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Family Next Door

Updated: Mar 12

A spoken word poem. Watch the full performance here.

In Korean, the word “이웃”

holds a deeper meaning than just “neighbor.”

옛날 한국 사람들은 이웃들과 가족같이 친했습니다

Years ago our ancestors and their neighbors were one,

becoming family,

related not through blood

but being


We cared for one another

rejoicing and crying


But recently, we’ve been far too busy to focus on our neighbors.

Occupied with school, work,

social media, our own desires—

whatever it is that distracts us

from the burdens our neighbors carry.

The same burden

Amadou Diallo carried.

An immigrant, he came from Guinea,

seeking to start a new business, a new life, but instead

he found bullets

41 bullets hailed down from police in his own home.

Trayvon Martin carried

a can of iced tea and a bag of skittles.

He was only seventeen

when he was followed back home

shot and killed by a man

who claimed he was just “protecting his neighbors”.