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On June 12th, 2013, Korean American Civic Empowerment (KACE) and the Kupferberg Holocaust Center held the graduation for the Asian Historic Justice Internship program.

The Asian Historic Justice Internship (formerly known as the Northeast Asian History Internship Program) is an educational program run jointly by KACE and the Kupferberg Holocaust Center. This internship is designed for students at the Queensborough Community College, CUNY to educate about war crimes that occurred during World War II, and gives the student interns an opportunity to interview comfort women survivors in Korea.

This internship program educates about the human rights abuses that occurred during World War II to prevent such dereliction of human duty from happening ever again.

KACE and the Kupferberg Holocaust Center selected ten interns of different nationalities. Through a video conference call, the interns interviewed three comfort women survivors residing at the House of Sharing, located in South Korea. The interns stated that they were not aware of the comfort women issue before the internship. They were appalled by the brutal treatment these women receive and encouraged the survivors in their journey to receive an official apology from Japan. They stated that they request the Japanese government’s immediate acknowledgement and apology to these women as soon as possible. They also hoped that activities to raise awareness of the survivors’ struggle continues.

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One intern, Susan Stuart stated that she would really like to meet the women and learn more about their struggles, but she needs monetary support. Stuart stated that human trafficking is rampant in the greater world, and the history of the comfort women will serve a great role in educating about human rights.

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Clariza Mayo, an intern, stated that she gained an interest in human rights through this internship and she is spreading awareness to her friends and family already.

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KACE President Dongchan Kim stated, “Asian history is as long and valuable as European history, but it has tragedies in it as well. We have seen so much pain and suffering in Europe because of the Holocaust, and we can see that there was a tragedy in East Asia as well. We all must remember the pain and suffering of the survivors and those who have gone ahead of us, and I urge you to take action to protect human rights.”

Representatives from Rep. Grace Meng, New York State Assemblymembers Edward Braunstein and Ron Kim, and New York City Councilman Peter Koo attended this meeting to congratulate the interns.

KOREAN AMERICAN CIVIC EMPOWERMENT
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