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2015-02-12 John Locke Foundation (featuring Cherie Yang)

 


Cherie Yang and I spoke to the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, North Carolina. 


* I was the warm-up act, so with my speech I had to keep in mind setting a foundation for Cherie's talk and saying something meaningful during my time.


During Q&A, I joined Cherie onstage. This was only her third public speech in English, so she was thankful that I didn't leave her alone. Some speakers prefer that I answer first so they can have time to collect their thoughts, but I have to keep in mind that audiences want to hear from the refugee speakers, so I keep my answers brief. Of course, I'd prefer to be able to take a seat, check my email.


* We were interviewed together for a local radio station before our speeches.


* It was really nice, the audience was so welcoming.

* A few of the ladies in the audience started crying after a few minutes of hearing Cherie talk. Then, at the end, one of the guys started crying as he said good-bye to us.


* We had a couple of Korean war veterans in the audience. Surprisingly, they were more interested in talking and learning about North Korean human rights issues rather than talking about nukes or the latest crazy dictator.

* One reason I love talking before non-experts--they are looking to learn, not sitting back smugly with a "I've heard this before" or "there's nothing new" here looks about everything, even new stuff.



* Pam Davidson--TNKR tutor and donor who has returned to North Carolina--attended the event. Afterwards, she treated us to dinner at a Mo Joe's, one of the top burger joints in the area (yes, I'm the one who chose it).


* Special thanks to the Atlas Network for sponsoring the trip, the John Locke Foundation for hosting the event as part of the William Sumner Event Series. http://www.atlasnetwork.org/event/coming-out-of-north-korea-to-freedom

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