BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan or 방탄소년단) is the most prominent K-Pop group and one of the world’s most popular musical groups today. How does their worldwide visibility – and public stands on BLM, racial solidarity, and gender identity – affect images of Koreans and Asians, and the identities of Asian Americans? Sociologist Grace Kao will introduce us to K-Pop, and share some video clips and reflections of BTS’s impact on arts and activism. She will also present ongoing research on the influence of K-Pop and BTS in transforming “live” musical performances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grace Kao is IBM Professor of Sociology and Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University.
AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee would like to thank the remote and in-person volunteers who assisted at the Manhattan Chinatown pro bono clinic. This was the first pro bono clinic to take place at the 2 Allen Street, Manhattan location of Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE). PBCS and AABANY would like to thank AAFE for their co-sponsorship.
Fourteen attorneys, non-attorneys, and interpreter volunteers provided 20 clients with legal information and consultation services. Volunteers performed these services in a wide variety of languages and dialects- including Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Taishanese, and Fujianese- reflecting the ability of the pro bono clinic to meet the unique needs of NYC’s Chinatown community.
A substantial number of consultations pertained to housing issues, which remain relevant amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many clients were informed of their legal rights and choices as tenants. In one instance, a client, who is a tenant in rent-stabilized housing, discovered that landlords of rent-stabilized units could not arbitrarily raise the rent of such units for “maintenance-related issues” without the permission of the Homes and Community Renewal agency of New York. The client also discovered that they were provided with a rental lease that was not authorized for use in rent-stabilized housing units.