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March 2009

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March Announcements

ECAASU: Nodutdol attended this year’s ECAASU conference at the end of February to present a workshop on and do outreach for our Peace Treaty Campaign. Students seemed very interested in the issue and the workshop was one of the best-attended in the entire conference.

KASCON (Korean American Students Conference): Several Nodutdol members also traveled to Philadelphia on March 6th and 7th to workshop and table for the Peace Treaty Campaign at KASCON 2009.

April 3rd & 4th, March on Wall Street: Nodutdol invites you to join us at the upcoming Bail Out the People March on Wall Street, an action to demand that “the needs of the people come before the greed of the super rich.” For more information on the campaign, please visit

Korean Language Class is currently accepting students for Spring/Summer Session.
To enroll in our classes or for more info, please contact us at

BEGINNER III: 04/7/09 – 06/9/09 [10 weeks]
Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm
Some basic knowledge of Korean language [Korean alphabet, basic greetings, numbers, etc.] required.

INTERMEDIATE: 04/8/09 - 06/10/09 [10 weeks]
Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm
Students with about 7-8 months of Korean language instruction. Corresponding level of Korean proficiency to conduct basic social activities. Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

All classes are held in midtown Manhattan. Each class will be small [a maximum of 10 students] and focus on developing conversational Korean language skills in an informal atmosphere. If you are interested in participating in Nodutdol's Korean language classes or know of someone who might be interested, please contact us, and spread the word.

$300 per 10-week session
$225 for low income and Nodutdol members

APPLY NOW for the Nodutdol Summer Internship! Deadline: March 15
In 2009, Nodutdol, as part of a national coalition, will launch a national campaign for the ratification of a Peace Treaty on the Korean peninsula. Summer interns will assist in the campaign in many different ways, and responsibilities may include:

-- Studying the origin of Korea’s national division and the history of the people’s movement for peace and national unification;
-- Surveying Korean American youth and students to assess general attitudes on the prospect for peace and unification on the Korean peninsula;
-- Developing workshops and educational materials aimed at reaching and mobilizing a broad base of Korean American youth and students in the campaign;
-- Developing outreach materials and utilizing mass media to promote a national Peace Treaty tour;
-- Making contacts with student organizations on local campuses to arrange workshops and other educational events;
-- Bringing together student leaders from various campuses and organizations to form a host committee for the national Peace Treaty tour; and
-- Facilitating workshops and giving presentations at schools, churches, and community organizations.

Internship will be 10 weeks from June through August. (Exact dates/times TBD.) Possibility of a stipend. Send resumes and cover letters no later than March 15, 2009 to:

Summer Internship Search Committee
Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
5322 Roosevelt Ave, 2 floor
Woodside NY 11377

Or to [indicate ‘summer internship’ in the subject line]

Nodutdol March Updates

NDD welcomes two new members to the Organizing Committee!

Yun-hee is Nodutdol's newest staff member as well as being a new OC member. She has been actively involved with Nodutdol for four years and was previously a grantwriting consultant for the organization. She has lived most of her life on islands and enjoys reading, writing, playing music, using dictionaries and the nuances of penmanship. Her background is in the arts but she has been involved in activist work for fifteen plus years.

Mia joined Nodutdol after moving to New York in January of last year, and is the co-coordinator of the Organizing and Outreach Committee. Previously, she has worked with Paper Tiger Television in New York and the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in San Antonio, Texas. Mia is interested in using community arts and stories to create social change. She has been a ballet dancer/choreographer since the age of three and loves to read and write.

Contested Terrain: The Promise and Perils of Reunification*

In October 2008, the conference, "Reunification: Building Permanent Peace in Korea" was presented by the Korea Policy Institute and the International Area Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Coinciding with the U.S. presidential campaign, the conference was intended as a primer on a wide range of issues in U.S. ­ Korea relations to be addressed by the next administration. The urgency for the U.S. and North Korea (D.P.R.K.) to normalize relations and for a permanent peace to replace the Korean War truce were the common themes in the numerous presentations by noted Korea scholars and activists. One fascinating talk was given by Martin Hart-Landsberg, Professor of Economics and Director of the Political Economy Program at Lewis and Clark College, and Adjunct Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, South Korea. While there has been a great deal of talk in the U.S. about the need for changes in North Korea, Prof. Hart-Landsberg talked about the systemic changes needed on the southern half of the peninsula as well - and how a strategy to clarify them, and to advance a process of reunification with the potential for realizing them was critical. Below follows Prof. Hart-Landsberg's presentation, "Contested Terrain: The Promise and Perils of Reunification". -JT Takagi

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

The title of this conference is "Reunification: Building Permanent Peace in Korea." It seems that nearly everyone publicly supports the reunification of Korea—the governments of the U.S., North Korea, South Korea, the great majority of people in North Korea and South Korea, and, I would imagine, everyone here at this conference as well.

This should make us all nervous because what it means is that different people mean different things when they talk about reunification. This in turn means that we need to think carefully about what we mean when we offer our own support for reunification or, said differently, we need to stop thinking about reunification as an act that is unambiguously good and start thinking about it as a contested process. The obvious point is that a sound reunification process will greatly increase the likelihood of a desirable reunification outcome. One of our tasks then is to help support Korean efforts to advance a reunification process that will be truly responsive to the needs of the Korean people.

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Interview with Fay Chiang

By Mia Kang

I recently sat down for an interview with my friend Fay Chiang, a longtime artist and activist who currently works with Project Reach, a youth center on the Lower East Side, and is finishing up the manuscript for a new book of poetry. I asked Fay to discuss her involvement with the Asian American community in New York City, as well as her work as an artist. The following is a transcript of our conversation.

Q: Do you want to start by telling us about your book?

A: Well, I’m coming out with a new collection of poetry that combines my old poetry and new. The old poems are from my two collections that are out of print – the first one called In the City of Contradictions, which came out in 1979, and Miwa’s Song, which came out in 1982. Both of the books were published by Sunbury press, a small press that was run by Virginia Scott up in the Bronx. They’ve been out of print for a while, but I’ve never stopped writing poetry, so the third section will be new work, and that section I’m going to call “Midnight Blue Sky.” And the whole collection is called Seven Continents, Nine Lives.

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: Oh my goodness! I’ve been writing since, I think, fourth grade. My parents are from China, and I grew up in the back of a laundry in Queens in the fifties. There was so much, kind of, racism in the neighborhood, because it was Irish-/Italian-Catholic, and Jewish; we were one of the three Chinese American families, and my parents ran the Chinese laundry. And when we first moved up there...the kids were really not nice. They were throwing rocks at us or trying to hit us with tree branches, to the point where my parents said, “Stay away from those kids and just play in front of the laundry.” Or my mother would take us to the playground.

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About Nodutdol eNews

Nodutdol eNews is the monthly e-mail newsletter of Nodutdol.Through grassroots organization and community development, Nodutdol seeks to bridge divisions created by war, nation, gender, sexual orientation, language, classes and generation among Koreans and to empower our community to address the injustice we and other people of color face here and abroad. Nodutdol works in collaboration with other progressive organizations locally, nationally and internationally as part of a larger movement for peace and social change.

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