Summary of Presentations from the 2017 KAC National Convention: BUILD

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History and Impact of KAC by Delegate Mark Keam

Delegate Mark Keam urged Korean Americans to engage in civic life and work together to make government serve our needs. Although there are successful Korean Americans in all industries, their success has been mostly at the individual level and has not always helped the rest of the community. Our immigrant parents have worked hard and built businesses, but all too often, they behaved as if the country did not belong to us, telling us to not do strange things because we are foreigners here. KAC is a civic organization founded in 1983 to advance the claim that we are just as American as other people. When the Russians shot down a Korean Airlines flight in 1983, KAC was one of the few voices that spoke up for the 300 innocent victims who lost their lives. During the 1992 LA Riots, KAC stood up to the mainstream media that sought to pit us against other racial minority groups. When the Environmental Protection Agency targeted dry cleaners owned by Korean Americans that used the same practices as other dry cleaners, KAC lobbied against unfair regulatory burdens. Today, Korean Americans must speak up and share our story to counteract white supremacists who believe in their narrow view of America. Moreover, our voice can promote the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas. We have a special role in preventing another war-torn conflict on the Korean peninsula and in making sure there's not one bullet shot because of ideology. Delegate Keam highlighted the importance of a strong, robust KAC where the members are organized, educated, and empowered.

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Korean American Identity and Historical Consciousness

Professor Edward Chang

Professor Edward Chang motivated Korean Americans to learn history, as it is a source of identity and power. History illustrates what it means to be a Korean American and why we should care about our community, as exemplified by the life of Young Oak Kim. Young Oak Kim grew up in the Korean American community in southern California in the early 1900's. During World War II, when he joined the U.S. Army, Young Oak was assigned as Second Lieutenant to the U.S. 100th Infantry Battalion, comprised mostly of Japanese Americans. At that time, Korea was fighting for independence from Japan, and fearing a potential conflict, his superior officer gave Young Oak the option of serving in a battalion without Japanese Americans. Young Oak replied, "We are all Americans and we're fighting for the same cause." As an officer of the 100th Infantry Battalion, he led efforts to rescue Rome, Belvedere, and Pisa. He successfully helped liberate these cities from German occupation. When his military career ended, he founded several non-profits in southern California, including KAC, the Japanese American National Museum, a Korean American museum, a shelter for battered women, and a Japanese American veterans’ association. While seeing himself as 100-percent American and 100-percent Korean, Young Oak devoted his life to the betterment of humanity. Professor Chang also described how knowing history can help Korean Americans today to build multi-racial coalitions. Both African American and Korean American communities have a shared background of oppression and suffering and are mostly Christian. These commonalities can help us communicate with each other and build trust.

Additional lectures and other videos mentioned by Professor Chang can be found here.

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Women in Leadership Ms. Mari Watanabe

Ms. Mari Watanabe advised Asian Pacific Islander (API) women on how to attain leadership positions. Although APIs are projected to represent 10% of the population by 2050 in the U.S., and 46% of women say they want to make it to the top of their profession, API women are significantly underrepresented as executives. They hold just 0.2% of CEO positions and less than 1% of board seats in S&P 100 companies. To improve these statistics, women can do the following: 1) Find mentors who emulate their values and principles. Then, follow the mentors' advice, even if it means getting out of their comfort zones. Mentors should not be the boss or someone else in the company. 2) Network and build partnerships with professionals of diverse backgrounds. 3) Become a board member. Women can volunteer for positions and don't have to be asked. 4) Achieve Professional Development. Opportunities for training are available through Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Center for API Women, EDI - Executive Development Institute, and Toast Masters. 5) Apply for positions even when they don't meet all of the requirements. Ms. Watanabe described how although women usually do not give themselves enough credit. Women are just as capable as men in leading. When women become leaders, they encourage girls, who see people that look like them in positions of authority and power.

2017 Portland Korean Food Festival Official Contest Rules

This contest is sponsored by the Korean American Coalition of Oregon (KAC Oregon), organizer of the Portland Korean Food Festival. KAC Oregon and festival organizers reserve the right to alter, suspend or conclude the contest at any time.

No purchase is necessary to participate, and purchasing a ticket to the festival will not improve your odds of winning. To enter the contest, it is not necessary to like the KAC Oregon or Portland Korean Food Festival Facebook pages or any of the content on either page.

You have not yet won. By entering the contest, you agree to abide by all rules and decisions of the festival organizer(s) regarding the administration of the contest.  

Eligibility: Entrants must be at least 18 years of age, must be U.S. residents, must be Facebook account holders and must not have already purchased a ticket to the festival as of Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at 12 noon PST.

Festival organizers do not discriminate on the basis of gender or gender identification, sex, national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, ability, use of a service animal or honorably discharged veteran or military status.

The following are ineligible: previous Portland Korean Food Festival contest winners, members of KAC Oregon’s board of directors and their families, festival sponsors and their families, participating chefs and restaurant staff members and their families and event volunteers and their families.

Consent: By entering the contest, participants grant KAC Oregon and the Portland Korean Food Festival rights to use their contest entry, name and photo for all future festival promotions.

