Los Angeles was rocked by the riots of 1992 where looting and vandalizing destroyed business and the livelihoods of the Koreatown store owners.
In recent years, KAC has held an essay contest open to high school and college students as an event to remember the L.A. Riots. The 4.29 Essay Contest is a call for students to recall upon this period of time and reflect on how to heal the wounds caused by the traumatic events by creating bonds to bridge the fractured cultural ties amongst the many diverse communities.
With this essay contest, KAC offers an opportunity for a generation of young Angelenos to earn cash scholarships while gaining deeper insight on an event in contemporary history that shaped LA’s communities. The theme of the 4.29 Essay Contest in 2017, “The 4.29 L.A. Riots: The Past & The Future,” is also a chance for students to learn how their community has been shaped by their understanding of the past, and will be shaped by their participating in the future.
Contest applicants are high school students who attend schools in the County of Los Angeles, or college students who are currently registered as undergraduates at colleges or universities in the United States.
*2017 Essay Contest Information will be updated shortly.
The 2017 4.29 Center Essay Contest
This year’s essay theme was “The Past & The Future”, asking students to answer the following prompt: E. H. Carr, the famous historian, speaks of history as follows; “My first answer therefore to the question ‘What is History?’ is that it is a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his facts, an unending dialogue between the present and the past.” The dialogue between the past and the present helps the historians to understand the present in a much better way. Therefore, studying the past is important. In the words of Carr, “the function of historian is to neither love past nor emancipate himself from the past, but to master and understand it as a key to the under-standing of present.
KAC asked students to write about the LA Riots through E.H.
Carr’s historian perspective using their choice of facts and
resources, while identifying and sharing their thoughts on how the Riots have shaped their present community. KAC also asked students to reflect on how their knowledge of the past will help them shape their community’s futures.
We thank the following organizations for their sponsorship of the essay contest.
Korean American Federation of Los Angeles
Korean American United Foundation
Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council
KAC holds 23rd L.A. Riots anniversary Essay Contest Awards Ceremony.
The following students received awards for their essays.
Samantha Lee: The Language of the Unheard
Lisa Kang: Never Forget
Jamie Chung: LA Riots: Pursuing Justice
Recognition of Excellence
Andrew Mishkin: Dialogue
Sophia Lopez: The Awakening of the Korean-American Community
Matthew Lam: The L.A. Riots: Today and Tomorrow
Heidy Garcia Carmen: Flames, Ashes, and Tears