown Campus will be the most convenient and accessible option for visitors while they are attending events. Eleven dining halls and satellite cafs serve variety of meal and snacking options throughout the day, from 7:30 a.m. at the earliest to 2:00 a.m. at the latest.



LOCATION: 144 Thayer Street, Wriston Quad HOURS: Mon-Sat 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m. 7:30 p.m. The Sharpe Refectory is the largest buffet-style dining location at Brown. It has four different stations (Bistro, Grill, Roots and Shoots and Tastes of the World) and salad, cereal and omelet bars. Vegan option is also offered daily.

LOCATION: 194 Meeting Street, Pembroke Campus HOURS: Everyday 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Located in proximity to the Verney-Woolley, the Gate is a popular late-night snack options, including deli sandwiches, specialty pizzas along with soups. 36

LOCATION: 144 Thayer Street, Lower Level HOURS: Mon-Fri 11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m. 12:00 a.m. Located on the lower level of the Ratty, Ivy room serves hot entrees, grilled sandwiches, homemade soups and breads at lunch. It provides variety of vegetarian snacks at dinner, including omelet, falafel, frozen yogurt and smoothies.


LOCATION: 75 Waterman Street, Stephen Robert Campus Center HOURS: Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m. 9:00 p.m., Sat-Sun 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. The Blue Room serves great hot breakfast, lunch and dinner options. It offers a large selection of pastries, sandwiches, sushi, salads, bagels and coffee that attendees can conveniently grab and go. Located on the Main Green, it is the center of campus life frequented by students, professors and other University personalities.


LOCATION: 135 Cushing St., Pembroke Campus HOURS: Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Located on the northern part of the campus, Verney-Woolley provides All-you-care-to eat dining services similar to the Ratty. It accommodates wide range of food choices including its grill line, pasta bar, stir-fry line, salad and cereal bars, deli bar, and fruit, dessert and waffle stations.


LOCATION: 144 Power Street, Vartan Gregorian Quad HOURS: Mon-Sun 6:00pm - 2:00am Josiah's is known for its selection of American all-time favorites. Opening until 2:00 a.m. everyday, it is a reliable choice for dinners and late Night meals. Items include sandwiches and burgers from the grill, along with salad, soups, quesadillas, ice cream and some snacks. For more information, visit

Plentiful restaurants are located in the immediate vicinity of the Brown Campus. Thayer Street, running right through the campus, is a convenient and affordable destination with numerous shops and restaurants.


CHAIN RESTAURANTS Chipotle Johnny Rockets

Au Bon Pain Subway

Ben & Jerrys Starbucks Coffee


LOCAL RESTAURANTS Antonios Pizza Nice Slice Better Burger Co. Extreme Pizza & Wing Soban* Haruki Express

Kabob-N-Curry Shanghai Paragon Caf Shark Bar and Grill Spice Thai Bistro Sushi Express

Andreas Restaurant East Side Pockets Karta Bar Gorditos Burritos Bajas Tex & Mex

LOCAL CAF AND DESSERT SHOPS: Froyo World* Blue State Coffee Juniper* La Creperie Bagel Gourmet

Meeting Street Caf Tealuxe

* - Indicates that the restaurant/ establishment has promised to provide discounts

Wickenden Street is located about 10 minutes from campus. Filled with art galleries, independent shops and cafes, Wickenden Street will be a great weekend brunch option for the attendees. Abyssinia Amys Place Brickway on Wickenden Duck and Bunny Sakura Tokyo

Resting just below College Hill, downtown Providence is about 15 minute walks from the Brown campus. There are both affordable chain restaurants and fancy high-end places. Caf Nuovo Finnegans Wake Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Gracies Bar and Grille La Laiterie Local 121 McCormick & Schmick's Ten Prime Steak and Sushi Sura * Fire and Ice Teriyaki and Korean House * Alforno Capriccio Hemenways Seafood Cuban Revolution Pot Au Feu and many more!


Mama Kims Korean BBQ* De Las Olas Taqueria El Taconazo Hewtins Dog Mobile Like No Udder Poco Loco Tacos PVD Juice Company Sugarush Rocket Truck Plouf Plouf Mijos Tacos Providence Coffee Roasters


Sun & Moon* Ichiban* Cup n Roll* Asiana Food Market* H-Mart (in Boston)*


Conveniently located on the College Hill near Downtown Providence, Brown University is easily accessible as there are a variety of available transportations near Brown Campus. The major train (Amtrak and MBTA) and bus (Megabus, Peterpan Bus and Greyhound) stations are in 10-15 minutes walking distance from the Brown Campus, and T.F. Green airport is within a 15-minute driving distance.


T. F. Green Airport is about 10 miles south of Providence. Participants may take advantage of the Airport taxi service or Aero-Airport Limousine Service. Limousine service costs $11 for a one-way trip. It runs from 5am to 11pm, leaving the airport every hour and stops at Browns Faunce arch 27 minutes after the hour.

The Providence Amtrak station is located downtown, about a 15-minute walk from the Brown campus. Cabs can also be taken for a low fare, typically around 6 to 8 dollars. There are two train services offered: Amtrak and MBTA. Northeast Regional line of Amtrak runs from Virginia to Boston, passing through Washington D.C., Philadelphia, NYC, New Haven, and Providence. MBTA commuter rail runs from Boston South Station to Providence in an hour (one-way $8.25). Trains usually run from 5:00/6:00 a.m. in the morning to 12:00/1:00 a.m. at night.

FROM THE NORTH OR SOUTH: From either I-95 South or I-95 North, take Exit 22A, Downtown, Memorial Boulevard. At the fifth traffic light, turn left onto College St. Cross the bridge and proceed up the hill following College St to the end. At the top of the hill, you will see Browns Van Wickle Gates. Turn left onto Prospect St. At the next light, turn right onto Waterman St. FROM THE EAST: Follow I-195 West until exit 2, South Main St. Travel down South Main St to the first light. Turn right onto College St. At the next stop sign, go straight. At the top of the hill, you will see Browns Van Wickle Gates. Turn left onto Prospect St. At the next light, turn right onto Waterman St.

The Providence bus stop is located in the Kennedy Plaza, which is also located at downtown Providence. It is a 10-minute walk from the Brown Campus, and cabs can be taken to campus for a low fare. The two bus services, Peter Pan and Greyhound, provide transportation from the Northeast 41

regions to Providence at reasonable prices. Megabus is also a good option when traveling from New York City. Ticket price is usually under $20. Buses usually run during the day from 5:00/6:00 a.m. in the morning to 12:00/1:00 a.m. at night.



From anywhere in the Providence, attendees can call for taxi services whenever needed. There are many taxi companies around the campus. A list includes: Yellow Cab (401-941-1122), Checker Cab (401-944-2000), Dominican Taxi (401-421-3787), East Side Taxi (401- 521-4200), Economy Cab (401944-6700), Bay Taxi (401-461-0780), and Gonzales Taxi (401-331-9560).


