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October / November 2009

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Updates and Announcements

We need volunteers for the event! Please email for more information.

Fall Outreach
Nodutdol just started a new semester of outreach for the Peace Treaty Campaign. We have already completed one workshop at Pace University with more to follow at various colleges in the tri-state area. Email to invite Nodutdol to your campus.

Save the Date
Korea Peace Day and 2009 DPRK Education and Exposure Program's Report Back will take place at NYU on Thursday, December 3rd. More information to follow.

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Future for Youth: Schools or Jails!

"The youth is responsible for Obama’s historic win," posts a young blogger on Perhaps not solely responsible. Yet, responsible enough to turn out to vote. And thankfully, President- elect Obama has named education a national priority and promised a world-class education for our children and youth.

But I can't help but reflect on the Black and Latino youth I work with City-wide, and how far-fetched these prospects are for youth who are locked up, have been locked up or very likely to soon be locked up. This is not because they are dumb or uninterested, but because they are caught in a system that numbs and disinterests their minds, hopes and realities—the criminal justice system.

Ten years ago, a teen popped a question that silenced an entire room full of legislative staff, teachers and advocates, myself included: "How come we can be tried as adults at 16, but we can’t vote at 16?" he asked. At the time, New York State was one of three states in the country where this question rang true. As of 2007, New York is now one of two, along with North Carolina. The question was brilliant, not because it left us all speechless, but because it incriminated – with penetrating insight – the illogic that guides so much of NY's juvenile justice system.

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Ten years, Ten memories

In the first years, Nodutdol didn’t have a beautiful, spacey office that we have now. So the co-founders roamed around different locations in Manhattan and Queens – my work conference room, members’ houses, bars, etc. to have meetings. Even though our bodies wandered around, our hearts were focused on one thought– building a sustainable infrastructure for Reunification and social justice movements within Korean community. Instead of spending our time talking, Nodutdol preferred to implement what we envisioned. In 2001, Nodutdol organized the first delegation of DEEP (DPRK Experience and Education Program) to demystify north Korea and bridge younger generations between north Korea and the U.S. The seven participants of the delegation, which consisted of the members of Nodutdol were nervous and excited for the historic trip which would lay a foundation for following delegations. Through the experience, I gained a wonderful younger brother and friends in north Korea, with whom I still keep in touch. There is a lot of other work that Nodutdol has continued to initiate and contribute to and all these things were possible because Nodutdol preferred “practicing” what we believed instead of wasting time just endlessly “talking” about it. -by Hye-Jung Park

Nodutdol is a...
A meeting of people with a shared vision: All we needed was a shared vision (a dream and passion for reunification) and our hearts in the same place (shared love for people, booze, and movement songs) to make a decision. Decide what? The name “Nodutdol” was suggested by Professor Song, a respected reunification movement leader exiled in Germany. We only met him twice but realized we shared the same vision and understood each other heart to heart, so we immediately agreed on his suggestion. It was a time when comradeship was more valued than process. A meeting of honest people: I remember a workshop to discuss our “class privilege”. When the facilitator said “Stand up if you believe you are someone with class privilege,” we all stood up. The privilege of being highly-educated, the privilege of speaking English, the privilege of having a professional job… From that moment forward, we became always conscious of our social privilege and to make sure it doesn’t become abusive power, we gave each other honest critiques and encouragement. The Nodutdol family is guided by a shared vision, honesty, and are simply good people. I don’t need to provide proof. You just need to look into their faces. Congratulations on Nodutdol’s ten year anniversary. Onward for another ten years! -Kisuk Yom

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Update from Peoples' Justice Coalition

Peoples’ Justice Coalition Launches Outreach and Ad Campaign to Encourage Cop Watch and Education Around New Yorkers’ Rights

The People’s Justice Coalition has launched an outreach campaign encouraging neighborhood-based organizing against police violence, in Washington Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Bushwick. The components of the campaign include billboard advertisements encouraging residents join Cop Watch efforts, as well as a series of murals aimed at educating community members about their rights when confronted by law enforcement officers.

The billboard ads feature a silhouette image of police violence being observed and documented by community-empowered residents armed with a video camera and cellphone. The intention of the ads is to inform community residents that observing police activity is legal and can act as a deterrent of abuse as well as provide critical evidence in cases of police brutality. The ads are also meant to generate interest in forming coordinated Cop Watch teams among residents of neighborhoods that see disproportionate levels of police violence. These ads were posted for the month of Sept. at the following addresses, in Washington Heights: Amsterdam Avenue and 165th Street, Amsterdam Avenue and 173rd Street, Broadway and 162nd Street, and St. Nicholas Avenue and 177th Street. In Bedford-Styvesant they were located at: Fulton Street and Tompkins Avenue, Fulton Street and Throop Avenue, Nostrand Avenue and Pacific Avenue, Tompkins Avenue and Halsey Street, and Fulton Street and Rochester Avenue. In Bushwick they were located at: Knickerbocker Avenue and Melrose Street, Knickerbocker Avenue and Troutman Avenue, Irving Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, Irving Avenue and Menahan Street and Knickerbocker Avenue and Woodbine Street.

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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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