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Title:Together We Are America: Undocumented Korean American Youth's Activism and their Challenge on the "Ideal Youth/Citizen"
Author(s):Chung, Ga Young
Subject(s):Education Policy, Organization & Leadership
Abstract:Although approximately 230,000 Koreans Americans (1 out of 7) are undocumented, their voices remain largely silent. Currently they represent the 7th largest undocumented population in the US. My dissertation examines their activism that challenges the silence and restrictions constructed at the intersection of the model minority myth, legal status, age, and economic need. In 2013, they initiated the “DREAM Riders” campaign, a national road trip inspired by the Freedom Riders of the 1960s and I joined the team as a researcher-activist. With newly acquired driver's licenses made possible by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, they drove across country stopping in 8 different states to promote awareness of the plight of undocumented Asian Americans. At Freedom University in Georgia, an underground school for undocumented youth banned from public higher education, stories were shared with laughter and tears. In the group picture I accidentally held the sign "Together We Are America" upside down but the Riders loved it "because what we are doing is to make people see things differently." This project strongly reaffirmed that my research and our collaborative action to (re)define America will continue with robust respect for people's differences in race, ethnicity, sexuality, and legal status.
Issue Date:2017
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Ga Young Chung
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-04-21

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