RIPTA is the main public transportation system in Rhode Island, and is a convenient mode of traveling when exploring providence neighborhoods such as Federal Hills, Fox Points, and Wayland. The fare for buses and trolley is $2 per ride, and daily pass is available at $6.00. Children under 5 ride free when accompanied by an adult. 42

There are two locations of Zipcar, one of the largest car rental company, near Brown. During the stay, attendees may borrow cars at low hourly ($7-8) and daily($60-80) rate. Locations are shown on the map below.

Transportation Lodging Meals East Coast West Coast Friday Saturday Friday Dinner Saturday Breakfast Saturday Lunch Saturday Dinner Sunday Breakfast Costs Per Unit $100 $350 $100 $100 $25 $10 $10 $25 $10 Units 20 11 31 31 31 31 31 31 31 Total $2000 $3850 $3100 $3100 $775 $310 $310 $775 $310 Subtotal: $14,530


Brown Facilities Registration (Including Beverages) Opening Ceremony Classy Mixer (Including Food and Beverages) Career Fair Basketball Tournament (Equipment) Movie Screening Closing Ceremony Scavenger Hunt Workshops Museum After Dark RISD Art Workshop 43 Total $1303 $963 $350 $625 $100 $50 $845 $300 $8330 $2500 $100

RISD Facilities

External Venues

Providence Tour Kollaboration (Rhode Island Convention Center) Afterparty (Club Roxy Rental & Shuttles)

$1000 $4200 $2000 Subtotal: $22,666

Lodging Friday Saturday Dorms (Friday and Saturday) Saturday Lunch Shirt Program Folder/Name Tag/ Misc. Costs Per Unit $120 $120 $0 $7 $6 $4 $4 Units 125 125 100 500 500 500 500 Total $12500 $12500 $0 $3500 $3000 $2000 $2000 Subtotal: $35,500

Meals Registration Packet

Internet Facebook YouTube Myspace Website Posters/Banner Flyers Gas Other Costs (Food, Lodging) KoreAm Journal (Full-page Ad) Others Total $0 $0 $0 $100 $500 $200 $200 $600 $3000 $3000 Subtotal: $7,600 TOTAL COST: $80,296

Paper Media PR Campaign




1. All speaker, attendee, and publicity costs have been estimated with the exception of lodging where quotes have been obtained for the Radisson, Courtyard Providence, Marriott, and Biltmore, which roughly averages to a group rate of $100. 2. The events and logistics costs have been obtained with direct quotes from the school.


Registration Fees Early Registration: $100, 100 Attendees Regular Registration: $120, 250 Attendees Late Registration: $140, 150 Attendees Brown/RISD Attendees: $25, 100 Office of the President Office of Campus Life and Student Affairs Dean of College Alumni Association Watson Institute for International Studies Third World Center East Asian Studies Department Office of Continuing Education Undergraduate Finance Board Office of Student Life Restaurant Deals Program Advertisement HanYang University Miscellaneous Total $10000 $30000 $21000 $2500 $5000 $500 $500 $2000 $500 $1000 $250 $2000 $10000 $3000 $500 $1500 $2500 $22000 Subtotal: $86,750


Brown University

Local Sponsorship Corporate Sponsorship


1. Registration estimates will be appropriately adjusted once precedent attendance information is obtained from schools who have hosted in the past five years: Yale, Pepperdine, Penn, Emory, Rutgers 2. The departments marked with an asterisk (*) are not finalized values but estimates based on funding given to other conferences of similar length and scale. 3. Local sponsorship will primarily be derived from restaurants near Brown and RISD, which will have a vested interest in drawing customers during KASCON XXVI with the aid of our pamphlet advertisements. 4. Corporate sponsorship search has already begun with seeking contact points. Judging by the sponsorships from previous years, the majority of funds stem from Korean study abroad programs, Korean firms interested in recruiting Korean college students, and alumni of the host school. 46











Full Name Ross Geiger Brian Kundinger Hwajin Lee SangWon Sim Erica Kahn Catherine Bautista Jisun Kim Francisco Oliveira Janett Bass Jane Park Esther Kim HyunJin Yoon Hyun Jung Kim Charles Kim Victor Chang Wendy Suh Jennifer Lee Justina Lee Lan Mei Juhee Kwon Margaret Kim Stephanie Pak Michelle Ko Jesse Yoon Seon Yeong Park Nara Shin Haruko Hashimoto Richard Park Audrey Chang Christina Choi Jae Eun "Jane" Lee Flora Jin Krystii H. Kim Sarah Shin Jeremy Korn Leora Kava Denny Kim Ji Eun Kim Class Year 2013 2014 2014 2015 2014 2014 2014 2013 2013 2015 2013 2015 2013 2012 2014 2013 2012 2015 2014 2014 2013 2012 2014 2014 2013 2013 2014 2015 2013 2015 2013 2014 2013 2014 2013 2012 2014 2015 Phone Number 925-876-8934 631-965-6351 401-440-3926 Email Address

401-419-9449 973-951-2990 340-332-1858 201-757-3312 401-480-8384 401-580-7110 551-579-2610 917-293-3161 516-319-6909 302-668-9198 323-829-1308 763-300-7508 908-461-2250 9733031128 408-568-7688 347-401-0363 310-365-1369 917-327-9684 678-799-0805 213-507-9272 401 339 7259 909-241-2402 315-345-3294 917-843-5009


Vanessa Flores-Maldonado Richard Park

2014 2015

213-453-4555 6787990805


Full Name Susie Ahn Eugene Hwang Yeon Seung Hong Jonathan Sit Joo Yeon Jung Daehyun Kim June Yoon Hwajin Lee Carol Kim Jhong Hyuck Lim Christine Choi Christine Moon Hannah Lee Richard Nguyen James Yoo Wonmin Lee Class Year 2013 2012 2012 2015 2014 2015 2012 2014 2015 2012 2013 2013 2014 2015 2015 2013 Phone Number 5109261692 781-888-8262 562-756-8661 401-489-5566 480-577-3694 631-965-6351 917-346-5779 401-523-9596 401-647-1277 201-694-4319 703-638-4396 718-309-7773 Email Address


Brown University has two Korean student cultural groupsKASA and KISA, both of which have been around for more than ten years. Although both groups are distinct, they collaborate on a variety of events throughout the year and are largely intertwined. Indeed, the Brown KASCON Bid Committee features members from both groups.



KASA is a minority-student run social and cultural organization intended to foster the understanding of Koreans and Korean Americans at Brown. KASA functions primarily as a catalyst for the strengthening of the Korean American community on campus. The other essential objective of KASA is to raise the awareness and understanding of the cultural and ethnic attributes that students of Korean heritage possess among all the members of Brown's rich ethnic tapestry.


