Mosaic 2017

Kwangmin Jan
Founder, fmr. Executive Director
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (Hana Center)

Kwangmin Jang, a visionary leader, founded and led the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center (KRCC) for the first 10 years by organizing a group of recently immigrated, low-income youth to empower themselves through learning about their own roots, culture, and the power of working together. Through Kwangmin’s leadership, KRCC established itself as an immigrant rights organization that educates and organizes community members to advance the rights of immigrants and work toward achieving just and humane immigration reform.

Kwangmin developed a strategy to provide education on Korean culture and drumming as a way to support young people to know their roots and to create an appealing program for young people to gather at KRCC. KRCC is also known as the organization that gave birth to the poongmul (Korean traditional drumming) movement in the Chicago area. Since opening its doors in 1995, KRCC has taught about 3,000 community members and seeded a poongmul craze in the Chicago area. Kwangmin continues his involvement with poongmul and organized a national summer poongmul camp that brought together 12 teenagers to learn poongmul from a teacher from Korea. Kwangmin is now dedicated to ensuring that poongmul culture thrives among the next generation of Korean Americans and through culture they can develop leadership and become active agents in working toward achieving social justice.