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NAFCM Remembers Former Board Member, Charles Chang

Monday, December 3, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lori Dieckman
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 Charles Chang, former member of the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) Board of Directors, passed away this Autumn. Charles brought his life experience as an immigrant child, born in 1964, who experienced xenophobia, and as a Korean American in the post-1992 Los Angeles uprising, to his passion for and the importance he placed on community mediation. He thought mediation offered a constructive and peaceful way for marginalized communities to express their anger and frustrations. In one of his many writings he posed:


"As I finish this article, I'd like to share one more thing that fascinates me about Korean Americans, and that is their passion and anger. I think this is either fortunately or unfortunately one area where I am very Korean. I carry a lot of passion and anger with me. I think passion is good, but anger, which is a by-product of passion, is not good. When you look at the Virginia Tech shooting by Seung-Hui Cho, and the three murder/suicides by husbands/fathers in Los Angeles within the last two years, you have to wonder what is burning within our veins that makes us so crazy. As someone who now works in an organization that resolves conflicts for people, I hope I get a chance to talk more about that and how Korean Americans can learn to handle their anger in a positive manner that builds relationships and not ends it."


In addition to his work through NAFCM, Charles was also the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center (APADRC) between 2005 and 2016.  Through these, and many other platforms and avenues, Charles touched and changed all he encountered, partially because he would not be anyone other than who he was, an activist who advanced the notion of community mediation to help resolve conflicts that arose between individuals, groups and organizations.  Thank you Charles for inviting us all to confront our struggles openly and bravely, and in the process creating numerous opportunities for justice to be present for so many.

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