Skip to main content

2014-08-30 TrailBlasian Book Launch

I was delighted to join yesterday’s TrailBlasian Book Launch Party. Here's the book! http://www.trailblasian.com/

Thanks so much to Melissa Watkins and Kenya Evans for inviting me. It isn’t easy to share the stage with others when the focus is on your own book. But they did invite me, and they didn’t make me feel like a trespasser.


www.patreon.com/fsi21

Melissa knows about my activities, so she invited me to talk about them 1) to recruit volunteers and 2) raise money from the raffle (and, as it turned out, a “pass around a hat, make a donation”).

In addition to that, there were many cool moments at yesterday’s book launch discussion:


1) On very short notice, 5 of the North Korean refugees and four teachers from the Teach North Korean Refugees project joined the book discussion. So in all, there were 11 in my crew. Thank you, Pam Davidson, In-Jee Lee, Paul Jennings and Nadine Graham Maside for joining—and I’m sorry, I forgot to mention you all during my remarks. I even forgot to thank Melissa for inviting me…

2) A different world. The two contributors to the book read excerpts. I don’t pay much attention to race issues, and now that I am in Korea, they rarely cross my mind. So it was like a blast to the past as I listened to them tell their stories. I suspect that our North Korean refugee friends couldn’t catch the main points or context, but I suspect that they could identify with the struggles of being strangers in a really really strange land.

3) NKs aren’t interested in NKs. One thing I have learned: North Korean refugees are not interested in North Korean topic events. I have learned that they are less likely to show up to NK topic events. NK related parties? Sure. NK related discussions in English? Not so interested.

4) One of the refugees asked me if I was nervous. Haha! I love public speeches. I can’t remember the last time I got nervous. After a few, I started looking forward to the opportunity—and when no one invites me, I set up my own events.^^.

5) The refugees got to learn more about my work. All they knew is that I arrange the English matching sessions. So a few of them have a greater appreciation for what a great guy I am.^^ Spread the word!

6) My colleague Lee Eunkoo joined. We got about three ideas for TNKR based on yesterday’s book launch party.

7) One great thing about yesterday: I had no responsibility. I didn’t have to recruit, I didn’t have to give directions to a place I had never been to, I didn’t have to apologize to the people who got lost, I didn’t have to worry about who showed up, I didn’t have to get any last-minute excuses from people who suddenly had to cancel. I just had the opportunity to give a speech, talk real pretty, then sit down…


www.patreon.com/fsi21

 












































Popular posts from this blog

2014-02-14 Yeon-Mi Park`s debut

Yeonmi Park, February 14, 2014, making her debut! Yesterday I was one of the speakers at a special session on North Korean refugees at the Canadian Maple International School. Wow, it was a wonderful time! * Yeon-Mi Park delivered her first major speech in English. She was wonderful! She told her story (35 minute speech without notes), discussed different aspects of North Korea, and then handled questions from students for more than an hour. She did seem to be nervous at the beginning-she took a deep breath just as she started, looked at me, then told her story from her heart. * Returning from the speech, I told Yeonmi that she had star potential. She told me that she didn't believe it, but I told her that the way she handled Q&A and told her story, I would be lucky to have her still returning my phone calls within a year. * The students had many questions. They have been learning about North Korea. They are now reading "Escape from Camp 14" featuring Shin Dong-h

2020-05-21 Goodbye, Katty Chi

I had heard through the grapevine and now it has been verified: Human rights activist Katty Chi has passed away. She is one of the first people that I met when I got involved in this cause. The first time was in 2012, at an event at the South Korea's National Assembly. She was super cool, one of my favorites as I used to say even when she was alive. And that is the important time to say such things, when people are alive. Whenever we met, I would say to her, "You know what happens when you meet me?" She would say, "Yeah. Time to take a photo?" I'm glad we did. And from Hyun S. Song, a close colleague of hers: And from Liberty in North Korea, the definitive announcement, August 4, 2020

Helping North Koreans 'strike the blow' (Korea Times)

H ave you ever engaged in action not because you were sure it would change the world, but to satisfy your own heart? That, I emailed to an American friend, is why I have joined the effort to help North Koreans who are trying to escape from their homeland. I can’t change the direction of policy in North Korea or China but I can row the boat I am sitting in rather than lamenting that I can’t steer the yachts somewhere else. So I have tried to do what I can: Attending protests in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul (and I plan to do so when I visit America in April); donating money to the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights ( www.nkhumanrights.or.kr ); educating myself, writing articles and emailing friends; and, as a member of the board of trustees, I recently submitted a resolution to the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association (FDMHA) in Washington, D.C., to try to call attention to the plight of North Koreans. Our organization’s missi

Park Jin welcoming remarks to FSI (and Casey Lartigue)

  National Assembly member Park Jin makes the welcoming remarks at FSI's conference featuring North Korean diplomats. Park Jin | Greeting message to FSI and Casey Lartigue mention - YouTube

Kakao Story character in blackface

Kakao Story is a popular app made by Kakao Talk (a wildly popular instant messaging system in South Korea). Scrolling thr ough my Kakao Talk updates, I came acros s t he following and figured out how to snap a photo of it. * Today is "Black Day" in Korea. That's the day that people who didn't celebrate "White Day" on February 14 (when women give men gifts) or "Valentine's Day" on March 14 (when men give women gifts) eat black noddles to mark their loneliness. I suspect the NAACP would not be amused by this Kakao Talk character--CJL