US Grassroots Network

US Grassroots Network: Regional Coordinators

Seung Hee Jeon

Where you live: Belmont, MA
Your representative: Katherine Clark
Occupation: Professor
Chapter: New England

Seung Hee Jeon, co-chair of the New England Korea Peace Campaign (NEKPC), is a long-time peace and democracy movement activist, as well as a literary scholar and translator of Korean and other literature. Together with other members of NEKPC, she has organized webinars and a quarterly lecture series titled “Prospects for Korea,” and has participated in various public events advocating for peace. She has published articles on war trauma, memories, and truth, as well as the current conditions for peace in and around Korea. Her numerous translations include Conscience in Action: The Autobiography of Kim Dae-jung (Palgrave, 2018), the authoritative biography of the late South Korean president and 2000 Nobel Peace Prize winner. She also translated Bang Hyeon-seok’s Time to Eat Lobster (MerwinAsia, 2016), a novella about the South Korean experience in the Vietnam War, and Shaheen Akhtar’s The Search (Asia, 2020), a novel about sexual slavery during and after the Bangladeshi War of Independence. This work won the 3rd Asian Literature Award that year. She has been honored with a Fulbright Grant, a Korea Foundation Fellowship, and two Daesan Foundation Translation grants. Based in Boston and Seoul, she is an associate professor of Korean at Boston College.

Giuliana (Julie) Guaglianono

Where you live: Los Angeles, CA
Your representative: Congresswoman Norma Torres
Occupation: Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations
Chapter: Southern California (LA)

Julie Guaglianono is the coordinator of the LA Chapter of Korea Peace Now and a member of the LIFT Campaign and its Study Group. She earned her bachelor's degree in International Relations, with a focus on "Advances and Setbacks in Inter-Korean Relations," in her home country of Argentina. During her years as a university student, she published articles about the Korean Peninsula and collaborated as a research assistant in a study group dedicated to Asia, where she covered subjects related to Korea. Additionally, she has collaborated with the Korean Embassy in Argentina. Julie is extremely passionate about culture and is fluent in six languages, including Korean. She has taken courses from the Korea Foundation and helped write a book called "Parallel 38° in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities for a New Regional Cooperation." As the coordinator and representative of Korea Peace Now!, she hopes to contribute to materializing peace in Korea by bringing an end to the war by enacting a peace agreement and lifting the travel ban to North Korea. Currently, Julie is living in Los Angeles, California.

Chuck Esser

Where you live: Philadelphia, PA
Your representative: Rep. Evans
Occupation: School Director and Family Counselor
Chapter: Pennsylvania

A founder of the Movement for a New Society, attended Earlham College, Waseda University, and the University of Washington. Involved in Asian democracy, justice, and Korean reunification movements since the 1960s. Founding board member of the Philadelphia Student Union, founding board member of Youth Build Philadelphia Charter School, director of the Philadelphia Community School, and board member of UNIFAT primary school in northern Uganda. A Quaker with work with the American Friends Service Committee Korea projects and Friends Peace Teams Asia. A reference person for family work internationally with Re-evaluation Counseling. Father. Grandparent.

Aiyoung Choi

Where you live: New York City, NY
Your representative: Jerry Nadler
Occupation: Retired professional; active volunteer
Chapter: New York/New Jersey

Aiyoung was born in Hamheung (North Korea) and grew up in China, Taiwan, and Japan before coming to the US to attend college in Illinois. She has been an entrepreneur, a teacher, a director in public service, and a consultant in nonprofit management. She has served on the boards of directors in a number of equity and social justice organizations and currently is the board chair of Women Cross DMZ, working to end the 70-year-old Korean War.

Goo Lee

Where you live: University Place, WA
Your representative: Marilyn Strickland
Occupation:  Certification Operations Manager
Chapter: Pacific Northwest

Goo Lee is a salaried worker who manages the entire certification process for structural-engineered wood products at the most prestigious nonprofit organization in North America. As an activist, he is also deeply involved in Korean-American communities in the Greater Seattle area and strives to achieve various causes, such as Korea Peace and social justice.

He was a steering committee member at the local liberal Korean-American group, Seattle Evergreen Coalition (SEC), with his spouse, and currently serves as treasurer on the Board of Directors for SEC. He currently resides in University Place, WA, and is available to organize local events and activities related to his interests as described above.

Johnny Atlas

Where you live: Olympia, WA
Your representative: Marilyn Strickland
Occupation: Cooperative Worker
Chapter: Pacific Northwest

Johnny Atlas is a transgender writer living on Squaxin land in the PNW. His involvement in peace activism began as a punk teenager in the 1980s and has never stopped. He is passionate about seeing the Korean War end with the peaceful reunification of the Peninsula. After studying Third Wave Feminism in Europe through Antioch College, he studied Black Feminist Theory at the Evergreen State College. In 2012, he received his MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Rarely one to follow convention, most of his written work remains underground. He is the co-coordinator of the PNW chapter of Korea Peace Now.

Keumjoo Lee ArmstrongKeumjoo Lee Armstrong

Where you live: Boston, MA
Your representative: Stephen Lynch
Occupation: Public School Teacher
Chapter: New England

Keumjoo Lee Armstrong is a long-standing activist and educator who has been working for peace and human rights in South Korea and the US for over 30 years. She was involved in the student movement in the 1980s in South Korea and was one of the founding members of the Korean Teachers Union. Over the past several years, she has been campaigning for a peace agreement to end the Korean War and justice for the families affected by the Sewol ferry disaster. Currently, she teaches for the Public Schools of Brookline, MA.

Hye-Jung Park

Where you live: Philadelphia, PA
Your representative: Dwight Evans
Occupation: Educator
Chapter: Pennsylvania

Hye-Jung Park is an activist for social justice and a reunified Korea. She was a 2015 Crossings delegate, filmmaker, teacher, and founder of organizations. Although she has lived the majority of her life in the USA, she still feels closely connected to her native Korea. One of her biggest wishes in life is to see the country reunited, which has been divided by the Demilitarized Zone and opposing ideologies since 1953. The Korean War ended with an armistice, but an official peace treaty was never signed. Park believes that achieving this would finally allow the country to heal. It was in the U.S. that she learned about the Gwangju Uprising, which occurred in May 1980 and ended in a massacre. South Korean police and soldiers shot and killed students who were demonstrating for democracy and against martial law. The military dictatorship at the time had censored the press to conceal the events from the rest of the country. The U.S. had also condoned the state's violent actions. It was this revelation that prompted Park to start her activism for democratization in Korea, the peace process, and eventual reunification.