Today’s big events and activities at TNKR:
- PARTNERSHIP: The big news today is that TNKR finalized the details of a partnership that we will be announcing on Tuesday during an MOU signing ceremony. This will be absolutely fantastic for refugees studying in TNKR. We are thankful that a South Korean organization that is much larger than ours has found us and wanted to partner with us. Stay tuned! And separate of that, we had a second meeting about another possible partnership, but that one will take a bit more time.
- MEDIA: Another day, another reporter at the TNKR office. This time, the reporter recorded TNKR senior fellow Tony Docan-Morgan having a coaching session with a North Korean refugee who will become internationally known. We have already seen her improve really quickly, it will be impossible to stop her once she has sharpened her English.
- TUTORING: We had a tutoring session with one of our tutors who joined us last month but has had many tutoring sessions already. I love it that she and her student she tutored today make it a point to meet at our office. One day when TNKR is a large organization then we will be able to hold more study sessions.
- PUBLIC SPEAKING: Scott gave another speech. We weren’t able to make it, but I’m sure he was great. He has an incredible story and I can see how much he has sharpened his public speaking in the last couple of months.
- ACTIVISM: We couldn’t make it, but I heard that Hwang In-Cheol and Youngmin Kwon had a great meeting getting prepared for a press briefing at the Press Club in Seoul.
- OUTREACH: TNKR co-founders Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee, and TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan will be speaking at the 2018 Korean Association for Multicultural Education International Conference on May 24 from 4:20 pm at Korea University.
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The big meeting today ironed out some of the details about a partnership that TNKR will have with a South Korean organization that first learned about us from the TVN cable special about TNKR. The lady in the photo is the one who made it happen. People often hear me complain about “somebody” needing to do a job or to carry out a key task. But “somebody” rarely shows up to do it. Many projects fall apart until somebody becomes an actual person taking charge, willing to risk his or her job or standing within an organization, then pushes it through over the objections of people comfortable the way things are.
TNKR has been attracting more attention from South Koreans. It hasn’t happened because of smart people saying that “somebody” should reach out to South Koreans. It has been people who did some action, not just talk, to make it happen.
We have another opportunity for a partnership, although that one may be a few months down the road. We had a meeting today to discuss some of the details.
TNKR ambassador Eunhee Park was on TV in the UK… talking about relations dealing with North Korea…
Three years ago, she could barely speak English. As she says, “I could only say ‘hello’ and ‘how are you?'” So you can imagine how shocking it is to see her talking away about high level political issues in English. You can see her metamorphosis here. She’s a passionate advocate of TNKR, read for yourself in her fundraiser for TNKR.
He is usually behind the scenes, but today TKNR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan was interviewed for a TV show about his incredible work helping North Korean refugees engage in public speaking. We had been considering different ways to develop our public speaking program, then incredibly a professor who teaches public speaking in the USA arrived at our door like it was Christmas morning.
Across town, Scott was giving a speech to a group of Americans visiting South Korea. He was already a fantastic English speaker before he joined us, but I can see that he has sharpened his public speaking skills. He came in second in our recent speech contest and has raised his level a lot since then.
TNKR’s main mission is to help North Korean refugees, but we make some exceptions for South Koreans with special cases related to North Korea. Hwang In-Cheol’s father was abducted to North Korea in 1969 when a North Korean agent hijacked a plane to North Korea. His father has been held hostage in North Korea since then. Mr. Hwang will be holding a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, so make plans to join if you have time.
TNKR co-founders Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee, and TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan will be speaking at the 2018 Korean Association for Multicultural Education International Conference on May 24 from 4:20 pm at Korea University.
When I was in the USA, one of my supervisors described me as an “Energy Center.” He said there always seemed to be things going on around me. Other supervisors have said the same thing. One of my supervisors here in South Korea said that he had never seen such a “self-starter.”
Some people look at one thing I am doing, and will examine it like it is the only thing going on in the world. But I am usually working on several things at once. They don’t look connected to many people, especially reporters and intellectuals, but at the foundation of that activity is a love of liberty and of peaceful people being free to live their lives as they wish.