Brenda Sunoo

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Brenda Sunoo

Brenda Paik Sunoo is a third generation Korean-American. She is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Southern California. She has previously worked as an editor for the English edition of the Korea Times, as well as Rice and Workforce magazines. During the 1970s, Brenda and her husband, Jan Sunoo, were anti-war and human rights activists, particularly advocating for Korean unification. In 1999, she obtained her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She has written a memoir, Moment, Stay Awhile, based on her experiences as a bereaved parent. She and husband Jan have one surviving son, David.[1]

She worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and senior editor at various newspapers and magazines, including the Modesto Bee, LA Times, Orange County Register and the Korea Times. While living in Vietnam between 2002 and 2009, she worked as a photojournalist and published "Vietnam Moment." Sunoo also became interested in Jeju Island's women of the sea, known as haenyeo and lived in the divers' villages for 7 months over the course of a three-year period.. "Moon Tides--Jeju Island Grannies of the Sea" is her homage to these aging divers.[2]


  • UCLA, School year 1969 · Sociology and Education · Los Angeles, California
  • Susan Miller Dorsey High School, School year 1966


Like many Asian American radicals in the last '60s and '70s, Brenda and Jan Sunoo were "politically dizzied by the democratic movements of the Third World, particularly those in China, Vietnam, and Korea". [3]

We marched against the war in Vietnam. We published a Korean American human rights newsletter called Insight and organized the first street demonstrations for Korean reunification at the United Nations in 1972. I even sewed a South and North Korean flag that flapped in the wind on First Avenue -- the first public display of solidarity for one Korea.

ASI activist

Brenda Sunoo, Jan Sunoo, Michio Kaku, and Eddie Kochiyama were all active in Asians in the Spirit of the Indo-Chinese (ASI), at City College in the early 1970s. The group was designed to guarantee an Asian presence in the Anti-Vietnam War movement.[4]

Workers Viewpoint


In 1981 Brenda Sunoo contributed to Workers Viewpoint, paper of the Communist Workers Party.

In These Times ad for a National Conference July 30-August 1, 1982 of the FFP

The Communist Workers Party front Federation For Progress put a half-page ad in the "socialist" oriented weekly newspaper, In These Times in the July 14-27, 1982 issue, p. 8, entitled: "A natural follow-up to June 12: A national conference July 30-August 1 at Columbia Un., in New York City".

It was a follow-up conference to the major "anti-defense lobby" march and protest in New York on June relating to the U.N. Second Special Session on Disarmament.

Endorsers of the event included Brenda Sunoo, FFP.

The People's Convention

On July 14-16 (probably 1984) The Coalition for a People's Convention "a broad grouping in the Bay Area", organized The People's Convention in order to "unite on and present a people's program to the DNC and to network the many local efforts to win people's power from around the country. Its purpose is to enhance local efforts and amplify them into a united voice and demonstration for reorienting our society away from military aggression and towards meeting the needs of all our people".

Endorsers from the San Francisco-Bay Area included Brenda Sunoo Korea Support Committee, San Francisco.[5]

Potential editor, New Democrat

An October 31, 1985 list of potential editors for the New Democrat, proposed newspaper of the New Democratic Movement was found in the Communist Workers Party papers in the Tamiment Library New York.

Brenda Sunoo was on the list, San Francisco.


  1. Snapshots of Asian America, bio, accessed Jan.11, 2013
  2. Brenda Sunoo website, about me, accessed Feb. 10, 2013
  3. Song of Ariran: In Memory of Helen Foster Snow, By Brenda Paik Sunoo
  4. Legacy to Liberation: Politics & Culture of Revolutionary Asian Pacific America, By Carolyn Antonio, page 246
  5. The People's Convention introductory pamphlet