Young Oak Kim Center to launch traveling museum on America’s first Koreatown with Mellon Foundation Grant

Young Oak Kim Center to launch traveling museum on America’s first Koreatown with Mellon Foundation Grant

UC Riverside has been awarded an $850,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation Humanities in Place to launch a traveling museum showcasing the history of America’s first Koreatown — Pachappa Camp. The museum will preserve and share the story of a community of Korean migrant workers in Riverside who contributed to the city’s citrus development, including Korea’s most influential independence activist, Dosan Ahn Chang Ho.

The traveling exhibition will be presented in collaboration with a consortium of Asian American and civil rights groups based in Riverside, as well as national Korean American community organizations in Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. It will highlight the contributions of Korean American labor and provide communities with an opportunity to learn, connect, and grow from this country’s rich narrative.

The three-year grant will allow the program to kick off in San Francisco beginning late 2024, led by Edward Chang, ethnic studies professor and founding director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at UCR. Strategic counsel will be provided by Daryle Williams, dean of UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and co-creator of Enslaved.org, who will provide strategic counsel for the overall project and also oversee the digital exhibition component.

Chang, who has been researching Korean American history for over 30 years, said that finding these critical slices of history and highlighting them at a national level is something he had not expected until 2016, when two visiting Korean graduate students helped him translate documents from old Korean to modern Korean language, that he understood the significance of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho’s presence in Riverside. He is particularly interested in sharing the history of Pachappa Camp with youth as a way to bring back history that has been intentionally omitted from textbooks.

More information can be found at the original article, “UCR to launch traveling museum on America’s first Koreatown with Mellon Foundation grant“.

Photo Credit: UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez

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