By Jamie Jung Eun Kim| New Organizing Project blogger
Six months ago, I headed to D.C for NOP #3 training without any expectation of the outcome that the blogging experience might bring. With no prior experience writing blogs, I was rather worried whether I would be able to come up with new relevant topics that would interest the readers. The only thing I was certain of going in, was that I wanted to learn more about my community and be surrounded by peers passionate about social justice.
Six months of being on Google chat, sharing documents, tweeting posts, and joining conference calls has definitely opened my eyes to a world beyond liking Facebook posts. Although, I still have LONG way to go, I am now affirmed by the promising future of social media in organizing.
More importantly, I want to reflect back on my experiences at the Korean Resource Center that has led me to this exact opportunity. Two years ago, as a freshman starting college, I had no idea what “organizing” meant. I had only read about non profits, social justice movements, and various activists through books and the news. It was when I met members of AKASIA (Association of Korean American Students in Action) that I was able to grasp what “real” service meant and how movements were created. I had never encountered before so many students passionate about immigration reform and community service. I appreciated that the members not only empowered themselves but also reached out to empower others. Through AKASIA, I started to help out with undocumented student resource workshops and other events like citizenship workshops that addressed different demographics of the community. I learned from fellow dreamers as they thrived academically and socially, despite setbacks, while still serving others.
Meeting dreamers from Georgia to New York, and seeing the harsh realities students faced in many U.S states in order to obtain higher education, opened my eyes to the need for a national comprehensive immigration reform. I felt a sense of appreciation to be in a state that recognized undocumented students as necessary and positive members of our community. Also, it warmed my heart to see KRCC, another strong community of API organizers, thriving outside of California.
Finally, blogging for NAKASEC was a place that allowed me to explore issues of API community and explore my identity. Taken as a whole, this has been a life changing experience that has shaped my values and ambitions today. I joined the dream movement because it addressed my need to go on to higher education. I have for years, felt extremely thankful for all the resources that I was able to receive. However, I wish to join other movements that go beyond my own interest and be just as helpful and passionate as supporters of the movement have been for me and many other dreamers.
Over the past six months, I hope that I may have, in a way, brought some insight on issues that exist in today’s API community. I also hope that the NOP blog becomes not only a tool for social organizing but also as a platform for young people to express their individual identities. It will be weird not worrying about what topics to pitch for my next posts, but I sincerely look forward to reading fresh insights from new generations of bloggers. I want to truly thank NAKASEC and KRC for this opportunity and the readers that took the time to read our posts. Thank you so much.
Jamie Jung Eun Kim