North Korea is one of the most isolated countries, not thanks to its geographical position, but thanks to its communist leadership. Censorship is at such a level to the extent of the violation of human rights. For young people living in such a country, life may feel more like a prison. It is hard to escape from such a system, where even the Internet is highly censored. For some people life in these conditions was unbearable and for Yeonmi Park escaping the country was the only option.
The young human rights activist was born in on October of 1993. She escaped North Korea in 2007 and currently lives in neighbouring South Korea. Park rose to International fame after a speech delivered at the One Young World 2014 Summit in Dublin, Ireland. The event gathers young people from all over the world to develop solutions to the worlds biggest issues. Her speech about her experience on escaping from North Korea was seen by millions on YouTube and other video sharing services. She comes from a wealthy family. Her father worked as businessman and was a part of the ruling Workers party, while her mother worked as a nurse in the North Korean Army. After escaping, she spoke out about her life in North Korea and was featured the Washington post as well as The Guardian.
This video interview of Park will give you an idea as to what you can expect at DePauw:
This is why it will be an honor to see this brave, young woman on the 5th of October on the grounds of the DePauw University. I have read that she has a new book coming called In Order to Live, that is about: “ the resilience of the human spirit and the transcendent power of love to overcome the most ghastly horrors and the most hopeless circumstances.”. She is a big inspiration to those who dream of freedom in many repressed countries and regions. At this year’s Women in the World summit, Park stated, “For the first time in my life, I own me. I own myself, and this is so powerful to me. I always belonged to the states or to a man who bought me, and I have a voice now. Freedom allowed me to have a voice. I want to use this voice, and I want everyone else to use their voice, too.”, further inspiring millions.
So, this year the Ubben Lecture Series will have its youngest speaker ever. The Ubben Lecture Series was established through the support of DePauw graduates Timothy H. and Sharon Williams Ubben. The series was designed to “Bring the world to Greencastle”. There were many famous speakers presenting, and some of them include Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, General Wesley Clark and many more. There is a huge list of previous lecturers that can be found on the University’s website. Furthermore there are also many video montages of previous events available on YouTube.
It is great opportunity to meet someone who knows what it is to fight for your freedom, rather than just seeing it on TV or reading about it on the Internet. It is definitely an event that should not be missed and a great honor for both the University, and Yeonmi Park herself, to speak at a place where many of the most influential people of the last century have spoken.