Prize description and collection: One winner will receive two free general admission tickets (approximate value: $140 USD) to the 2017 Portland Korean Food Festival. Each general admission includes 12 single-course dishes, in addition to unlimited nonalcoholic beverages and entry to the festival at 2 p.m.

Other expenses incurred at or with the festival, including additional items purchased at the festival and travel expenses, are not included in the prize. Tickets cannot be sold or transferred by the winner or his or her guest.

The tickets can be claimed only by the winner at the Portland Korean Food Festival, held Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, at the Ecotrust building, 721 NW 9th Ave., Portland, OR 97209. Tickets may be claimed only between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The winner must provide valid identification (a U.S. driver’s license or passport) at the time of ticket collection.

Any local, state and/or federal taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner.

KAC Oregon and festival organizers are not liable for any injury, illness, allergic reaction and/or damages that the winner and/or his or her guest and their property may incur as a result of attending the Portland Korean Food Festival. Contest entrants, the winner and his or her guest agree to release KAC Oregon and the Portland Korean Food Festival from any liability related to the festival.

How to enter: Participants should state their favorite Korean food and describe why it’s their favorite on the Portland Korean Food Festival’s Aug. 26, 2017, Facebook post announcing the contest. Alternately, they may message the page with their response. Portland Korean Food Festival’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/kfoodfest.

Only one response per Facebook user will be considered. All responses may become public. Interested parties who do not wish to have their name and response become public should not enter the contest.

Per Facebook promotional guidelines, posts on Facebook users’ personal or friends’ timelines or on shared posts will not be considered. By entering the contest, participants release Facebook from liability. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook.

Responses deemed by festival organizers to be lewd, inappropriate, irrelevant, untimely, explicit, violent, illegal, pornographic or otherwise offensive may be disqualified, and comments that may be construed as any of the above may be hidden or deleted.

Entry period: The contest will be announced on Facebook on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at 12 noon PST. Entries must be submitted by 12 midnight PST on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.

Finalist determination: At their sole discretion, festival organizers will randomly select the winner. Festival organizers reserve the right to investigate any suspected cheating or tampering with the results.

Winner selection, notification and announcement: The winner will be notified via Facebook. Once the winner has been notified, his or her name will be announced on the Portland Korean Food Festival Facebook page.

Tickets will be available at the door on Sept. 10, 2017, for the contest winner and one guest.

Contact KAC Oregon: KAC Oregon can be reached at 7650 SW 81st Ave., Portland, OR 97223; 971-270-0302; kacoregon@gmail.com; and/or http://kacoregon.org.

PORTLAND KOREAN FOOD FESTIVAL 2016 OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES

This contest is sponsored by the Korean American Coalition of Oregon (KAC Oregon), organizer of the Portland Korean Food Festival. KAC Oregon and festival organizers reserve the right to alter, suspend or conclude the contest at any time.

No purchase is necessary to participate, and purchasing a ticket to the festival will not improve the odds of winning. To enter the contest, it is not necessary to like the KAC Oregon or Portland Korean Food Festival Facebook pages or any of the posts on either page.

You have not yet won. By entering the contest, you agree to abide by all rules and decisions of the festival organizer(s) regarding the administration of the contest.  

Eligibility: Entrants must be at least 18 years of age, must be U.S. residents, must be Facebook account holders and must not have already purchased a ticket to the festival as of Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, at 12 noon PST. Festival organizers do not discriminate on the basis of gender or gender identification, sex, national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, ability, use of a service animal or honorably discharged veteran or military status.

The following are not eligible: members of KAC Oregon’s board of directors and their families, festival sponsors and their families, participating chefs and restaurant staff members and their families and event volunteers and their families.

Consent: By entering the contest, participants grant KAC Oregon and the Portland Korean Food Festival rights to use their contest entry, name and photo for all future festival promotions.

Prize description and collection: One winner will receive two free general admission tickets (approximate value: $140 USD) to the Portland Korean Food Festival. Each general admission includes 12 single-course dishes, in addition to unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and entry to the festival at 2 p.m.

Other expenses incurred at or with the festival, including additional items purchased at the festival and travel expenses, are not included in the prize. Tickets cannot be sold or transferred by the winner or his or her guest.

The tickets can be claimed only by the winner at the Portland Korean Food Festival, held Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, at the Ecotrust building, 907 NW Irving St., Portland, Oregon. Tickets may be claimed only between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. The winner must provide valid identification (a U.S. driver’s license or passport) at the time of ticket collection.

Any local, state and/or federal taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner.

KAC Oregon and festival organizers are not liable for any injury, illness, allergic reaction and/or damages that the winner and/or his or her guest and their property may incur as a result of attending the Portland Korean Food Festival. Contest entrants, the winner and his or her guest agree to release KAC Oregon and the Portland Korean Food Festival from any liability related to the festival.

How to enter: Participants should share what Korean food means to them by commenting on Portland Korean Food Festival’s Aug. 12, 2016, Facebook post announcing the contest or by messaging the page with their response. Portland Korean Food Festival’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/kfoodfest. 

