The New Young Oak Center will be the new home for a research center devoted to Korean American Studies.
According to Professor Edward Chang, the Center, based at the University of California, Riverside, will be a “mecca for Korean American research”. Its focus will be on the research and history of Korean Americans, the issues surrounding identity, the Korean diaspora in the US and globally and the role of Korean Americans in the unification of North and South Korea. The Center also plans to bridge ethnic and generational gaps.
While many research centers have focused on Chinese and Japanese Americans, only a handful of universities have Korean Studies Centers. Included in the list are UCLA, Berkeley, Harvard, the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii.
The Center’s current research is heavily focused on the impact of the LA race riots in the 1990s and its impact on the Korean American community. During the riots, many Korean American businesses were looted and damaged, causing increased tension between African Americans and Korean Americans.