LA2050, a local organization aimed at driving community initiatives toward a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles, has awarded a $50,000 grant toward the implementation of a project spearheaded by LMU Marital and Family/Art Therapy Department faculty titled (re)Location: Connecting intergenerational immigrant and refugee communities. (re)Location will place a spotlight on elderly Korean and Lao Americans, featuring stories of refugees and immigrants navigating postwar life in the United States and bridging intergenerational connections between these communities throughout Los Angeles. The public announcement of grant recipient decisions took place at the LA2050 Grantee Showcase on September 28th.
At the forefront of (re)Location is Joyce Yip Green, Ph.D, a licensed marriage and family therapist and is currently an Assistant Professor of Marital and Family Therapy/Art Therapy at LMU. Ultimately, Dr. Green hopes to use the project to foster connections among different generations of immigrant families.
“Stories of the aging first generation Korean and Lao immigrants and refugees are commonly untold due to the trauma and loss that are intertwined with the challenges of political unrest, war, migration, and acculturation. As a result, younger generations of Korean and Lao Americans have a fractured understanding of their heritage and family histories,” Dr. Green said. “(re)Location will shed light on first-generation experiences of acculturation to, one,
include elder Korean and Lao Americans in key cultural dialogue from which they are normally excluded, two, provide an entryway for younger Korean and Lao Americans to a better understanding of their history, and three, create opportunity for the public to explore cross-cultural similarities and differences between the Korean and Lao communities.”
To bring these goals to fruition, (re)Location will exhibit interview footage, cultural artifacts, and participant art responses as well as art from the researchers. An online collection of first-hand stories and a virtual art gallery will be open to the public to explore, accompanied by educational humanities-based activities. The project will also host in-person and online events that provide further context for the educational aspects of the exhibit.
Throughout the course of the project, success will be tracked through participant surveys, online engagement, and project analytics. (re)Location is expected to be an impactful project in the Los Angeles community, especially with the addition of the LA2050 grant, Dr. Green explained. “Support from the LA2050 Grant Challenge will strengthen the public engagement and interactive components and foster deeper connection between and within the diverse cultural communities in Los Angeles across generations.”