I started this blog in 2012 to write about my interest in mass human rights violations from the perspective of studying history and current events to help prevent such injustices from occurring in the future. As Shin Dong Hyuk (a North Korean defector) said in one of my articles, “we think that massive genocides took place long ago in our history. ‘Never again,’ we think. We’re mistaken! These systematic killings are taking place, and will continue to take place until we bring change.”
Throughout my studies and travels over the past few years, I have broadened the scope of my blogging to share my experiences as an observer of the world through the lens of seeing people as equally human. We’re all fundamentally and equally human. We’re all born to a mother and father, crave to love and be loved, yearn to know and be known, and have an inalienable dignity that makes us the most unique specie to populate this earth. We must remember that a baby has no past. This is such a simple truth, an obvious fact, yet so easily forgotten in government policies as well as daily interactions among people on a daily basis.
As someone who believes that human beings are inherently equal, I am fascinated by how humanity—with all of its complexities and similarities—is segregated by states with man-made boundaries and varying types of governments. As I am fortunate enough to have been born in a country whose political leadership allows me both freedom and education, I believe I have a duty to learn how I could bridge differences and misunderstandings that are consequences of political borders. We all have this duty.
Let’s never stop educating ourselves with the experiences of other people so that we can inform our lifestyles, professions, conversations, and mindsets to see each other as equally human. I hope that my writing triggers a thought or two for my readers.
ABOUT JIEUN: Jieun Baek is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at the University of Oxford. Previously, she was a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University where she wrote North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society. Her book will be published by Yale University Press in November, 2016. Baek worked at Google, where, among other roles, she served as Google Ideas’ North Korea expert. She has spoken on NPR, Al Jazeera, Arirang, KBS, and has written for Politico.com, Huffington Post, and various Harvard publications. Baek co-produced a 53-minute documentary on divided Korean families since the Korean War called “Divided Families” and works with North Korean defector organizations that send information into North Korea. Baek received her bachelor’s in Government and master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard. Her hometown is Los Angeles, California.
Few short articles about my background: