Korean American Women’s Story Project


And as part of a “Think Globally and Act Locally” mantra, KOWIN Chicago Chapter has embarked on the Korean American Women’s Story Project (“KAWSP”) to document the lives of Korean American women in Illinois by conducting an oral history project. From the stories arising out of KAWSP, KOWIN Chicago chapter has already produced two video documentaries of Korean American women’s immigrant lives in Illinois to preserve oral stories of selected Korean American women.

We embarked on the project in 2009 to collect the first round of video testimonials and stories of Chicago Korean American women’s life experiences as immigrants. We took on this challenge to assure a piece of heartwarming Korean American history can be heard directly from the women in Chicagoland. We wanted to share the stories of early Korean women immigrants from the 60’s to 70’s with the hope of raising awareness of their struggles to survive and contribute to the American economy, but ultimately, to instill Korean American pride and create a deeper appreciation for Asian family values and culture.  By sharing the first-generation immigrant struggles and strong work ethic, the hope is for the second, third, and future Korean American generations to have more open communication with their parents and grandparents for a better understanding of their heritage.  


KAWSP’s Newest Video Documentary Released on November 1, 2021 – “Chicago Korean American Women Storytelling – 시카고 한인여성 이민사 다큐멘터리”

Watch Trailer of Chicago Korean American Women Storytelling

This year we proudly present our second documentary, “Korean American Women Storytelling”, about the early lives of the next wave of immigrants, presented in their own words.  We hope that you and your constituents find much inspiration and value in their stories. This video can also be used for educational purposes for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Chicago Korean American immigrant history.  

This project was sponsored by the Chicago Korean Women’s Foundation (CKWF), which is a non-profit organization, 501(c)(3) entity. CKWF was formed by the KOWIN Chicago Chapter for the purpose of promoting charitable, cultural and educational services for women and girls. We also would like to extend our gratitude to LG Electronics USA, Inc for their continued sponsorship for the Korean American Women’s Story Project since 2010. 

한인 여성 이민사 다큐멘터리, ‘시카고 한인 여성들 이야기’ 개봉

코윈 시카고 지부에서 시카고 지역 한인 여성 이민자들의 이야기를 담은 다큐멘터리 영상 ‘시카고 한인 여성들 이야기(Chicago Korean American Women Storytelling)’를 공개합니다. 

코윈 시카고 지부의 사업 중 하나인 ‘KAWSP(Korean American Women’s Story Project)’의 일환으로서 2010년에 발표한 첫 번째 다큐멘터리 영상 ‘개척자들(Trailblazers)’은 40-50년대 이민 초기에 선구자적 역할을 했던 이미 작고한 한인 여성 네 명의 생애를 사진이나 문서 등의 자료에 의거해 소개한 반면, 이번에 발표하는 두 번째 다큐멘터리는 주로 60-70년대에 이민을 온 다양한 분야의 여성 열 명을 인터뷰하며 그들의 이야기를 직접 육성으로 기록하였습니다.

이 다큐멘터리는, 한인 이민 여성들의 삶의 일면을 소개함으로써 무심코 살아왔던 한인 여성들의 긍지를 높여주고, 더 나아가서는 차세대 한인은 물론, 타민족 시청자들이 우리의 부모님, 조부모님 시대를 듣고 봄으로써 이민자에 대한 이해와 소통을 돕고, 또한 이민자의 이야기를 기록하는 가치있는 자료로 남기를 바라는 마음으로 제작하였습니다. 더우기 반 아시안 운동이 곳곳에서 벌어지고 있는 이 시점에 우리 한인 이민자의 공적을 널리 알리고 자랑스럽게 소개할 수 있는자료를 마련하여주는 것도 우리의 중요한 임무라 믿습니다.

영상은 한 시간 반 길이이며, 이번 다큐멘터리 역시 각 지역 도서관,학교 등에 교육자료로 배포할 예정입니다.

KAWSP’s First Video Documentary: “Trailblazers – Korean American Women Ahead of Their Time”

In November 2009, KAFEC received a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council as the seed fund for the Korean American Women’s Story Project. In May of 2010, KAWSP produced a DVD profiling four prominent Korean American Women who passed away much too quickly before their stories were told: “Trailblazers- Korean American Women Ahead of Their Time.”


LG Electronics USA, Inc is a proud sponsor of the Korean American Story Telling Project of the KOWIN Chicago Chapter.