KISA is the Korean culture and identity group at Brown. Their mission is to foster the Korean community at Brown and to introduce various issues regarding the Korean society and culture to the Brown community and beyond. Everyone is welcome KISA is open for both those who wish to celebrate their Korean identity and those who want to learn more about the Korean society and culture.



KAMP is devoted to providing adopted Korean children and teens in the New England area with an opportunity to learn about their identities as Korean Americans through relationships with mentors at Brown who have cultural and/or linguistic knowledge of Korea. The goal of these relationships is to teach the children about Korean culture and to introduce resources and social settings illuminating their cultural heritage.


As members of the greater Brown community, we understand the significance and benefits of stimulating political discussion. Through documentary screenings and co-sponsored events with groups such as LiNK (Liberty in North Korea), KASA and KISA try to raise awareness about political questions relating to Korean and Korean-Americans. As 2010 marked one hundred years since Japan's annexation of Korea in 1910, the Brown Korean-America community co-hosted a panel discussing colonial history and examining their influences on nationalism, antagonism, and resolution. We also screened a documentary about the L.A. riots and held a discussion afterwards with Professor Daniel Kim of the English Department. Lt. Dan Choi has also come to campus to discuss LGBTQ issues.

Hansori, meaning a unified or great voice in Korean, is a student-run group where students with a deep enthusiasm for Korean culture can further explore through samulnori, a form of traditional percussion music. Not only does the group annually perform at the Korean Culture Show, but they also get invited throughout the year by other universities in the New England area to perform.



As a chapter of the national NGO LiNK, the purpose of LiNK at Brown is to raise awareness of the North Korean human rights crisis on the Brown campus and the larger Brown community, and to raise money to make opportunities for North Korean refugees possible.


East Asian Studies is a multidisciplinary department, teaching and creating new knowledge about East Asian countries, and whose societies are based on the Confucian tradition. Its mission is to provide rigorous and varied exposure to East Asia through the teaching of three languages - Chinese, Japanese and Korean - and substantive courses on these cultures, both individually and in comparative contexts. Courses on cultural issues draw upon many disciplines, particularly the humanities and social sciences




KASA and KISA both hold bi-weekly general body (GB) meetings to gather as a group. Each meeting is never the same; a typical GB meeting could be discussing current events in Korea, eating (and cooking) delicious Korean food, or just hanging out with one another and playing games for a study break. GB meetings are a great way to get to know other members and to learn more about Korean culture.


KASA holds a free Food and Film Festival every year, in coordination with Asian-American History Month at Brown, in which they screen two current Korean films and offer delicious catered Korean food to the public. This past year's offerings included "Cyrano Agency and Seoul Train.


Last year, KASA and KISA decided to hold their first annual alumni panel where former members of KASA and KISA were invited to come and speak to current students about jobs in their respective fields. Guests are various fields such as medicine, law, business and finance, and even fashion showed up to discuss their experience at Brown and how it prepared them for life in the job-world after. The event also serves as an excellent place where students can network and form valuable relationships with alumni.

Every semester, KASA and KISA host parties at clubs in downtown Providence such as Colosseum, Tantric, and Ultra. These frequently draw over 300 people from Brown, RISD, and JWU but also students from universities in the New England area.




For the past 5 years, KASA, KISA and RISD KSA have held an annual Korean Culture Show in the spring, featuring dance and music performances, video clips, and even fashion shows to inform the Brown and RISD community about Korean culture. In addition to showcasing student talent from Brown and RISD, the Culture Show also presents student groups from other universities. An extremely rewarding and fun experience, the show draws a large crowd each year with students from all over the Northeast including Wellesley, Boston University, Boston College, Yale, Harvard, and Penn.

Every winter, KISA hosts a winter formal to celebrate the end of the fall semester. With great food, performances by the freshmen, and fun games, the winter formal is always a wonderful time to dress up and enjoy time with fellow group members.

KSA is a student group at RISD that seeks to accomplish goals similar to those of both Brown KASA and Brown KISA. Furthermore, its missions are to unite the uniquely large population of Koreans that attend RISD and to allow students to network with Korean alumni and with each other as well. As most Koreans at RISD are from Korea, KSA also serves to guide these international students in the foreign environment.



Like Brown KASA and KISA, RISD KSA host parties at clubs in downtown Providence. Past parties, such as R U FRESH, brought together college students from all over Providence to provide the type of fun and entertainment distinct to Koreans. They also hosted a party in Seoul, Korea named The LOL (Laugh Out Loud) Party, allowing RISD Korean students to stay connected to each other and for prospective students to get to know RISD students.


To promote Korean culture and to inform the general student body of RISD about it, KSA held events like Korean Barbecue and Street Food to give out free food like rice, kimchi, kalbi, bulgogi, japchae, chocopie, and shikhae. Along with delicious food, KSA also showcased Korean music videos and Korean movies that best represent Koreas strengths and magnificence. DJs were hired to mix music to provide further excitement and create a more enjoyable environment.


RISD students have a hard time in declaring their majors, not only because they have insufficient information, but also because they have no connections to upperclassmen to ask for advice. Therefore, this year KSA created an opportunity for Korean and Korean American students at RISD to learn more about major declarations. KSA invited upperclassmen to talk about their majors, their processes in decision-making, and their experiences in their specific department. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions to the upperclassmen afterwards.






When I was living in Korea more than ten years ago as a young girl, my parents had called one of our family friends living overseas in America a kyopo. At the time, the word did not mean anything to me. My parents had told me I was born in the United States, and I was technically a kyopo for one year. However, I could only remember the life I had in Korea. I could not feel any connection to my birthplace other than a birth certificate. I was Korean, not a kyopo. Later, by coincidence, the word kyopo was brought up again. This time, kyopo was not just two syllables in a conversation. She was a fourth grade Korean-American girl from the United States, who was visiting Korea for a month. My classmates and I were excited about this newcomer. Asking her about America satisfied our curiosity and augmented our fascination with America. Listening to her read English and say random English sentences with an authentic American accent made English class all the more fun and cool. In retrospect, she was not a peer student but the object of amazement and wonder. Even during my interactions with her, I was still merely one of the Korean kids looking at America from the outside through this girl. However, that changed when I moved to the United States that same year. Now that I was the kyopo, I was on the inside. Living the American experience was different from hearing about it. My first day of school, I felt alone. In Korea, I never had to ride a school bus to get to school, I simply walked. Yet here in America, I had to wait for a school bus to show up and get on it. When homeroom started, I was sitting at a cluster of desks with three other girls. None of them were Korean, or even Asian. I wanted to make friends but since I did not know English well. I had no way of introducing or expressing myself I was mute. Throughout the day, the teacher would give instructions to our class, but I would not understand. The school also had rules and customs that I never had to follow in Korea, such as asking for the bathroom pass to go to the bathroom and going to a cafeteria rather than staying in homeroom to eat. I ended up spying on other students and copying them. Back in Korea, I was one of the smartest kids in my class, but in America, I had to rely on other kids because of the language and cultural barrier. It was humiliating. I missed Korea, and I wanted to go back. In that first year as a kyopo, I had to quickly adapt to the new culture. I became used to seeing people with blonde, brown, and red hair; I learned English through an ESL class; I made friends with nonKoreans; I trained myself to say Bless you automatically. I tried hard to fit in with the rest of my peers, and my efforts paid off: I developed my own American identity. However, as the American identity took hold of my life, a part of my Korean-ness was lost. The more English words I learned, the less Korean words I recalled. It became more difficult to picture my old neighborhood in Korea, to 60