Only one response per Facebook user will be considered. All responses may become public. Interested parties who do not wish to have their name and response become public should not enter the contest.

Per Facebook promotional guidelines, posts on Facebook users’ personal or friends’ timelines or on shared posts will not be considered. By entering the contest, participants release Facebook from liability. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Responses deemed by festival organizers to be lewd, inappropriate, irrelevant, untimely, explicit, violent, illegal, pornographic or otherwise offensive may be disqualified, and comments that may be construed as any of the above may be hidden or deleted.

Initial entry period: The contest will be announced on Facebook on Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2016, at 12 noon PST. Entries must be submitted by 12 midnight PST on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016.

Finalist determination: At their sole discretion, festival organizers will select three finalists by Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, at 6 p.m. PST. Finalists will be chosen based on the originality and quality of their responses.

The three finalists will be announced on Facebook by Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, at 9 p.m. PST.

Winner selection, notification and announcement: Facebook users will have until Thursday, Aug. 26, 2016, at 5 p.m. PST to vote on the winner via Facebook. The response that receives the most votes will be deemed the winner. Festival organizers reserve the right to investigate any suspected cheating or tampering with the results. In the event of a tie, festival organizers will determine the winner.

The winner will be notified via Facebook. Once the winner has been notified, his or her name will be announced on the Portland Korean Food Festival Facebook page.

Contact KAC Oregon: KAC Oregon can be reached at 7650 SW 81st Ave., Portland, OR 97223; 971-270-0302; kacoregon@gmail.com; and/or http://kacoregon.org. 

2016 Portland Korean Food Festival - Are You Ready?

We are looking for dedicated volunteers and fans for the upcoming Korean Food Festival, scheduled for Sunday, August 28, 2016.  If you are interested in volunteering or sponsoring our highly anticipated event, please contact us at kacoregon@gmail.com.  We expect around 1,000 people to attend the Second Annual Portland Korean Food Festival!

We are now starting to reach out to potential sponsors and can use your help to reach out to more businesses, companies, and people.  Please share the sponsorship form and help us reach our sponsorship goal of $15,000.

You For Me For You, by Mia Chung

This was an incredibly well-rounded and honest play. Not only did the actors embody such raw emotion but they also conveyed stoic vulnerability amidst waning humanitarianism and fearful capitalism. To be a North Korean refugee is to be a person torn in half, loyal to your family while being loyal to survival. Showing both sides of the harrowing and terrifying prospects of escaping North Korea (not always surviving without being caught) was very sobering to witness, as an adoptee. There are similar emotions to be had if you were separated from your family, without a choice, as well as, intentionally, post-war. With poignancy, humor, grief and relief, these lead actors were tasked with, creatively, offering a view into the minds and bodies of people traversing an inhumane dictatorship in the hopes of, finally, obtaining freedom. Bordering on the supernatural and surreal, at times, each scene compliments the one before it and prepares the viewer for scenes after. It was a unique and powerful experience to watch this play with an audience, mainly, made up of Korean Nationals, Korean-Americans, Korean adoptees, Chinese-Americans, Japanese Nationals, Japanese-Americans, Korean War Veterans, former Korean-American Congresspeople, refugees and Pacific Islanders. The intensity of lived experiences and level of empathy in the room added to the performance's impact. Two hours wasn't nearly enough time to convey how these experiences shape entire generations, while giving respect to those who perished across the DMZ, but this play manages to get very close to that goal.

The cast is from all over the country and world and I am grateful for their arrival in Portland. Thanks to the KAC Oregon, people are able to see this play as a result of a generous grant. I highly recommend seeing it while it shows through the end of February!

~ Ty, KAC-OR Board Treasurer

For show times and to purchase tickets, visit Portland Playhouse

 Susan Hyon, playing Minhee, the older sister left in North Korea

Susan Hyon, playing Minhee, the older sister left in North Korea



Korean American Day - January 13, 2016

Anna Choe and Don Lee, our KAC Board Members, researched, wrote, and put together this wonderful information sheet on Korean American Day which is coming up this Wednesday, January 13, 2016.  This year, we are celebrating Korean American Day tonight, January 9, 2016 at 5 PM at Portland Central Church with Korean Society of Oregon and hope you will join us.

KAC Oregon will be organizing Korean American Day celebration on January 13, 2017 with Korean Society of Oregon.  If you are interested in getting on the planning committee, please contact us.

Happy New Year! Have you had your tteokguk yet?

Everyone in Korea and many Koreans living all over the world eat tteokguk, 떡국, on New Year's Day because it is believed to bring you good luck for the year.  Also, in Korea, you can't become one year older until you have a bowl of tteokguk.  A common greeting around New Year's Day for Koreans is "Have you eaten tteokguk yet?"  So, have you had your tteokguk yet?

If you are not familiar with theokguk, it is a hot beef broth soup with thinly sliced rice cake (tteok) garnished with marinated beef, thinly sliced fried egg, and dried seaweed (gim).  People also frequently add dumplings (mandu) or scallions (pa).  It is definitely a comfort food perfect for a cold, winter day.