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For Immediate Release
March 9, 2012
On location in Montgomery, Alabama
Morna Ha, NAKASEC, 213-503-0942
Hey Kyung Eum, KRCC, 773-876-7673
Judy Yi, CPACS, 770-940-9057
NAKASEC, KRCC & CPACS Join Renewed Call for
Civil Rights in America
Thousands Gather in Alabama for Protection of Immigrant Rights,
Workers’ Rights, Voting Rights and Public Education
Montgomery, Alabama – On March 9, 2012, a delegation of community organizers and advocates from the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) in Chicago, IL, and the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS) in Atlanta, GA, joined thousands of other labor and civil rights leaders and community members in Alabama for final day of the 6-day long re-enactment of the historic 1965 Voting Rights March. NAKASEC and KRCC were also part of the march on Thursday, March 8, a day dedicated to immigration and a call to repeal HB56. Workers’ rights and public education were also highlighted on previous days with the overarching theme of voting rights weaved throughout the entire march.
“At a time when immigrant rights, workers’ rights and voting rights are being stripped away in communities across the country, this March provides an opportunity to uplift the hopes to the challenges that lay before us,” said Morna Ha, executive director of NAKASEC. She continued saying, “And for us to be here as Korean Americans is extremely profound. We reflect back to our beginnings when we were founded to amplify the voices of Korean Americans on a national level on major civil rights issues, and look forward to building stronger connections with Latino and black communities in our shared struggle.”
Added CEO of CPACS, Chaiwon Kim, “As the first, largest and longest running Asian American serving agency in the Southeast, it is important for us to represent our community and march in solidarity to uphold the principles and spirit of the Selma to Montgomery March.” CPACS is well-regarded in Georgia and throughout the region as a critical resource and lifeline to Asian Americans. Their state also passed a harsh anti-immigrant law, HB 87, which went into law on July 1, 2011, while having some of its provisions blocked by a court ordered injunction.
“This March makes us reflect and learn from history but also reminds us that we must not repeat the wrongs of the past and that we must not stay silent. It is unfortunately that the fight for civil rights and immigrant rights still continues today. We will continue to march until racial discrimination ends its plague in our communities,” stated Sik Son, executive director of KRCC.
AJA (Americans Joining in Action), an all-women led Korean poongmul (traditional percussion) troupe also joined from Georgia to provide thunderous drumbeats for the marchers as they near their final destination. The culminating rally took place in front of the State Capitol, just a few feet away from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.
NAKASEC, KRCC and CPACS attended as part of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, a national coalition of grassroots organizations fighting for immigrant rights at the local, state and federal level.
Photos from the march (please credit appropriately)
- From NAKASEC – http://bit.ly/xLOO9z
- From Fair Immigration Reform Movement – http://on.fb.me/Aapn6m
- From Reform Immigration for America – http://on.fb.me/AuAMsy
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a national progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans as a part of a greater goal of building a national movement for social change. NAKASEC is based D.C. and Los Angeles. NAKASEC also has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).
The Korean American Resource & Cultural Center (KRCC) was founded in 1995 by young Korean immigrant youth with a focus on community education and advocacy. Today KRCC’s mission is to empower the Korean American community through education, social service, organizing/advocacy and culture.
Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS) is a private nonprofit located in Atlanta, Georgia. Our mission is to create and deliver culturally and linguistically competent, comprehensive health and social services.