Family history can represent a transnational narrative. The Korean diaspora in a post-Japanese imperialist society pushed Mr. Song Hurn Joo to immigrate to Hawaii and eventually Los Angeles to pursue sovereignty for his country. Educated at Princeton University, these lessons and networks provided a bedrock for his lifetime career in politics. Dr. Syngman Rhee appointed him as the chairman of finance to issue bonds for the Korean government-in-exile. He educated Korea immigrants and helped unify organizations to establish the Korean National Association. Mr. Song served as the Korean National Association chairman for two terms, but was elected for three. Mr. Song’s commitment to his nation’s independence was the reason to honor his lasting memory at this year’s colloquium.
Dr. Dennehy, CSUF History Department Chair, Dr. Granata, COPH Director, and Jennifer Keil, CSUF MA graduate, gathered at the Korean Consul General’s Residence in Los Angeles for the second annual Korean Diaspora Colloquium. This evening was opened by Dr. Shiyoung Park, Education Consul, to welcome the group of community leaders, scholars, and friends. Consul General Wan-joong Kim provided congratulatory remarks for the commemorative program in his home. Jennifer Keil, SOHA 1st VP, provided the keynote presentation on the life of Song Hurn Joo, a Seoul born Korean patriot who used his political connections to liberate his country from Japanese imperialism. Mr. Dong K. Kim concluded this evening with a memoir of his visionary grandfather which included personal memories. The Kim family provided archival materials and a written history that will be preserved for future scholars to analyze. We hope to create a robust oral history project that not only maintains Mr. Song Hurn Joo’s contributions, but other incredible patriots. Please contact Jennifer Keil at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to contribute to this ongoing project. We hope to create a 2019 Southwest Oral History Association panel.