Walden Korea is an academic and cultural exchange organization centered on youth and college students that engages with the world on the issues of justice, peace, human rights, and the environment. Whereas existing immigrant groups tended to form around the advocacy of immigrants’ settlement and other rights, Walden Korea is an international cultural education organization that helps young people in Korea and the United States study universal issues relating to justice, peace, human rights, and the environment and how best to promote these values. We pursue these causes by hosting international strategic forums and supporting students to communicate with experts in various fields as well as Korean and American leaders.
Background and Mission
The impetus for the founding of Walden Korea was the need for Korean history and cultural education among the second and third generations of Koreans in Boston, the cradle of American education. The Korean Wave is spreading rapidly across the globe, yet many second and third-generation Koreans lack a deep understanding of Korean culture and history that form the very basis of the Korea Wave and tend to view Korea through the narrow prism of marketing and pop culture. Walden Korea seeks to inform and educate the second and third-generation Koreans as well as non-Korean Americans about Korea’s millennia-old and unique history of developing an autonomous culture by virtue of pursuing peace, coexistence, and harmony with its bigger neighbors. Walden Korea seeks not only to inform and educate students but also to facilitate communication on such issues with leaders and experts in various fields.
Why “Walden Korea”?
The American intellectual Henry David Thoreau elevated Walden, near Boston, to international prominence with his reflections on civilization through the pursuit and practice of self-reliance, labor, peace, and frugality. Thoreau’s philosophy forms the basis of peaceful civil disobedience, which adumbrated the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and the Korean pro-democracy movement. Walden is the philosophical birthplace of the United States, a beacon of democracy and justice. Walden Korea draws from the powerful symbolism of Walden in representing the values of justice, peace, human rights, and safeguarding the environment.
Student Programs 'Walden Korea Planning Committee'
We provide special student programs to help students study international matters in Korea. We select the Walden Korea Planning Committee for young people in Korea and the United States. Currently, we are focusing on Jeju 4.3 uprising. The Jeju 4.3 uprising is a tragedy in Korean history in which more than 30,000 innocent Jeju citizens have been killed. They were falsely accused of being communists and brutally killed. One-ninth of Jeju Island's population has disappeared. It is the holocaust in Korea.
Walden Korea's first Planning Committee Members will study the 4.3 Uprising and prepare forums and journals.
Planning committee members will become familiar with Walden Korea's curriculum and may continue to participate in Walden Korea's content production and education programs for the general public once the international strategy forum is over.
We regularly recruit young planning committee members for Walden Korea.
Walden Korea Leadership Group
Walden Korea is an organization led by young people/adolescents. Its leadership serves primarily in an advisory role. Leadership support is available in many ways, including content support, financial support, and promotion depending on each person’s capabilities. While the leadership lends critical support, the young students are always the main actors of Walden Korea. If you are interested in Walden Korea's leadership group, please contact us.
The Jeju 4.3 Peace Foundation and Jeju 4.3 Memorial Association are supporting Walden Korea.