Inalienable

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Extraordinary people

Women’s Rights are Human Rights: Mrs. Park Jihyun @ Oxford

The Oxford International Relations Society hosted a talk with Mrs. Park Jihyun, who presented a powerful and haunting overview of her experiences of living in and escaping from North Korea. The room was so packed that some students were turned away…. Continue Reading →

Roya Mahboob and #DigitalCitizenFund: What one shy woman can do

The night before her speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum, Roya Mahboob and I chatted about her organization in Afghanistan.  Digital Citizen Fund teaches IT to girls across the country to empower them and their communities through IT, internet, and information. A… Continue Reading →

North Korea’s Breakout Session at Oslo

As a breakout session, our panel was not live streamed so I’ll share a few photos from our session here. Isaac Stone Fish from Foreign Policy and role model Gayle Karen-Young moderated and facilitated the panel and Q&A with Ji… Continue Reading →

Hometown Heroes from Raqqa, Syria

As the Syrian Civil War wages in its fifth year, we continue to see images and read news articles of how increasingly bloody and more complex this conflict is becoming. With ISIS having gained a stronghold in Raqqa and elsewhere… Continue Reading →

Parlio Q&A with Hyeonseo Lee: North Korean defector, activist, and author

Hyeonseo Lee graciously offered to do a Q&A with Parlio, an online forum for intelligent conversations on issues that matter. Please read her Q&A with Parlio on this link. She carefully answered every question that was asked on our platform and I… Continue Reading →

How Far Would You Go to Reach Freedom? How about 6,000 miles?

Ji Seong-Ho walked 6,000 miles with just one leg and one arm on the crutches that his father made for him to defect North Korea for the second time to reach freedom in South Korea. He was caught during his first… Continue Reading →

First Openly Gay North Korean Defector Speaks to New York Times

Normally, I try to avoid re-posting articles on the blog (even though there are so many good ones out there!) but this one was too good, too interesting, and too unique to not re-post. Mr. Yeong-Jin Jang arrived in South Korea… Continue Reading →

New York City Hosts a North Korea Propaganda Artist / Political Prisoner / Dissident Artist

Song Byeok went from being a North Korean propaganda artist to political prisoner to now a dissident artist. His work will be exhibited in New York City for the next few weeks (May 7 – June 13) and I’d love… Continue Reading →

“Keep Your Eyes On the Prize. And Hold On.” A Must-Watch Talk by Bryan Stevenson

After listening to all of NPR’s Weekend Edition stories, I browsed Ted.Com to find a good talk to listen to while writing emails before heading to bed. I was reminded, once again, that Ted.Com talks simply cannot be put on as “background noise.”… Continue Reading →

From Palestine to PIVOT — I never stop learning from Asma Jaber!

In March 2013, I went on a spring break trek to Palestine with a a bunch of HKS students, led by Asma Jaber.  I was thinking about going to Morocco, China, or some other trek, but after learning a bit about… Continue Reading →

“I sell my daughter for 100 won” — Jang Jin-Sung

I Sell My Daughter for 100 Won, by Jang Jin-sung (N. Korea) Exhausted, in the midst of the market she stood “For 100 won, my daughter I sell” Heavy medallion of sorrow A cardboard around her neck she had hung Next… Continue Reading →

Art Club at Yeomyung School (Alternative School for North Korean students in Seoul)

When working at Google a few years ago, I connected with some North Korean students at Yeomyung school, one of the few private alternative schools for North Korean students who fled their country and currently live in Seoul. Some generous Googlers donated… Continue Reading →

Srdja Popovich and the Power of Non-violent Resistance Movements to topple dictatorships

I had an extremely insightful conversation with Srdja Popovic, one of the leaders of the Otpor! (Serbian for “Resistance”) movement, which has been largely credited for bringing down the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic.  Popovic now co-runs the Center for Applied Non-Violent Actions and… Continue Reading →

North Korea Hackathon in Silicon Valley (Behind the Scenes!)

This past weekend, a North Korea Hackathon took place in Silicon Valley, hopefully the first of many. The New York City-based Human Rights Foundation organized this event in San Francisco that drew a diverse crowd of about one hundred people, including engineers,… Continue Reading →

Leaders on Leadership: A Conversation with former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

On May 15, my classmate Amandla Ooko-Ombaka and I moderated the opening panel for HKS Ideasphere with the former Mexican President Felipe Calderon (HKS Class 2000, HKS Fellow 2013) and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (HKS Class 1971) to discuss their paths… Continue Reading →

“1/7 of the world’s population is disabled, but comprise an invisible community: Sara Minkara, on “Empowerment Through Integration”

Sara Minkara, a close friend from HKS, is an extraordinary person. She’s created this NGO called “Empowerment through Integration” that works to empower young people with disabilities in order to help integrate them into their communities. She started off with… Continue Reading →

“What’s the big deal about Grandma Maddy being Secretary of State? Aren’t only girls Secretaries of State?”

I came across this 12-minute Ted Talk with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. That quote above are the words of Secretary of State’s Madeleine Albright’s youngest granddaughter, who’s living in a time where her grandmother, Dr. Rice, and Secretary… Continue Reading →

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