Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Exposure & Education Program and Korea Exposure & Education Program Records

Date Range: 19992009
Survey Conducted: Sat, 2010-04-10
Creator: Nodutdol for Korean Community Development

History: Founded in New York City in April 1999 by a group of first- and second-generation Korean Americans inspired by social democratic movements in Korea, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development is a non-profit Korean American community advocacy organization that seeks to promote the unity and self-determination of the Korean people through grassroots organizing and community development.

Working in collaboration with other organizations locally, nationally and internationally, Nodutdol describes its mission as “bridg[ing] divisions created by war, nation, gender, sexual orientation, language, class and generation among Koreans and to empower our community to address the injustices we and other people of color face here and abroad.” The group sponsors workshops, lectures and study sessions with a perspective that critically analyzes the impact of imperialism, patriarchy, heterosexism, racism and capitalism with an eye towards encouraging present and future generations of Koreans to be actively engaged in social change.Nodutdol supports Korean unification efforts, and has led campaigns against the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (2006-2007) and against war and militarization around the world. They are members of several coalitions, including United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), Korean Americans for Fair Trade (KAFT) and People’s Justice for Community Control and Police Accountability (PJ). Nodutdol also organizes and sponsors events, including film screenings, public forums, and demonstrations.

Nodutdol organizes annual exposure and education programs. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Exposure & Education Program (DEEP) brings activists and socially concerned Korean Americans to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in an effort to demystify the country, and counter negative and biased portrayals of the country in mainstream US media. Each year, DEEP organizes a fundraising drive to support the people of the DPRK and uses the proceeds to bring medical supplies, books, and other materials to the DPRK. The Korea Exposure & Education Program (KEEP), founded in 1994 by activists in New York City, Los Angeles and Seoul, seeks to increase awareness of and strengthen the global movement for peace and justice on the Korean peninsula. The founders hope that understanding the history and role of Koreans in the United States will be a catalyst for a new generation of progressive activism and community leadership. In 2008, the two programs have been merged into the Exposure & Education Program (EEP), which alternates between trips to South Korea and the DPRK.

Sources: “About.” Nodutdol. Accessed February 4, 2015. http://nodutdol.org/index.php/about/.

Summary: The collection contains materials relating to both the Korea Exposure & Education Program (KEEP) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Exposure & Education Program (DEEP) including study materials, participants’ forms, songbooks, photographs, itineraries, fundraising materials, and clippings.

DEEP materials, comprising approximately one linear foot and spanning the years 2003 to 2006, largely consist of primary and secondary source readers created for study sessions conducted prior to trips. Although the content and organization of the readings varies from year to year, there is significant overlap between the content from year to year. The readings are entirely in English, and are drawn from scholarly journals, newspapers, and books, covering the history and current issues in the DPRK. Other materials include applications, maps, itineraries, correspondence regarding trip arrangements, meeting notes and evaluations. Of particular significance is a small selection of travel literature in English from the DPRK.

Materials in the collection from KEEP also largely consist of study readers, composed of materials from news sources including the New York Times, Korea Times, Korea Daily, Segye Times, Base21, OhmyNews International and Asian Workers News. Letters, fact sheets and reports from a variety of advocacy groups such as the Korea Truth Commission, Korean Human Rights Group, and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, are also included in the readers. A number of songbooks in Korean are also included, as are fundraising materials, meeting agendas and notes, liability and nondisclosure forms, and correspondence to applicants.

Also included are a number of photographs, mostly from KEEP. These include both four by six inch prints, as well as seven CD-ROMs. Since 2004, most materials for both DEEP and KEEP have been created digitally, and are stored on a laptop in Nodutdol’s offices. These files are largely administrative and include forms, minutes, correspondence and fliers.

Total Size: 2 linear feet and electronic files
APA-related Size: 2 linear feet and electronic files
Languages of materials: English and Korean
Arrangement: other
Location: Nodutdol offices
Conditions Governing Access: Currently inaccessible to the public.
Preservation Note: Photographs on CD-ROMS are in danger due to inherent instability of optical media. Electronic files are not systematically backed up.

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