Mural Project by Ryan Cheng, Ching Huang, Ken Ichiroku,
Diana Luu, and Julie Yoshioka
Koreatown Market Workers
Justice Campaign - Community-based Work Team by
Paul Chung, Vi Le, James Roh, and Sanghee Yoon
Market Workers Justice Campaign - Campus-based Work
- by Sean Na, Ye Jin, J.P. Puno, and Lyeng Ia
UCLA Students' Website Supporting
Koreatown Market Workers Campaign: www.marketworkerscampaign.com
Leadership School by Teresa Nguyen
American Studies 197B
Spring Quarter 2002
Community Internship Reports
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
- Public Hearing on Labor Issues by Esther Cho and Eleanor Choi
this quarter we knew a very limited amount about APALA. We will
discuss briefly what we have learned about APALA. We have learned
this quarter that APALA, in Los Angeles is the largest chapter
out of APALA. It assists in civil rights, immigrant rights issues,
and workers rights. It is the most progressive constituency
group. The theme as John Delloro states is "Making Waves."
Currently, the Asian Pacific Immigrant community has become
a political force that has made progress in making changes.
The Asian Pacific Immigrant community in Los Angeles is prevalent
and is the largest nationwide. This becomes vital in ensuring
the rights of these communities.
May 17, 2002 a public hearing was held at the Monterey Park
City Hall. This event was symbolic for the Asian Pacific American
Immigrant community because it was the first hearing held over
the issues of Asian Pacific American labor. It was also the
first big wave of public appearances for our community. The
hearing included two panels of speakers. The first panel included
speakers from various organizations, such as Kent Wong and Judy
Chu. In the second panel, we had a few testimonies from immigrant
workers which were very compelling. Although the event was not
as well supported as we wanted it to be, we feel that the event
was a breaking point for our community.
of our responsibilities for this internship involved the media
turn out, both mainstream media and other ethnic local media,
as well as the turn out of the APALA members. We called Korean
media contacts and stressed the importance of covering the story
on the event. We also called the APALA members, encouraging
them to come out to support the Asian Pacific American workers
in their efforts to organize and fight for a living wage and
workers rights. It was a little difficult because the event
took place on a Friday around 10:00 am which is the time that
people are usually at work.
was during the orientation that John Delloro asked each and
every individual student what they wanted to attain from the
internship. We answered that we wanted to do some kind of an
art project that would be different and shed light on the event.
So we offered to do a quilt with several elementary school students.
May 13, 2002, we went to Wilton Place Elementary School to work
with Tony Osumiís third grade class. We started by leading
a discussion with the students about Asian American labor issues.
It was enlightening to see that these elementary school students
had already been educated on several of the issues prevalent
in the Asian American community, such as the inexcusable conditions
that the Assi market workers are currently facing.
of the students initial responses were that the workers
are being treated unfairly. We had them express these feelings
onto patches of cloths. Some drew pictures of people working
together and wrote messages such as "Teamwork," "Fight
for your rights," and "We want unions." Others
wrote words of support and encouragement, such as "You
Can Do It!" in English, Spanish, and Korean. After the
students finished making two sets of their artwork, we put their
work together in two different pieces, and framed both of them.
One was presented at the May 17th hearing, and the other is
hanging in Tony Osumis class. We feel that this art project
was a success, and we are considering working with John Delloro
and Tony Osumi on future art projects for the APALA town hall.
the course of this internship, we both learned that although
labor issues in the Asian American community is a clear matter
of, as the students stated, "people being treated unfairly,"
it is difficult to gather support from the community. Even the
reporters from the media were hesitant to give us a definite
"yes" about coming, both because of their issues with
organizations such as the Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates,
and because they werent sure if a "bigger" story
would come up. From this, we learned that labor issues, unfortunately,
arent "sexy" or "big" enough of an
issue to "sell" in our community. We hope that in
the future the prevalence of Asian American Immigrant rights
will not be ignored and will be covered more extensively.