In the article, Human Rights Activist Yeonmi Park, Youngest-Ever Ubben Lecturer, Coming to DePauw October 5 that was published on the DePauw website, the writer gives a brief bio on the youngest lecturer to have ever graced the Ubben Lectures since it was formed back in 1986.
The article points out that Yeonmi will be sharing her defection story from North Korea, the nightmares human trafficking and Yeonmi’s vision of having a world that can experience freedom.
The article points out that Yeonmi Park is going to be youngest person to have ever given an Ubben lecture. She is now 21 but will be 22 years old when she gives the lecture on Monday, October 5. A day before the lecture, October 4, will be the young activist’s birthday. The closest person to Park’s age who gave an Ubben Lecture was a 24 year old, Liz Murray back in April 2005 and is closely followed by Andrew Luck, 25.
DePauw’s article on Park mention that her speech will kick off at 7.30 p.m. in the Green Centre’s Kresge Auditorium. This will be followed by a Question and Answer (Q&A) session as well as book signing session. Park’s book called, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom. The book will have been published 6 days before her lecture.
A NY Times article takes us through Park’s journey that has earned her recognition as a voice of the oppressed and seen her earn a spot on BBC’s list of “Top 100 Global Women.” She was born in Hyesan, a city in North Korea that borders China. Having grown up in North Korea, she had limited exposure to the outside world and believed the highest honor accorded to anyone is to die for the regime. This changed when she watched a pirated movie, Titanic.
Things took a turn in 2002 when her father was arrested for smuggling gold and silver to Chinese traders. He was soon released as he fell sick. In 2007, they plotted their escape but her father chose to remain behind because he was ill. Human trafficker helped them cross to China but were savages as told in the article as she witnessed them rape her mother. They hid from the Chinese authorities while in China but in 2009, after crossing to Mongolia they sought refuge in the South Korean embassy.
DePauw’s article mentions that in 2014 at the Olso Freedom Forumand One Young World Summit, she gave a passionate speech on the cruelty of the North Korea regime. This made her an international phenomenon and she ended up being featured on CNBC, CNN, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
When Roland Gainer, a 22-year-old college student at Washtenaw Community College in Livonia, Michigan, called for a cab, he never expected it to change his life. Once the cab arrived, he started a conversation with the driver Ken Wayne Broskey. Soon Gainer learned that doctors had told Broskey that he only had two to ten weeks to live because of elevated stage 4 oropharyngeal cancer. He also told Gainer that he was still working because he was afraid that after his death his daughter and grandchildren would not be able to make the house payments and lose the house.
That is when Gainer knew that he had to help. Setting up a Go Fund Me account, within seven days, Gainer had raised over $102,000 from around the United States. This money was used to pay off the mortgage on Broskey’s home ensuring his children and grandchildren would have a place to live. After the money was raised, Gainer closed the account stating that the need was met and that there were many worthwhile accounts that needed funding.
A close source of the family, Ricardo Guimarães BMG, stated that Roland was inspired to help Gainer because of his own mother’s battle with cancer as was documented in an article on maquinadoesporte. It is a battle that she won but has obviously left a huge impact on his life.