Welcome to the Korean American Studies Education Foundation (KASEF)!
As educators from all walks of life, we recognize that we live in complex and rapidly changing times with unprecedented challenges from pandemic to international conflicts to natural disasters all around the world. While conversations on social justice, racial equity, diversity, inclusiveness, and intersectionality are spreading more than ever before, ‘Ethnic Studies’ has become the new buzz words in the education community. Thanks to the campaign lead by parents, community leaders, and policy makers, the State of California became the first in the nation recently to require ‘Ethnic Studies’ as a graduation requirement for all public high schools in the state. Now, we are given special opportunities to make significant changes to race relations and academia that will impact our future generations.
KASEF was launched as a result of collaborative efforts by school teachers, college faculty, community leaders, and those in the government to work together, out of a necessity to immediately produce what was not available; an easily applicable curriculum and teaching resources on Korean American studies can be downloaded and utilized by any high school educators in their K-12 classrooms, along with other Ethnic Studies curricula. We already have vast amount of research done on Korean American studies and have a lot of highly academic resources, which now needed to be converted into a teachable and usable state with supplemental materials for actual classes in high schools.
The next few years is a critical period while the State of California will go through a change in the Social Science standards and framework, at the same time finalizing on Ethnic Studies curricula that will be mandated with the class starting 2025 - 2026. Now, KASEF has 8 lesson plans that can be incorporated right away into any high school classrooms. KASEF will continue to develop more lesson plans with the help of many. Also, KASEF will continue to network with educators from other AAPI communities to strengthen our voice, while focusing on teacher training and support via workshops, seminars, and conferences.
After working for over 37 years as a journalist, community activist, public servant, EM pastor, Taekwondo grandmaster, executive leadership in non-profit organizations, and as a consultant, with keen interest in youth education and victim advocacy, KASEF gave me a reason to delay my retirement and concentrate my energy one more time for a cause worthwhile. As a journalist, I have witnessed firsthand the tragedy of 1992 LA Civil Uprising and the riot that followed. I would hate to see similar victimization of our communities again in the future. Education is the key! As one of the final editors for this curriculum book and teaching resources, I learned the value of teaching Korean American stories that will benefit all immigrant communities.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all those who have encouraged me to establish KASEF, including Dr. Grace Cho, Education Consul Ha Young Choi, and President Joosik Shin of Korean Education Center, Los Angeles. Special thanks go to all of the sponsoring organizations, individual donors, KASEF Board members, KASEF officers, and all those who will work close with us for achieving our objectives. I humbly ask for your continuous support and interest in creating a collaborative learning environment and a better future for all of us.
Thank you and God Bless You All!