2018-01-20 Book Discussion: Study Materials

Professor Tony Docan-Morgan has prepared study materials to get prepared for Saturday’s Book Club discussion. Find more information here.

Book Club Handout-2018-01-20

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2018-01-12 Feedback and Speaking Out

Friday was a busy day!

* TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan held 1:1 feedback sessions with coaches in Track 2 (public speaking).

* TNKR Ambassador Eunhee Park gave a fantastic talk at a private event at our office.

Support TNKR 

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TNKR’s Million Won Fundraising Club

TNKR’s Million Won Fundraising Club


Cherie Yang, Special Ambassador, “탈북민 영어교육프로그램 모금

Sungju Lee, Ambassador, “Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee (autograph)



Casey Lartigue, TNKR co-founder and International Director, “Casey Lartigue’s Matching Donation Alert” “Casey Lartigue’s fundraiser for TNKR,” “KC’s 2017 Birthday Matching Grant,”

Dave Fry, TNKR Assistant Director and tutor, “Help me help North Korean Refugees

Tony Docan-Morgan, Senior Fellow, “Tony’s TNKR Birthday Fundraiser! 🙂,” “I’ll Mail You Korean Stickers!” “Thanksgiving, Black Friday, & Freedom

Youngmin Kwon, Academic Adviser and tutor, “Support North Korean Refugees & Human Rights!

Janice Kim. Academic Coordinator and tutor, “Janice’s 30th Birthday Fundraiser for TNKR!

Spencer Kim, Intern Coordinator and tutor, “Fund TNKR’s Future


Renee Cummins, November 2016 party


Sandra Durinick & Manda Sheffy, January 2018 fundraiser


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TNKR in USA Today: “North Korean defectors must overcome big challenge once free: Learn English”

“North Korean defectors must overcome big challenge once free: Learn English”

Thomas Maresca, Special to USA TODAY


PDF of tear sheets

2018-01-02 TNKR in USA Today (1)

2018-01-02 TNKR in USA Today (2)

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Anyone have time to read this?

Years ago I read an article about a man who kept track of every detail of his life. The result is that he had boxes and boxes of diaries documenting every little detail. My question when I read the article: How in the world can he get anything done if he is busy writing every moment about what he is doing?
Few people have read his diaries and I don’t even remember his name now. That’s not surprising. After all, who wants to read about a guy using the bathroom at 7:40 am, then making a phone call 15 minutes later at 7:55, then checking the mail at 8:05, stubbing his foot in the door at 8:07, looking at the dog barking across at the street at 8:10 after he slammed his hand in the door as he was daydreaming about recording in his diary the exciting events of the past 30 minutes? 
Sometimes I fall behind in posting things about TNKR–because we are too busy DOING them. Here’s a wrap-up of some our recent activities. Clearly I’m smarter than the guy keeping all of those diaries. Instead of writing every detail, I take photos. But then, who in the world wants to look at all of our photos?
In this post:
Feedback and interviews with refugees
Youngmin Kwon, TNKR Academic Adviser
Interviews about TNKR
Visitors to TNKR
Leaving the TNKR Cave
Not in this post:
Matching session on December 9
Orientation on December 10
Bring My Father Home Press Conference
…and other stuff I can’t remember or no one took photos…
When refugees first join TNKR, Eunkoo Lee and I conduct separate interviews. We do this as an initial session before the orientation to get to know the refugees a bit, to make sure they understand that this is a low-budget self-study program, to lower their expectations, to make sure we have an understanding of why they are joining TNKR, and to make sure they are thinking ahead about how to use TNKR well.
So many are overjoyed–some want to take photos with us because they have heard about TNKR. Others are thankful they finally have a chance to study with us. The initial interviews are always great. The refugees who have come in recently range from recently arrivals referred to us by other refugees or government agencies to refugees who have been here for a decade or more but have failed to learn English. Too many wonderful and sad stories, but my conclusion: North Korea is a screwed up country that unnecessarily keeps many of its people ignorant about the world and then cruelly punishes those who seek to escape to the outside world.

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2017-12-11 Bring My Father Home press conference

On 2017-12-11, TNKR combined with the 1969 KAL Abductees’ Families Association to hold a press conference on the 48th anniversary of a Korean Airline plane being hijacked to North Korea. Hwang In-Cheol, the son of one of the people abducted and held in North Korea, has been leading up the fight the past 15 years to have the victims released. He has combined with various NGOs and government agencies and organizations, but to no avail. We haven’t been successful, but we have done our best to stand with Mr. Hwang ever since we met him March 2016. We have helped him organize several events, but every event feels like one too many. NK needs to let the abductees go or at least, as Mr. Hwang is now asking, to have a chance to meet in a 3rd country.

The main organizer of the press conference was Youngmin Kwon, a TNKR volunteer who is the Project Manager of the Bring My Father Home campaign. As always, TNKR co-director Eunkoo Lee did 1001 things behind the scenes to make an event happen. Also helping out were TNKR volunteers and students Goeun Gil, Cody Smith, Paul Jennings, Andrea Sciurti and Chansook Kim.

TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan opened the press conference by giving background information about the hijacking and he also mentioned TNKR role.

TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue discussed Mr. Hwang’s strategy over the last 15 years, which he compared to Martin Luther King’s strategy of non-violence.

Kim Sokwoo, former Vice Minister of the Unification Ministry, was the first main speaker. He spoke strongly about Mr. Hwang’s campaign to have his father released.

Signe Poulsen of the UN office in Seoul then followed by discussing the UN’s support of his campaign.

NK refugee Hyeongsoo Kim, a student in TNKR and co-founder of Stepping Stones, denounced the NK regime for holding Mr. Hwang’s father and others against their will.

The event then wrapped up with a viewing of a documentary being put together to highlight this campaign.

Some major media covered the event and there should be more stories in the next week or so.

Yonhap, Daily NK, KBS World, Chosun Sports, Daum News.

Support the campaign

Hwang In-Cheol, still calling on North Korea to send his father home.

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2017-11-11 TNKR Open House was a Full House!

TNKR held an Open House on November 11 to discuss our activities and to encourage volunteers to get involved. Most people who join us naturally want to tutor refugees directly, but we have other needs and also need some people to help us in other ways.

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2017-09-23 Volunteer Training Workshop, Day 2

Volunteer Training Workshop, Day 2:

  • Lecture 1: NK Education System by Jinhee Han, former English teacher in North Korea
  • Group Discussion with NK Refugee Students (College)
  • Lecture II: Roles and Profess ledionalism in Volunteering with NK Refugees by TNKR co-founders Casey Lartigue and Eunkoo Lee
  • Group Discussion led by TNKR Senior Fellow Tony Docan-Morgan

Support TNKR

Watch a TV special about TNKR

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2017-09-24/25 Telling Their Own Stories

On Sunday TNKR held an orientation to get prepared for its 64th Language Matching session to be held on Sunday October 1. We will be holding an emergency session tonight and probably another one on Wednesday.

We had nine volunteers join the session.


Support TNKR

Watch a TV special about TNKR

Read more