Greetings from the Korean Consul General

It is my great honor and pleasure to introduce the Korean American Ethnic Studies Curriculum: Teaching Resource for K-12 Classroom. I extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. Grace Cho for leading the way as well as the curriculum development team, and the Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee for Korean Americans (ESACKA) for their earnest efforts to publish this book.

As you know, multiethnicity and multiculturalism are among California’s greatest strengths, and we saw several significant changes to further promote diversity over the past few years. In October 2021, California became the first state in the United States to require public high school students to take at least one semester of an ethnic studies course to graduate. Additionally, the California State Board of Education approved the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, which includes seven topics on Korean American history. This achievement was made possible by the tireless efforts of the Korean American community, with educators writing lesson plans, community leaders promoting an online petition, and the public sending letters to policymakers to advocate for ethnic studies.

Discrimination against Asian Americans dates back to the nineteenth century but the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans. To fundamentally resolve racial conflict and eliminate hate crimes, we need to listen to the stories of marginalized people and increase our mutual understanding. It is my hope that by learning about the rich histories and cultures of different ethnicities, students will value diversity and become inclusive global citizens. It is also my goal that Korean American students will gain more appreciation for their heritage and be inspired by learning about the Korean Americans who raised their voices on social justice issues.

This year marks the 121st anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. Korean Americans have navigated a history scarred by profound destruction and anguish, stemming from the colonial era and the Korean War. Nevertheless, they have emerged as an exceptional community with narratives imbued with resilience, sacrifice, and unwavering will. Presently, they have excelled across diverse spheres within American society, even achieving substantial milestones in political process. As we navigate uncertainties that lie ahead, let us arm ourselves with the wisdom and fortitude of our ancestors. I hold steadfastly to the belief that this resource material offers a paramount opportunity to instill such values.

The Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles will continue to support developing additional lesson plans and supplementary learning materials. I hope that these resources will be helpful to educators in teaching ethnic studies more actively and effectively in their schools.


Youngwan Kim
Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles