I had a terrific time this morning teaching a 90-minute session about finding one’s voice and blogging to four immigrant youth at the Korean American Resource Center.
It was a talented group who was in Chicago for the weekend courtesy of National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, or NAKASEC, whose communications director Jane Yoo was responsible for inviting me to the session.
David Cho, a graduate student from UCLA who was the first Korean to be the drum major for the school’s football team, has already spoken at national conferences about his desire to have the Dream Act passed.
In addition to being mentioned in speeches by Sen. Dick Durbin, David issued a passionate call for youth engagement and political change in this four-minute clip.
As you can hear, David consciously wove in elements of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech-at different points in the speech he urges us to “rededicate ourselves” and talks about Arizona “sweltering with the heat of oppression”-with his family’s journey from South Korea to the United States.
He also shares in the speech that he and his family members are undocumented.
During the session David also pointed us to Yolitical, the blog of his sister, Shine Cho.
I don’t know about you, but I found it hard to believe that she is just 13 years old.
Pushing for the rights of the undocumented is an important cause for Josh Joh-Jung, a classmate of Aidan’s at Evanston Township High School who marched in Washington, D.C. last fall to advance that issue.
In this piece about that march, he writes convincingly about the need for a “better” immigrant coalition that more fully includes Asian and Asian-American members.
For her part, Joyce Yin argued in one of her previous posts that the Midwest’s Asian-American population has also received short shrift. In the piece, she uses a brief interaction on Twitter as the starting point to explore the history, current state and future direction of the community within the region.
She also states her commitment to stay here and do the hard work of community building.
Finally, Chris Ly a freshman who is involved in an organization in Georgia, talked about how he sifts and weighs different perspectives in the process of arriving at his own opinions.
All in all, an impressive group with plenty to offer. As in many teaching situations, I left feeling that I had received more than I had given.
I look forward to following their work.