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Equity is our race, culture, ethnicity, and identity blog. The blog focuses on coverage important to Illinois and its improvement. Evidence of performance of public policies and their impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of equity and diversity:Maureen Foertsch McKinney and Rachel Otwell curate this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.

Korean Students Bike To Raise Awareness Of "Comfort Women"


Activists from South Korea are bicycling through Illinois as part of a journey meant to draw attention to certain victims of war crimes.

Two college students are on a cross country mission to bring about awareness of "comfort women." An estimated 200,000 mostly Korean females were forced into sexual slavery in areas occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army before and during World War II. According to human rights groups like Amnesty International, rape has been used as a systemic weapon of war by many other countries as well. 

"This is not just a dispute between Japanese and Korean government(s), it is (a) crime against humanity," says Ha Joo Young, one of the activists. Jo Yong Joo is joining him and says hopefully their efforts will push Japan to own up to its past. The project is being call the "Triple-A Project" - standing for "Admit, Apologize and Accompany." There have already been some reparations made, though those behind the project want further public apologies.

The two students will head a demonstration outside the Japanese embassy in Chicago on Wednesday. The project started in 2015 and this is the third time activists have biked across the country to draw attention to their cause.

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Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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