remember what it felt like to live there. The Star-Spangled Banner replaced the Korean national anthem. This was my inevitable transformation from a Korean to a Korean American. While I had not realized this metamorphosis occurring, I was made to see the end result of the changes and accept my identity as a Korean American. This ultimate moment of truth occurred when I went back to visit Korea for the first time in eight years. The trip was a graduation present from my parents. I had no real expectations other than to feel back at home. But during my first few days back in Korea, I realized I did not belong in Korea anymore. When I was watching Korean news with my grandparents, I could not understand half of the words that were spoken. While conversing with relatives in Korean, each sentence felt awkward and wrong. And walking around in the city of Seoul, my not-so-skinny body and my American clothes made me stick out like a sore thumb. I had finally returned to Korea among the mass of black-haired Koreans. But I came back as a Korean American - a kyopo. So now that I have noted my transformation, how do I feel about being Korean American? I cannot say that I have absolutely no problem with it. For instance, I do not truly have a country to call my home. I call America home but only because my parents and my siblings are here in America with me. I speak both English and Korean but I feel that I lack proficient literacy skills in both languages. Despite these problems, I am still very much grateful to my parents who moved our family to America and thus began my journey of being a Korean American. I never felt utterly unhappy or ashamed of being a Korean American because I had the best of both worlds: discipline and awesome food from Korea, and freedom and good education from America. There are different kinds of kyopo: the 1st generation, the 2nd generation, and the in-between, the 1.5 generation. I am a 1.5 generation Korean American. I embody two different cultures and am bi-lingual to an extent. My story about my identity struggle is only one of many stories of the 1.5 generation Korean Americans. There are also many stories to be shared by the 1 st generation and the 2nd generation Korean Americans. When KASCON was first held in 1987, I believe one of its purposes was for Korean American students to come together and celebrate the stories of Korean Americans. For KASCON 26, I want to be the one to help organize such celebration. After all, all of us have experienced ethnic and cultural estrangement in one way or another. All of us have stressed out about thriving in the American society as a member. And all of us have struggled to keep our Korean heritage alive. We all should be able to contribute because through these stories, we can become confident in our own Korean American identities, our past and future as Korean Americans, and the success of our growing Korean American society. As a member of the Brown University KASCON bidding committee, I will be more than dedicated and responsible to making sure all attendees can share their stories, whether through speech or through discussion with peers. I will put my time, my thoughts, and my heart into making the next KASCON a success because I want to share my story not only with you but also with the attendees of KASCON 26 as a fellow Korean American, as a kyopo. 61

I am currently going through the American citizenship process. After the visa and Green Card, a citizenship seemed like the natural next step. However, in the process of filing my N-400 forms, there was a sudden sense of hesitation and reluctance. The process was not just another form of federal documentation, but rather a conscious self-assertion of my identity. This oath of allegiance required me to decide between my Korean and American identities - to choose one side and forsake the other. But I am a Korean American. I have undying love for my Korean motherland, a place where I can always return to; I respect the American land of opportunities that taught me how to throw a baseball and grill a steak medium well-done. With roots in both countries, I constantly battle with the inconsistencies between my ethnic category and personal identity. We Korean Americans are cross-cultural identities living in a binary world, and I believe the conscious identification of ourselves as Korean American is the beginning of engaging in and advancing our community. This bold declaration of our identities is one of the focuses of Brown Universitys Korean American Student Conference (KASCON). For many years, KASCON has worked to foster a supportive environment, solidifying individual Korean American identities and providing network for these students. We have heard from numerous successful Korean Americans about their success stories. The dangers of this type of approach lies in complacency and the inability to actively move towards change, because often it requires that we step out from the enclave of our safe community into an area of discomfort. I believe change should start at the base from within the Korean American community. KASCON should be a place of inspiration and empowerment for its participants, instilling them with a sense of awareness and need for change. I have been actively involved in Asian American activist groups and have always come up against a barrier of resistance for change. As a member of the Asian American Students Caucus for Change (AASCC) at Brown, I have presented the demands of the Asian American community to the University, calling for the establishment of an Asian American Studies Department, cross-listing of courses, and more Asian American professors teaching Asian American history and culture. Unfortunately, the students supporting this petition remains small many are not interested in addressing these issues, and others merely disregard the importance of Asian American Studies in the scope of their American education. As the co-chair for the KASCON bidding committee, I have worked to shape our conference around this particular issue. The result is the theme, BREAK!, a loud,



declaratory title to the conference that encompasses challenges of the present and a bold move towards the future. We hope to present a changed KASCON with more interactive and personal workshops. As a Minority Peer Counselor Friend, I have helped facilitate a pre-orientation program for students of color at Brown, often addressing controversial issues such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. The programs workshops were incredibly effective and inspirational; I hope to model KASCONs workshops in a similar way to facilitate discussion rather than lecture, and self-realization rather than bombardment of facts. In the end, I hope KASCON helps participants not only discover how their individual narratives fit into the larger Korean American story, but also move together as a community to more clearly establish the Korean American identity within the American society. So that when I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, I am looking on a society that does not force my identity to fit into the simple binaries of being either Korean or American and can accept me as who I am.


A clear indication of true assimilation into a culture is whether you can comfortably speak and think in that cultures language. A large part of being Korean American is conversing fluently in both English and Korean; everyone, including Koreans, assumes and expects it. All the times my Caucasian friends have asked me to teach them curse words in Korean, and all the lectures I have received from older Koreans to honor my heritage can attest to this. But for all of my life, Ive had trouble living up to this expectation of being a Korean American. While many of my Korean American friends can jump between languages instantly, I have difficulty trying to speak and think in Korean, even with more than enough exposure to the language during my time living in Long Island and New Jersey. I can read it, write it, and recognize it in a crowded room, but I cant seem to hold a basic conversation without pausing and stumbling over phrases. My other Korean American friends spoke Korean because it was their first language or out of necessity to communicate with their parents. I never needed to speak Korean at home. Both of my parents moved to the U.S. with their families during their teenage years. They attended college in the States, listened to the Beatles, and were fans of Audrey Hepburn (hence my first name). With parents who are assimilated into American culture, I never needed to claim my Korean identity. I was perfectly fine not speaking Korean, not socializing with other Koreans at hakwons and not hanging out in Flushing, because being Korean felt like an unnecessary complication more than an important part of my life and a privilege. My perspective changed in my senior year of high school, when I went to Gambia for a short-term medical volunteer trip. In this tiny, remote country in Western Africa, a Korean American missionary and his family welcomed us into their home, feeding us their homemade kimchi and treating our group like long-lost family members. Despite battling with my Korean-ness, having that side of me turned out to be extremely comforting in a country that seemed like completely different world. Traveling outside of the Long Island bubble gave me a perspective of how thankful I should be to be a part of the Korean American community.



