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As the first on-campus event of our new program “KAGC U,” KACE hosted voter registration drives with Wellesley Korean Students Association (KSA), Harvard Korean Association, and Harvard PAPIA on February 17th, 2016.

At our registration tables, and from students making rounds at their residential houses, we were able to help over 120 students register to vote! The Korean American student leaders we work with did a phenomenal job.

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In the evening, we held an open conversation with Professor Terry Park (Wellesley, American Studies), Professor Josephine Kim (Harvard, Education), and Professor Arissa Oh (Boston College, Asian American History) on the history of Korean America and our civic engagement.

Wellesley senior Anni Kim, President of Wellesley Korean Student Association, expressed her hope for more opportunities like this would be available for students, since “it’s rare to find a role model who had a similar experience like us 2nd-generation Korean Americans and Asian Americans. We saw many friends who lose touch with their Korean identity or with their American-ness due to lack of proper guidance.”

Likewise, Jenny Choi of Harvard PAPIA (Progressive Asian American and Pacific Islander Alliance) was “pleased to hear from the experienced, predecessors that each vote from my fellow Korean American students, all minorities and mostly first-time voters, can make a difference. Especially the voice of each and every one of us matters when it comes to racial stereotypes.”

This event “KAGC U Boston” was the first in the series of several on-campus events this semester, put together by student leaders we met for the KAGC U Leadership Summit 2016 in January. KACE plans on hosting 10 such events on campus with 27 Korean American student organizations across the nation.

In the upcoming 3rd annual Korean American Grassroots Conference, on July 6th through 8th, KACE will run a separate program exclusively dedicated to college students. A turnout of 150 students is expected for KAGC U 2016 in Washington, D.C.

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