19th Annual Multi-Cultural Leadership Korea Visitation Program Concluded in Success
The 19th Annual Multi-Cultural Leadership Korea Visitation Program has been concluded in a resounding success.
The visitation program, which dates back to 1997, was jointly organized by the GCS International Los Angeles Chapter and GCS International Headquarters.
A total of 18 delegates from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds in the Los Angeles area participated in the nine-day program, which started on October 9, 2019 and wrapped up on October 17.
Dr. Chan-Hie Kim, the founding president of the GCS International Los Angeles Chapter and a retired professor of Claremont School of Theology, served as the delegation team leader.
Among the delegates were Mr. Jongnam (Jason) Lee, president of the board of trustees of the GCS International Los Angeles Chapter; Mr. Alfred Reyes, captain of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; and Ms. Diedre Nguyen, councilmember of the City of Garden Grove; and Mr. Brian Mineghino, special project manager of the California Assemblymember’s Office.
While in Korea, the delegates visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace in downtown Seoul, toured a demilitarized zone (DMZ) area near North Korea, the Korean Folk Village, the National Assembly and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
They received lectures on Korean culture and lifestyles, Korean politics & government, and Korean economy: past and present. The delegates were briefed on the GCS Movement by Dr. Seok-jae Kang, secretary general of GCS International at the GCS International Headquarters.
The Multi-Cultural Leadership Korea Visitation Program started in 1997 by the GCS Los Angeles Chapter in cooperation with the GCS International Headquarters, with the purpose of helping build a brighter society by enhancing mutual understanding, unity in diversity, and tolerance among peoples from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Through this program, leaders from diverse ethnic groups in the Los Angeles area are invited to gain a better understanding of Korean culture and to utilize that insight in various roles in their communities based on their first-hand experience in Korea.
The past program took place in 2016, but it was suspended for two years in 2017 and 2018. So far, some 300 delegates have participated in the visitation program.
The initiation of the program goes back to the 1992 L. A. Civil Disturbance.
“We believe that this unhappy incident, commonly known as the LA Riot of 1992, was caused by the same reasons as the 1965 Watts Riot. Since this inequities and injustices revealed in the Kerner Commission Report on the 1965 Civil Disorder were neither corrected nor remedied, our community had to suffer and endure the same kind of civil disturbance again in 1992. One of the grieving discoveries the commission had found was that our community was still seriously divided along the diverse racial, cultural background and traditions.”
Dr. Kim continued to say, “We live in an ethnically and culturally most diverse community and society in the world today. One of the things we can improve our harmonious relations in this multi-cultural and multi-ethnic community is to help people better understand other people different from our own. This is a goal of our GCS Movement.”