Yoon Mo Lee, Ph.D.
In 2007, Dr.
Lee retired form the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)
after 14 years’ service as the Chief of Research, Planning and
Development of IDHR. He also served as IDHR’s Grant Project
Director, the Webmaster, and Strategic Planner.
Yoon Lee is the President of the
Hansa Institute of Chicago. Hansa Institute is a non –profit
organization started in 2005, with a mission to conduct
researches and develop leadership projects for the Korean
received his B.S. degree in agricultural science from Seoul
National University, and his M.Div. degree in Christian Social
Ethics from the Seoul Methodist Theological Seminary, South
Korea. Later, he completed the coursework for a Th.M. degree
from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky, and earned his
M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Loyola University of
Since 1972, Dr.
Lee has been actively involved in the Korean American community
of Chicago at various capacities. He played a pivotal role in
the growth of the Korea Times of Chicago, for which he was a
reporter, the managing editor, and the chief editor for almost
twenty years. This initial weekly edition of the newspaper has
grown to a Korean language daily newspaper, now serving over
twenty central states. As the first CEO of the Korean American
TV of Chicago, Dr. Lee set the foundation of a cable programming
outfit to grow to a fulltime UHF broadcasting enterprise.
Currently, the firm owns and operates the Channel 41 TV of
Chicago with multiethnic programming.
accomplished researcher, Dr. Lee voluntarily undertook research
for the well being of the Korean community. He designed and
conducted a housing market survey for the Korean American
Housing Corporation, which received funds from FHA for two $3
million-plus public housing projects in the early 1980’s. He
also conducted four research surveys for the Korean American
Community Services (KACS) of Chicago. Consequently, KACS founded
the Korean community’s childcare center, senior citizens
organization, youth service programs, and continues to grow.
Under his leadership the Hansa Institute has hosted six
bi-annual presentations of research reports on Korean
Americans prepared by academicians in the Chicago area. As a
member of the Hansa Institute, Dr. Lee took the responsibility
for analyzing the American Community Survey data series.
Dr. Lee played
a key role in resolving the Korean-Black conflict which erupted
in the Roseland community of Chicago in June 1990. He was the
volunteer spokesperson for the Korean Merchants’ Association,
and his accomplishments were featured by the New York Times,
major mass media in Chicago, and personal interviews broadcasted
by CNN and WGN-TV. After the resolution of this conflict, he
initiated a fund raising within the Asian American community for
the Food Basket Program to help low income African Americans of
Chicago. Since then, this annual charity program has become a
model program in race relations. During the Los Angeles riot in
1992 after the Rodney King incident, Dr. Lee proactively engaged
in media-relations, and headed off another uprising in the
African American community of Chicago.
Dr. Lee served
as a board member and advisor of the Asian American Institute of
Chicago from 1997 to 2000. He also served as a member of
Discrimination Action Grant Review Committee of the United
Way/Crusade of Mercy-Chicago Council in the early 1990’s. He
served as the Vice President of the Korean American Coalition of
the Midwest (KACM) in 2000-2002, and initiated a Midwest
petition drive for reunification of Korean Americans with
families in North Korea. He coordinated the delivery of over
100,000 signatures collected from a nationwide campaign to the
U.S. Department of State, and to have meeting with Secretary
Colin Powell (September 2001) and Assistant Secretary James
Kelly (April 2002).
Dr. Lee wrote a
number of reports for the government based on his research,
which include Home Mortgage Lending Patterns in the Chicago
MSA, Home Mortgage Lending Patterns in Downtown Illinois,
and Sexual Harassment in Illinois. He also has authored
numerous reports on discriminations concerning lending, home
sales and racial profiling in traffic stops, hate crimes, as
well as studies on employees and clients for IDHR management’s
Dr. Lee has
authored a monograph, the Seventy Years’ History of the First
Korean United Methodist Church of Chicago in 1995. Before
coming to the U.S. in 1970, he translated two books from English
into Korean, including The Line and Plummet (published by
World Council on Churches). He has published a number of
academic papers and journal articles.
Dr. Lee is a
prolific public speaker and has been the keynote speaker or the
guest speaker on a number of occasions. He has delivered
speeches on race, ethnicity, and social issues at the Chicago
Council on Foreign Relations, Chicago Historical Society, Asian
American Librarians Association Annual Conference, and others.
Dr. Lee has
been married to Hwa S. (Kim) Lee for over thirty-six years.