Sooyoun Park

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. experience numerous health disparities rooted in histories of oppression, colonization, and militarization. Sooyoun’s research explores (re)connection to water and land as protective factors for NHPIs, and how traditional food acts as a vessel connecting communities to each other, their cultures, and their environments. Restoring Indigenous food systems not only provides physical nourishment, but also cultivates spiritual and emotional healing. Her work focuses on improving food security and sustainability efforts, and supporting families and communities in harnessing intergenerational strengths and knowledge to revive their health and environments. Sooyoun is committed to community-driven, place-based research in the Pacific Northwest. She is deeply grateful to the communities she has the privilege of working with, who continue to guide her in advancing health equity.

As a first-generation student and a daughter of Korean immigrants with a multigenerational and bilingual upbringing, Sooyoun is dedicated to creating culturally-grounded health interventions with a lifespan approach to health. She is also passionate about and hopeful for a future in which all people have the ability to feel connected to land.


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