Here at Brown, all the people Ive met in the Korean American Students Association (KASA) have such different backgrounds that its impossible for me to feel like the odd one out. In such a diverse environment, I can feel my Korean voice becoming stronger and more confident. I no longer feel like a fake or poser Korean. I have come to realize that Korean Americans like me who may feel a weaker connection to Koreans or have communication barriers still need to be active in the Korean American community, because it is an undeniable part of our identity. Until college, I thought being Korean American required fitting a prescribed description of the term. I want KASCON 26 to be an opportunity for Korean Americans to challenge what this label really means by breaking out of the conventions that we so comfortably follow. Brown and RISDs proposed KASCON 26 is a forum with a focus on creation and innovation, as individuals and as a community with shared experiences. The Brown and RISD KASCON Bidding Team envisions a conference that will reflect the academic environment of collaboration, personal expression, progress, empowerment, and individuality that is fostered at our schools. The conference will encourage the development of our community into bold leaders and innovators, who not only communicate and support each other but also create a resounding impact outside of the community - together. We are dedicated to make the next KASCON a starting point of exploring new paths and aspirations.




I am not a very adventurous person. I never liked trying new things, being in new places, meeting new people, or simply being different. I would rather stick to familiar routines and blend in with the crowd. When I was uncomfortable or put in unfamiliar situations, my top priority was to become invisible. However, I have come to realize that the discomfort has shaped my identity. By interacting with unaccustomed surroundings and challenging myself to adjust, I was able to re-define my identity as a person and as a Korean living in America. Growing up, I was constantly thrown into new environments. At five-month old, I moved from Korea to Fort Lee, New Jersey with my family for five years. Although I was too young to remember, my mom told me that I would cry frantically every time she tried to leave me at pre-kindergarten. When I was finally able to follow simple directions such as jacket away and sit down, we moved again. Moving to Seoul took away everything that I was used to. Big Bird and Barney were no longer on television, and everything was different. I moved once again to Houston, Texas. As a sixth grader, I became more aware of the fact that I was an oddball -- an outsider and a foreigner at school. I could not laugh with other students because sometimes I did not understand their humor. Language became the biggest barrier for me in adjusting middle school, and even language aside, I simply looked, thought, and sounded different. I tried so hard to fit in. I told my Korean friends at school, We shouldnt speak Korean at school. Lets speak only English. I tried to watch what American kids would watch on television and absorb everything American. When I had to move back to Korea after four years, I realized that I was not like other kids at school. I was like a fish out of the water. I had a different mentality, attitude, and ambiance. I was more familiar with the Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln than the Korean Independence Movement of 1919 and Empress Myeongseong. I knew I was Korean, but my knowledge, looks, and mentality were telling me otherwise. Where did I belong? 66

Then I attended college in Seoul, where I immersed myself in Korean culture. I no longer had an awkward Americanized-Korean accent, and English was only used in class when I had to talk to nonKorean professors or make presentations in English. I enjoyed Korean soap operas, listened to Korean pop stars music, and followed gossip on Korean stars. However, I could still tell that I was different from students who had never lived abroad -- but the again, I was not completely American. When I transferred to Brown University, my comfort zone was once again shattered. However, unlike any other time I acknowledged my differences and gained appreciation for my unique experiences and identity. This time, it was not just about fitting in. Although I am still in the process of re-establishing and exploring my identity, I am proud to say that I am no longer scared to put myself out there and be a unique person. KASCON 26 will be a forum for discussing our origins and roots as Koreans but will also provide a creative atmosphere to embrace distinctive characteristics and identity as Korean Americans. KASCON is not about placing everyone into the same category, but rather offering students the opportunity to re-affirm their own identity. KASCON 26 will challenge the topics that are controversial and work to inspire and strengthen Korean American students as well as the Korean American community -- to break out of their comfort zones and expand their horizons.



A third culture kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents culture. The third culture kid builds relationships to all the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the third culture kids life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of the same background, other Third Culture Kids. David C. Pollock Korean American. This is the term with which I usually use to describe myself to others, because society likes to automatically label and categorize my cultural identity as being Korean-American. I was born in Bloomington, Indiana and I have an American citizenship. Nevertheless, having only lived in America until the age of three, I have no memories of America before college. And so, American culture, with the large hamburgers, the Red Sox fans, the way strangers say good morning to each other, is unfamiliar to me. I personally cannot come to terms with the fact that I am American. America does not feel like home. 68


Conversely, it is undeniable that I feel strongly towards Korea and Korean culture. I intrinsically feel that parts of Korean ideals and culture are mine. I naturally find myself looking for fellow Korean friends wherever I go and supporting the Korean team in the World Cup. It is an indescribable attraction towards the affairs of Korea as a nation and Korea as a people. As such, in middle school I considered myself a Korean with an American passport living in Singapore due to unavoidable circumstances. I feel this feeling of separation most clearly when I find myself on a plane heading towards Korea to visit my grandparents: I cannot help but feel the slight fear and anticipation always present when visiting the unfamiliar place. I walk the streets of Seoul feeling like a tourist, curious, interested and wary. The city of Seoul, where all my relatives live, does not feel like home. While I spent six years of my early childhood in Korea after moving from America, the rest of my adolescence was spent in Singapore attending an international school- a total of 9 years. During that time, even my fluency of the Korean language deteriorated. Although Korean is my first language, taught to me by my parents, I am much more proficient in English than Korean. While the term Korean is not as alien as the term American, I feel as if I do not have the full right to call myself Korean. Korea does not feel like home. Society has always labeled me Korean American. However as David Pollock describes, I do not feel as if I have full ownership of either the Korean or American culture. A degree of alienation from both cultures has prevented me from feeling a sense of belonging as a Korean or as an American. If I did not feel American or even Korean, how could I be a fusion of the two, a Korean American? What does it mean to be Korean American? In an attempt to find my answer to this question, I have dedicated much of my time to activities related to Korean identity. After entering college, I have participated in both the Korean American Students Association (KASA) and served as an Executive Board member of the Korean International Students Association (KISA) for four years. This year, I have had the privilege of serving as the President of KISA. During my career as a KISA and KASA member, I have organized many events such as the Korean Culture Show, which draws up to 300 student participants from all over New England. Through my experiences, I have come closer to my own definition of Korean American. It is true that I am neither Korean nor American. However, after meeting so many other Korean Americans, I realize being Korean American means to be part of a distinctive culture of its own: not a fusion of part Korean and part American, but a separate, unique identity in itself. Being Korean American means being part of closely knit community of others that have had similar experiences and questions as I have. To me, being Korean American means to be at home. As David Pollock describes it, I am a Third Culture Kid. My sense of belonging is in relationship with others of the same background, other Korean 69

