HANA Center uses Korean drumming as a strategy to build connections across the multiple youth communities that now make up this neighborhood, and for larger organizing efforts around immigrant rights.
#DrummingUpPower is a youth after-school program teaching traditional Korean drumming alongside financial capability and life skills to predominantly immigrant youth and/or youth of color from Albany Park, Irving Park, West Rogers Park and other Chicago neighborhoods. This program provides both programming as well as financial stipends to all youth participants. The stipends are an entry point to learn about financial management and to begin to build financial literacy and life skills. The environment is intentionally inclusive and non-competitive, creating a safe space to develop leadership, confidence and foster a sense of belonging and community between the youth. Korean drumming requires everyone to work together and isn’t individualistic. This furthers the communal approach to HANA’s programs. They perform traditional Korean drumming at marches, cultural events and festivals. The use of Korean cultural references encourage youth to explore their own history and identity – whether or not they are Korean – and build connections across racial/ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds through learning and practicing drumming.
#DrummingUpPower is a gateway to Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity, which is rooted in community organizing and works to identify and take action on social justice issues relevant to the lives of youth. It is through this offshoot program that HANA youth have organized around DACA.