Alliance for Korea United Hosts Forum on the Anniversary of the March 1 Movement

Kenji Sawai
March 25, 2024
A man speaking at a forum with a banner for the Alliance for Korea United Washington D.C. in the background.

Alliance for Korea United Hosts Forum on the Anniversary of the March 1 Movement

In his national message commemorating Korea’s March 1st Movement, South Korean President Yoon stated, “The March 1st Movement will be completed with a Unified Korea where everyone enjoys freedom and prosperity.” In the same spirit, a forum entitled “A Unified Korea Movement: Lessons from the Independence Leaders in the USA” was hosted by Alliance for Korea United (AKU).

The Washington forum was held during the 105th Anniversary celebrations of the March 1st Independence Movement at the Korean Community Center on March 3, 2024. Speakers highlighted four renowned Korean American leaders, including Ahn Changho (Youth Education), Park Yongman (Established the Army), Syngman Rhee (Diplomat), and Philip Jaisohn (1st Korean Congress in Philadelphia).

Group of individuals standing with hands over hearts during a formal event organized by the Alliance for Korea United.

Alliance for Korea United Hosts Forum on the Anniversary of the March 1 Movement

The Jae Un Byun Washington Culture Foundation opened the forum with a vibrant Korean Drums Performance, followed by greetings from AKU President Yusook Kim.

President Kim’s message explored “K-DNA,” describing her views of Korean culture and the hope for a unified Korean peninsula. She said:

  1. Koreans are a peace-loving people who can open the path to peace and prosperity together.
  2. Moral beliefs of filial piety and loyalty are based on a culture of extended families exemplified in Korea’s history and culture.
  3. As people with a spiritual and religious foundation, a unified Korea will become a country that embodies the universal values of human rights and religious freedom.
Speaker addressing an audience at a forum about the Korean independence movement in the USA on March 3, 2024, focusing on the significance of the March 1 Movement.

Alliance for Korea United Hosts Forum on the Anniversary of the March 1 Movement

Dr. Edward T. Chang, a Professor at UC Riverside, presented on “Ahn Changho and the First Korean Town in the USA, Pachappa Camp.” He discussed the historical significance of Pachappa Camp in California. The town established a system that included a democratic republic, separation of powers, and women’s duties and rights equal to men in 1911 before the Shanghai Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Dr. Chang described Ahn Changho as a leader of “honesty, organization, and integration (Unification).”

The International President of Global Peace Foundation, Mr. Jim Flynn, presented “Park Yongman and the Vision of a Free and Unified Korea.” The 80 Korean American leaders in Washington DC applauded his passion and detailed research about Yongman Park. President Flynn explained the shared history between America and Korea when missionaries and their American churches became important advocates in supporting the Korean people and ideals of freedom and equality—central to both the American experience and the Korean aspiration. He also presented the Korean Dream as the end goal of a Free & Unified Korea

Gathering of individuals at a forum hosted by the Alliance for Korea United in Washington D.C., with a speaker addressing the audience.

Alliance for Korea United Hosts Forum on the Anniversary of the March 1 Movement

Dr. Michael Lee spoke on the topic, “Syngman Rhee and building a new ROK nation,” with detailed historical facts about the birth of the Republic of Korea. Syngman Rhee’s documentary movie “Birth of Korea” recently reached 1 million admissions in Korea in two months. Dr. Lee’s paper highlighted the background of the documentary, which emphasized the first President’s diplomatic efforts with US leaders, such as establishing the Mutual Defense Treaty.

Mr. George Choe, President & CEO of the Philip Jaisohn Foundation, spoke about “Dr. Philip Jaisohn’s Independence Movement Activities in America and What Does It Mean for the Young Generation.” He shared Philip Jaisohn’s words before starting the Korean War, “To Korean compatriots, Korea will live in unity. If we separate, Korea will disappear. If Korea will disappear, because South side of Korean will disappear and North side of Korean will disappear, is there any advantage to do something that will kill you in the near future? Do the right way to live.” He went on to highlight the First Korean Congress founded in Philadelphia in 1919, Dr. Jaisohn’s services and leadership development, and the Memorial Foundation as “Changemakers” for today and into the future.

Watch the full event: 

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