Americans. The place where I belong is not with a city or a nation but with a community, my fellow Korean Americans. To me, being Korean American is not only my culture but also my identity, my friends, my life, and my home. Through constantly challenging my own thoughts I have come to design my own definition of what it means to be Korean American. Our KASCON team at Brown University is ready to challenge others in the same way. KASCON 26 BREAK! will serve as a place for self-reflection. The Brown Bidding team and I urge participants to come and challenge their own views, to question the labels of society, to use KASCON 26 as a foundation for designing unique definitions and identities of their own. BREAK! dares participants to create their own individual paintings of the Korean American world and bring together these paintings to design a mural that is- uniquely Korean American.

For me, the issue of Korean American identity has always been vague. I was born in California, raised in Korea, and then I went to school back in the United States. These various shifts allowed me to speak both languages, Korean and English, and experience both Korean and American cultures. It made me wonder, where do I belong? So, what is being Korean and what is being Korean-American?



Being Korean, to me, meant speaking the language and living the culture, whereas being KoreanAmerican implied, despite having Korean ethnicity, following American culture and acting or speaking like Americans. Therefore, as a self-proclaimed Korean, when I produced artwork, I always tried to incorporate Korean culture even if it did not seem appropriate. For example, whenever I drew a selfportrait, I would imagine putting myself in a Han-bok (Korean traditional clothing) or something that represents Korea. The reason I tried so hard to be Korean was because I thought I would not be true to myself by being Korean-American. After all, I saw myself as obviously Korean: I had Korean parents who spoke Korean, and I was raised in Korea for most of my childhood speaking Korean. I thought being Korean American as being neither one nor the other, and I felt I had to find a concrete, definite ethnicity. Soon I realized that I was judging people based on their looks and the language they speak. I was not trying to break out of the stereotypes but rather creating them. Everyone has their own ethnicity, and I should not have judged them. When I came to RISD, due to the diversity at school, I learned that stereotypes were there for me to break, not to follow and to submit to them. Where a person comes from, what language he or she speaks, or the ethnicity of his or her parent does not matter. Who they are now and what they consider themselves as are the things that I have to respect. Each individual is proud of his or her backgrounds. Also, participating in the KASCON committee, I was able to have the opportunity to think once more about my views for Koreans and Korean-Americans. Although I am still not sure which ethnicity group I belong to, it does not matter anymore for me. The important thing is that I am proud of what I have right now.

I should probably start off by saying something about how I struggled with my identity some point in my life, but I grew up reasonably comfortable. However, little did I know that I was living in blissful ignorance. Born and raised in a large Korean community in Bayside, New York, I have been constantly surrounded by as many Koreans as Americans. I learned to become proficient in both Korean and English and 71


adopted both customs. From elementary school all the way to high school it was not hard finding other Korean or Asian peers. I had a good number of American friends but for the most part most of my friends that I became close with were Korean. During the weekends I was usually in a Korean cram school or at church hanging out with friends. I watched just as many Korean dramas as American shows and listened to American Top 40 just as much as the top K-pop hits. I enjoy cheering on the Korean Devils during the World Cup as much as I enjoy rooting for the Yankees during the World Series. It was nave of me to expect a similar atmosphere at college. Nonetheless, I was surprised at the small Korean presence at Brown and how many of my peers came from towns with few or no Koreans. Instead of being able to speak fluent Korean or identify K-pop songs they understood American customs, had friends from multiple ethnic groups, and often rejected their parents efforts to Koreanize them. After talking and spending more time with these peers, I realized that I had actually been living and interacting largely in the insular Korean community back at home. I noticed that Koreans largely tend to congregate only amongst themselves. Even though I may have grown up in such a multi-ethnic city, I had not taken full advantage of it. Instead, I had stayed in my comfort zone along with the other Korean Americans. I feel this trend of remaining complacent and insular is especially common among many Korean American college students. Therefore I find it is appropriate to present our proposed theme of BREAK! for KASCON 26. The theme encourages activism and empowerment of the Korean American community. At the conference, students will be encouraged to become comfortable with being uncomfortable by breaking down interpersonal boundaries to discuss sensitive issues, breaking social norms and stereotypes, and ultimately, breaking the cycle of ignorance and complacency in society as well as within our own community.


When a Korean-American is from LA, you can probably assume that person is either a FOB or a Twinkie. I was born and raised in Southern California, but my story is different from many Cali-born Koreans. Korean was the only language spoken in my house, and I spent all my time going to Korean church, 72

watching Korean news, and poring over countless volumes of European classics translated Korean versions, of course. Therefore, it should hardly be a surprise that I walked into kindergarten knowing only my ABCs, Roy G. Biv, Hello, Please, and Thank you. Literally. From the first day of school, I found myself sent to the corner for time-out almost everyday for not following directions. Frustrated with my inability to communicate with anybody there were just two other Korean students and they were about as American as it got I buried myself in English books, working my way up from Curious George to Roald Dahl to Little Women to Pride and Prejudice. I spent hours at the local library and at Barnes and Nobles ravenously downing the literature that would single-handedly turn this ESL student into a Gifted and Talent Education (GATE) program student. At this point, I guess I should say something like Because of the above, I rejected my Korean culture. After all, I had struggled to learn English, to rival the kids who had learned English so naturally, and to be American like them. I watched every episode of Fresh Prince, memorized the lyrics to Barbie Girl, and carried N*SYNC folders to fit in with the cool American kids at school. However, I actually not-so-secretly knew the Candy dance, could name each H.O.T. and Shinhwa member and watched all the K-dramas well, the good ones; there was rarely a meal without kimchi; and I spoke in my parents native tongue every day. Only in junior high did I realize that our city had more Asians than the three Koreans from my grade school. During these formative years, I met my first Korean-American friend. Granted, she was culturally more American than I was, but our friendship allowed me to express my Korean pride in an old-fashioned community that continued to insist I audition for the part of Mulan but not Belle. By my third year in high school, Koreans/Korean-Americans had the strongest Asian presence in school, and Korean was the third most-spoken language on campus, after English and Spanish. Other students Koreans, other Asians, Caucasians, African-Americans, and Hispanics alike would come to the Korean Students Association (KSA) I had humbly started with just three other friends to learn the Tell Me dance, eat Korean BBQ, and watch My Sassy Girl. While growing more confident and passionate in sharing my culture with my friends and even the community at large, I was confronted by my first identity crisis. Somewhere along my KSA career, somewhere in the relationships I had built with fellow Korean-American students, I suddenly came upon a depressing and stressful realization. Korean-American friends sometimes thought I was too Korean to appreciate the American aspects of our daily lives, and Korean friends struggling with high school English felt I was too American to fully empathize with their situations. It hit me as an unexpected and even unwarranted cultural shock when I did not know where I fit on the Korean-


