I choose the program Critical Race Studies in UCLA Law, as it is the only educational facility, which gives students the opportunity to receive education in the field of the intersection between race and the law. Due to my personal experience, academic ad profession background I feel that I can make a distinctive contribution to the work of this program, in the same time receiving unique education and practical experience.
I chose racial studies as one of my major professional interests because the problem of racial adaptation and discrimination had followed me from the early childhood. I’m a Korean American, and I went quite a long way through childhood complexes, and teenage rejection towards understanding and accepting the hyphen in my nationality with honor.
Besides my educational and professional experiences are relevant to this field of study. I graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Politics, with a Minor in East Asian studies from the Brandeis University. During my university years I was working with university professors assisting them with various projects concerning women health, law, and issues concerning Korean – American immigrants.
My last student-scholar partnership was that with Nadia Kim, the professor that was invited to read some sociology courses concerning Korean immigration, after I lobbied the administration to include some courses about Korea into the curriculum. I did much research for her on the racial aspect between Korean-Americans and African-Americans through the LA Riots incident, as well issues of bi-raciality in South Korea and America.
I volunteered at an organization helped bi-racial residents of South Korea deal with discrimination by helping them get jobs and homes, while providing a reliable support network. I also interned at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office as a law clerk. While interning I was able to first-hand the unfortunate outcomes of many racial conflicts between gangs and racist families, etc. I already have some practical experience in dealing with the problems of race and law.
I’m sure it will contribute both to my future colleagues’ experience, and to my learning process. I have always taken part in extracurricular activities both at my school and university. I was a leader of the Brandeis Asian American Students Association (BAASA) – an umbrella organization of all Asian American groups at Brandeis, advocating Asian-American identity, political activism & heritage.
My senior year I became president. Also I was the Head Coordinator of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Programming board, took part in the work of Korean Students Association, wrote to the official university news paper. Working in these organizations developed my leadership skills, taught me to organize the activities of people that surround me, to empower people, and transfer my ideas. I feel that these attainments will help me to complement the work of the CRS program with new elements, which can make it more interesting and effective.
As you can see I have quite a rich background, which can help me to contribute to the work of CRS program. I believe it is a very useful initiative that should be spread to other American universities, as nowadays racial problems still exist in the U.S society. Thus I will do my best to contribute to the CRS program with all my knowledge, experience and attainments.