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Eunchong Cho

Eunchong Cho

I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology and have founded a non-profit organization. My professional background includes experience in the media industry, as well as roles in the United Nations and other non-profit organizations.

Academic Journey and Research Focus

I am a Sociology Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Diego, specializing in social movements, youth activism, political mobilization, neoliberalism, political sociology, human rights, comparative historical sociology, and qualitative methods. In my research, I employ a political, cultural, and historical approach to explore how collective actors become politically mobilized, investigating their dynamics within the broader context of political, economic, and historical structures. My current dissertation project explores the rise of “youth” in political prominence, shaping the foundation for political identity and mobilization in the post-2010s era. My overarching sociological inquiries revolve around the factors influencing individuals to develop political consciousness and engage in social movements or collective activism. Specifically, I am interested in understanding the motivations behind the involvement of young people in active political activism. I primarily employ historical analysis as my overarching explanatory method. I am honored to have been selected as a UCSD Human Rights Fellow from UC Berkeley Human Rights Center.

I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Institute of Peace Studies at Kyung Hee University in Korea. My involvement includes participating in a Bosnian youth ethnic conflict resolution project, studying North Korean refugees and refugee laws in South Korea, examining second-generation migrant children in South Korea, and exploring disabled online activism in the country. While my initial focus was on racial and ethnic conflicts and refugee crises, my current Ph.D. studies involve a more comprehensive exploration of human rights issues and active engagement in human rights activism.

Media Activsm

I am the founder of Media Noon, a non-profit media organization based in Seoul, Korea, and have engaged in collaborations with various news outlets, including Chosun Ilbo, Newstapa, and Ohmynews In South Korea. . In my capacity as a founder and media activist at Media Noon, I have created short documentaries and news articles addressing social minorities in South Korea, such as North Korean refugees, disabled children, migrant workers, marriage migrants, young people, drop-out children, and the elderly. Since 2017, I have welcomed over 30 individuals to my team, typically with an average of 6 to 8 members per term, and have taken on the responsibility of training and organizing the team.

Our documentary, “Spring Creator,” delves into the inspiring journey of the elderly as they embark on producing YouTube content with renewed dreams. This project received the top recognition from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of South Korea, earning the prestigious Minister’s award. Additionally, I founded the Media Activism School, providing training for 80 South Korean youth in journalism and media activism. Notably, our initiatives have garnered interest from various Korean news media outlets, including SBS, reflecting the broader impact of our work.

In the course of collaborating with other news agencies, I delved into stories about a teenager who attempted murder after being bullied at school and subsequently dropped out; the high-school Me Too movements; and investigative journalism on long-standing crimes by private high school teachers in a women’s high school in Seoul, among many other pressing social issues.

United Nations-Youth, Civil Society, and Media

I have had the privilege of working with three UN organizations as a UN Volunteer and intern—specifically at UNFPA (UN Population Fund) Mongolia, IOM (UN Migration) Seoul, and UNHQ Department of Economic and Social Affairs. My areas of focus included youth and civil society, and my contributions encompassed the development of project and communication brandings, as well as establishing partnerships.

During my time at UNFPA Mongolia, I actively participated in a youth civil society development project. I provided support to the Mongolian Youth Council (MYC), consisting of 30 local youth NGOs, and the Center for Citizenship Education (CCE). My involvement extended to the creation of branding events such as Crowd-up Mongolia (designing logo), World Population Day (WPD), the “Support Teenage Girls” campaign (campaign and event materials), and youth ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) sessions (democracy tour and youth discussion sessions). Additionally, I initiated training programs like Mongolian Media Schools and journalism workshops, fostering networking events between Mongolian and Korean NGO youth activists.

At UNHQ DESA, my role included participation in the 2018 World Youth Forum, where I assisted in organizing events and reported on social media. I also conducted analyses on social integration policies in Asia, with a specific focus on youth and the elderly. During my time at IOM Seoul, I played a role in various communication materials development and contributed to the implementation of SSAFE training (Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments).