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KOREATOWN : Blacks, Koreans to Rally Against Drugs

April 11, 1993|JAKE DOHERTY

United against the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs, members of the African-American and Korean-American communities will hold a rally and march in Koreatown on April 18 to raise public awareness of the dangers of substance abuse.

Sponsored by the National Committee for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency of Korean Americans Inc., the event will begin with a rally at Ardmore Park at 2:30 p.m. followed by a march along Olympic Boulevard.

Connie Kim, the committee's executive director, said concerns about alcohol and drug abuse can link all ethnic groups.

"Sellers and buyers of alcohol and drugs need to realize how harmful they are to people's health," Kim said. Her organization is funded by the county Department of Health Services.

Pastor Glenn Howell, of the Los Angeles Central City Church, said members of his church, the Glendale Korean Church and other Seventh-day Adventist churches are expected to participate. A similar event last year drew nearly 400 people.

Kim and Howell acknowledged that the subject of liquor stores burned down during last year's riot continues to be touchy, with conflicting positions being strongly made by Korean-American merchants and African-American community activists.

"We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable," Howell said. But that should not rule out cooperation on alcohol and drug education, he added. Kim and Howell support reducing the availability of alcohol in their communities.

Kim, who hosts a weekly alcohol- and drug-prevention program on a Korean-language radio station, said alcohol use often exacerbates problems that new immigrant families face.

A reluctance to seek counseling and the paucity of treatment and rehabilitation centers for Korean-Americans hamper efforts to deal with alcohol and drug abuse in the Korean-American community, Kim said.

Information: (213) 256-3793.

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