American spectrum: I was not a FOB (Id been in the motherland all of fifteen days and two were spent midair!) but I was not a Twinkie either. After sending in my commitment card to Brown University, I was more worried about having to make new friends who may not understand what I believed to be an unusual background. I came to the university still shaken in confusion, and I continued to struggle with this internal baggage for a while. As I became immersed in campus life and forged new, intense friendships in Korean American Students Association (KASA) and Korean International Students Association (KISA) and Asian American Students Association (AASA), however, I arrived at an extremely simple conclusion: our world is a BIG pond. My story is one in a myriad. And I am one individual on an ever-widening spectrum of peoples. In that train of thought, KASCON is that colorful tapestry that comprises the colorful experiences and stories of our growing community. I want to help create a forum that allows our community members to share their parts of the tapestry with one another. I want for us to break apart the self-created divisions between FOB and Twinkie; Korean and Korean-American; and all of us in between so that every one of us can weave our special stories together to present it to the greater population. My experiences as a former high school KSA President, a member of the Brown KASA executive board, and now as a member of the Brown KASCON Bidding Team; my newfound understanding and appreciation of all personal stories; my alacrity to work with and for my team and all who are committed to our movement and impact; and my conviction in the importance of the entire gamut of our experiences, dreams and accomplishments all speak to my devotion I am and will remain committed to delving into that pool of Korean American experiences and being part of the movement to empower those voices and communicate our ever-prominent position in the greater community. They once told me that I was the fobbiest Twinkie ever. I listen to Big Bang and Girls Generation and Bruno Mars and Eminem; I watched Boys Before Flowers and Secret Garden and still keep up with Glee and Gossip Girl; I eat rice and In N Out; I speak Korean, English and especially Konglish fluently; I am Korean and I am American. I will continue to struggle with this identity question from time to time, but I think they may have gotten me just right.



I was born and raised in Seoul for nine years before immigrating to the United States. Like many other Korean immigrants, my family and I went through the similar immigrant experience and integrated into the large Korean community in New Jersey. While I was attending a magnet high school, I did not give much thought about my Korean identity since I had many Korean friends. We motivated each other to succeed, spoke English at school but Korean at home, rooted for the Korean soccer team, and talked about Korean pop culture in English. We had an inherent connection just by being born to Korean families; we joked about how similar all Korean parents were, but some days, talked seriously about what kind of obstacles Korean immigrants face. I thought I had this all compartmentalized in my head; I thought that the term Korean American simply referred to a Korean living in the United States. All this changed before my junior year when I moved to and attended an international school in India; from day one, I had a hard time adjusting to the new environment. It was one of the hardest times of my life and I just wanted to go home. Due to my parents persistent persuasion, I decided to change my attitude since I had no control of my environment. I soon found out that the international school I attended had an interesting student body composition; obviously, the Indians were the largest ethnic group, but the Koreans surprisingly made up the second largest ethnic group in the school. I was excited to see some Koreans at an unfamiliar place and thought that I would befriend them easily. In reality, I had a harder time making friends with Koreans than with students of other ethnicities. They were quite different from Koreans I knew back in the States. I was confused; how was it possible for people who all claim to be Koreans be different? Just like me, they spoke English and lived outside of Korea. They were used to the Korean style of upbringing from their Korean parents. I did not get along with them because my American way of thinking conflicted with their way and these differences made me turn away from the other Koreans at school. Eventually, I started to become friends with them, yet they kept referring to me as the American in the group. However, when I was with my Indian friends, they referred to me as the Korean. This threw me into a state of confusion because people had a different perception of me. Not until I got to Brown as a freshman, I realized that the word Korean American would describe me the best. I was amazed to find that Brown had many cultural groups and it was comforting to find KASA, the Korean American Student Association. The group immediately welcomed me to Brown and I was able to fit right in. It definitely helped me to connect with Korean American upperclassmen and enabled me to rely on them. As I started to become more active in KASA, I heard about KASCON and it intrigued me. I had heard of plenty of conferences, but a conference focused on Korean Americans? My first conference was BAASIC 2010 at MIT, which was an all-encompassing Asian American conference. I could relate to some of the issues we discussed about Asian Americans as a whole; however, issues that are specific to Korean Americans were never discussed. One of my motivations to host KASCON 26 at Brown 75

University is to provide a forum for stimulating discussions about Korean American issues and to network across generations of Korean Americans. My vision for KASCON 26 is to bring Korean American college students from across the nation to hear about the bold moves made by prominent Korean Americans. I realize that KASCON is a huge conference and needs meticulous planning. I believe that teamwork is going to be crucial; the team members will need to each carry their weight and the group dynamics will determine our effectiveness in the planning process. Luckily, our bidding committee is comprised of capable individuals that can work together harmoniously. I know the committee members through various activities on campus. In addition to my participation in the KASCON bidding committee, I am serving on the KASA executive board as Vice President for the past two years. I am also the financial signatory of KAMP, the Korean Adoptee Mentoring Program. Bringing KASCON to Brown has never been done before and I believe that we are ready to host KASCON next year.



If my father had not met my mother, life would have followed a very different path. It had always been my moms dream to live in the United States this country that appealed to her with ideals of freedom and independence and together, my parents fulfilled her dream by arriving in the United States in 1990. I was born as an American citizen in New Jersey to a mother who barely knew any English and a father who struggled to complete his studies as a pastor and support his family in a foreign country. The first language I learned at home was Korean, and for the first two years of elementary school, I had to take ESL classes. However, by third grade, I was more fluent in English than both of my parents and was already teaching English to my toddler sister. At a young age, I followed my family to new homes in New Jersey, Texas, and New York. I never gave much thought to the fact that I was Korean when I was younger and with no restraint on the expression of my young self to others, I always made a great group of diverse friends wherever I moved, willing to talk to anyone who would lend a ear, despite their race or ethnicity. I never really struggled with my Korean-American identity until I moved back to New Jersey in 2003 to a hometown that was different from how I had left it. The town was now burgeoning with Koreans. Within the last few years, many Koreans had begun to immigrate to this particular county in NJ, particularly known for its well-rounded education. On my first day back at school, I found myself being identified as another new Asian student. Instead of the diverse group of friends I had made in the past, I found myself in a large clique of solely Korean girls. They introduced me to the latest Korean pop artists, to Korean dramas, and openly spoke Korean in front of me. Pretty soon, besides when class was in session, I was speaking Korean both in school and at home. At that time in my life, I had convinced myself that being as much Korean as possible was being cool. Then in middle school that I realized all my efforts to be Korean had been fruitless. For the first time in my life, I experienced bullying from the clique of Korean girls who spread rumors amongst each other. At a time of adolescence when transitioning is difficult between cliques, I felt abandoned. There were many days in school when I would burst into tears on the ride home with my dad. In a way, this was the first crisis of my KoreanAmerican identity. Even today, I still bear the scar of that experience. I had thought I could fit in with those girls who were of the same ethnicity as I was and lived in America as I did. Somehow, the fact that Korean was still my first language and that I was born into a Korean family did not make me the same as them. As we matured in high school and rumors eventually dissipated, I learned to make new friends and led a very normal life until the summer before my junior year. My dad decided to make a decision that would drastically change the lives of himself as well as the entire family. After sixteen years of dealing with, what I like to call as, political struggles of Korean churches, my dad decided to join the U.S. Army as an army chaplain, counseling soldiers who would truly need and seek his guidance. My father had been the pillar of my life, helping me in every single endeavor, from walking to solving algebra 77

