Press Release: If Not You Then Who: K-Town Speaks Up

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Date: October 11, 2023


“If Not You Then Who: K-Town Speaks Up One Year After the Leaked Recording”— Online Panel Hosted by K-Town Is OK

Los Angeles, CA — On Thursday, November 2, 2023, K-Town Is Oaxacan Korean, also known as K-Town Is OK, is bringing together long-time and former residents of Koreatown into conversation. The panel, free and open to the public, is being held just over a year after the public release of a private discussion between L.A. City Council Members Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin De Leon, and Federation of Labor leader Ron Herrera, in which they dismissed Korean-American residents of the area and ridiculed Oaxacan or Mexican-American members of the community as “short, dark people” and “feos (ugly).”

The panel discussion is being held online and features a line-up of guest speakers, culminating a year-long effort by local artist Helen H. Kim and community journalist Jimmy ‘J.T.’ Recinos documenting Oaxacan-American, Korean-American and other voices from Koreatown through their website ( and podcast, K-Town Is OK. The event title is inspired by a 2012 Kore Asian Media article by journalist K.W. Lee, in which he beckons the youth of Korean-American communities to raise their voices against the ongoing racism, injustice, and corruption that resulted in the 1992 Los Angeles riots or uprising, also known as Saigu. In the article, Lee implores “If you don’t speak up, who else will?” Original artwork for the event, based on the same article, has been lent to K-Town Is OK by artist Mikki Paek.

“If Not You Then Who?” is set to demonstrate that the same people who were disparaged on the leaked recordings can be deeply engaged on issues in Koreatown, including housing unaffordability, inadequate representation at L.A. City Hall, labor and wage issues, and other areas lacking equity. The event also looks to connect a wider audience to K-Town Is OK as a resource for the people who make up Koreatown, including various immigrant communities and African-American communities with decades of history in the area.

K-Town Is OK is a project by Quien Es Tu Vecindario, also known as Who Is Your Neighborhood, a nonprofit organization since 2020 uplifting communities through creative and accessible arts and education programs. K-Town Is OK and this panel are funded in part by grants to Quien Es Tu Vecindario from Core Contributors Group (CCG) and the L.A. County Department of Arts and Culture. The Koreatown Youth and Community Coalition (KYCC) is also helping spread the word for “If Not You Then Who.” To make a tax-deductible donation in the interest of producing this community dialogue, please do so through Quien Es Tu Vecindario’s donation button.

Register for “If Not You Then Who?” through Eventbrite. More information about our panelists is also forthcoming through Instagram (@ktownisok) and the K-Town Is OK Newsletter. This Press Release will also be updated with further details.

Quien Es Tu Vecindario, K-Town Is OK