Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies


Organization & Leadership EdD

First Advisor

Ellen A. Herda

Second Advisor

Caryl Hodges

Third Advisor

Laleh Shahideh


Research Topic

This study examines the practices of sending remittances from the United States to receivers in the Philippines, and collective and individual remittances supporting reunification of Korea with the intention of providing financial support for sustainable living and community projects. The research analyzes the narratives with reference to identity and culture of diaspora Filipinos and Koreans in the United States who are remitters and donors in the United States supporting humanitarian causes in North Korea.

Research Theory and Protocol

Through critical hermeneutic theory formulated by Paul Ricoeur (2005,1992,1991,1983) and Jürgen Habermas (1981,1987,1984) and the interpretive inquiry protocol developed by Ellen Herda (1999, 2000), the theoretical categories of narrative identity, communicative action, and recognition were applied to this study.

Research Categories

Research conversations from Filipino overseas migrant workers who remit and individual recipients of remittances in the Philippines provide the narrative for participants from the Philippines. Korean Americans now living in the United States, and members of nonprofit nongovernmental organizations supporting efforts to assist North Koreans, provide the narratives on financial support and peacemaking endeavors between the North Korea and selected institutions in the United States.


The study revealed two findings: remittance receivers in the Philippines are often young. They are given the responsibility to discern the best use of remittances for the family, and are often socially isolated and ill-prepared to make wise adult decisions. The second finding involves financial contributions supporting North Korea. South Koreans remit to kin in North Korea through private channels. Korean Americans choose largely to support humanitarian projects in North Korea through support through Korean American institutions. This research also identified non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supporting humanitarian projects in North Korea financed by private contributions.