problems, and he was suddenly to be absent from my life. We were only able to see him twice a year as opposed to every day of the year. Moreover, the entire family was encouraged to follow the same transition my dad had embraced trying to immerse ourselves fully into American society. Despite my indignation, we stopped going to our regular Korean church and participated in an American church service for the first time. I remember crying during that service, realizing reality and unable to grasp how my life was going to change from then on. After the first long year, my family finally visited my dads home and his U.S. army fort in Texas. There, I realized the homogeneity of the U.S. Army. Almost every soldier I ran into was a Caucasian male. In such an environment, with my family, I felt exposed like I had never been before. I was so aware of the color of my skin and my ethnicity. In this structured army society, my dad perseveringly dealt with experiences of racism and adjusting to a culture that would never fully be his. Legally, he was an American citizen, but he would be unable to fully embrace and understand American culture as I found Korean culture difficult to accept. However, both my dad and I learned an important lesson. When I asked my dad what he thought of the Korean-American identity, he described it in a simple way: The most important thing to realize is that you should never feel indebted to one identity. I think this depicts my stand on the experiences related to my Korean-American identity. I never need to feel like I need to make up for either my Korean or American identity because I am not complete in both. I believe the Korean-American identity to be unique for each person each has a different life story and distinct struggles. I hope KASCON to be an experience that encourages each of us Korean Americans to be proud of our individual identity and to help us realize that we never need to feel indebted to one identity. If we can fully embrace the unique personalities and life experiences that define each and every one of our Korean-American identities, then I think the things we can accomplish individually as well as a whole are endless. We can BREAK through barriers, BREAK through expectations, and build on our individuality to define who we are as Korean Americans.



I was born and raised in Korea, arriving in the U.S. before high school. Throughout my adolescence, I needed to learn how to pull off a balancing act between the two different worlds that held different expectations. I envisioned myself split into two different parts: one fostered from my Korean home, the other developed in the American world. I had to adapt to the U.S. educational system that values a self-reliant and assertive attitude, while maintaining an obedient, hard-working and modest attitude to assure my parents that I was behaving well in the new environment. Despite a gap between what is expected at home and at school, I did not have much trouble adapting to the new circumstances. Living between different sets of values, I gradually learned how to reconcile these two seemingly opposing expectations. It was only after befriending Korean American peers that I realized I am not the only one who sensed this gap and consciously thought about living between the boundaries. Surprisingly many of my friends were confronted with conflicting values at early ages, and had reflected upon their identities living in the United States. Since I grew up in Korea, an ethnically homogenous country, I never imagined I would have an identity crisis. My Korean heritage was something I naturally accepted and lived with; the idea that my KoreanAmerican peers struggled and sometimes denied it shocked me. I became curious about the possible underlying reasons. In an effort to understand, I began to take part in Korean-American student groups, workshops, and seminars. I soon recognized that despite the commonality underlying their lives, their experiences as Korean Americans could not be summarized into a single idea; it affected each person to different extents, and every persons own unique experience could not be generalized. I envision KASCON to give people the opportunity to accept their identities as Koreans and Americans. Stereotypes may still persist, but I am certain that the extent of its influence upon us can be curbed both at the individual and community levels. Being Korean American does not prescribe us to behave in a certain fixed way; it indicates where we are from, but does not dictate to where to go. By hosting KASCON 26, I hope to provide an environment in which Korean American students can freely exchange ideas. As each of us brings unique experiences to the table, we may find a collective theme that resonates through us while accepting variants, and then we may seek to find the solution. It will also be an opportunity to bring different generations together, as inspirational speakers will provide words of insight. The conference will also serve as a place where we may cooperatively form a support network and raise our voices to make improvements. I believe that KASCON will confirm our ability to create identities for ourselves and to create change. 79


During my years at a Chinese International school, I was among a diverse group of peers; no one was identical. In the midst of such upbringing, I never understood what being a true Korean meant to my life. Perhaps, then as a mere ten year old, it was more important for me to blend in than to stand out. Disclosing my heritage created an unspoken barrier that often made myself feel distant from others. Up until middle school, my life was at a constant tug-of-war. Attending international school, my friends and I welcomed the integration of different cultures at least on the surface. Once inside the community, we formed different cliques and as a result, I was always torn. Some of my friends defined themselves as being wholly American, while others strongly declared themselves as being Korean. During teenage years, it became evident how these two groups were not willing to mingle. For me, I did not define myself as a true Korean, because when comparing myself to those who had just come from Korea, I felt like a foreigner. I was born in Hong Kong, and for all of my life, I had lived in China. Therefore, I had never thought of categorizing myself into any defined racial ethnicity. However, as a teenager, I was forced to decide what group I belonged to. I wanted to form camaraderie with friends in both groups, but I soon found myself lost in a very big mess. I began my journey on a tightrope when I was placed into an all girls Korean middle school. I struggled with the unfamiliar Korean education and culture. These three years in Korea were perhaps the hardest time of my life, but also some of the most valuable experiences. They changed the course of my life. Although there were times where I felt embarrassed to be a Korean and to live in such a tiny country, but I learned not to shun my heritage, but rather to accept it. When I finally accepted who I was, it became evident that the problem was not from where I came from but rather how I defined things. Once I accepted the facts and embraced my ethnicity, everything became easier. After being finally exposed to the real Korean culture, I enrolled at an American private boarding school. At first, I was nervous that I would become vulnerable and insecure again. However, the experience helped to reemphasize my Korean identity. Regardless of where I was, I tried to define myself as a true Korean because the strong sense of pride in my culture allows me to step out of my comfort zone and redefine myself as needed, adjusting to new surroundings with more ease and building closer relationships with a diverse group of people. My identity has become stronger, and I am grateful for being a Korean. For all my life, I had not time to settle, but wherever I go, I am sure that I 80


will succeed because I am unique in my own sense. I hope hosting KASCON 26 will help others like myself become aware of the Korean American identity and embrace it.