Lecture in North Korea: The Human Face Series Continues

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San Francisco —Korean Center, Inc. (KCI) & the Intercultural Institute of California (IIC) is presenting the second lecture in the North Korea: Human Face program series.

This program is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council, the Center for Pacific Rim, the Japan Policy Research Institute, and the Nautilus Institute. Guest speaker Stephen McNeil, Assistant Regional Director for Peacebuilding Work with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), will be speaking on “Opening the Door to Peace in North Korea: AFSC and Humanitarian Assistance.”

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 3rd at 6pm. 7pm reception with Korean refreshments
Location: Korean Center/1362 Post Street, San Francisco
See www.iic.edu and www.koreancentersf.org.

About guest speaker Stephen McNeil:
Stephen McNeil has directed U.S. based relief work from 1999 to 2009. Since 1990 he has traveled and worked throughout Japan, including work with Korean Japanese.  He is also on the Board of Directors of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) in Washington, DC. Mr. McNeil also serves on the board of Volunteers in Asia, a group dedicated to increasing understanding between the United States and Asia through cross- cultural exchange programs.

Stephen McNeil will discuss the longstanding partnership AFSC has had with the Korean Peninsula, which originated with Ham Sok Hon’s efforts to advocate for human rights and non-violence in Korea during the 20th century. Ham Sok Hon was nicknamed the “Gandhi of Korea,” and designated as a national cultural figure by the South Korean government. Mr. McNeil will also discuss AFSC’s humanitarian assistance programs which includes technical assistance to the citizens of North Korea, medical assistance, and even musical exchange. These past 5 years, AFSC has been engaging North Korea through efforts in China and Vietnam.

About AFSC:
AFSC has so far hosted fourteen delegations abroad for technical study in sustainable agriculture, and brought agricultural scientists from the US to North Korea. Their exposure to ordinary citizens in the US and other countries visited allows them to take home new ideas.  AFSC’s continuing work in the DPRK builds new understanding between the North Korean and American people and helps to break down stereotyped images on both sides. AFSC also organized the first medical delegation from DPRK to
the United States for an exposure tour of U.S. medical facilities.

About the North Korea: The Human Face:
North Korea: The Human Face is an educational, non-partisan lecture series committed to generating dialogue in the Bay Area on the topic of humanitarian aid and human security in North Korea. The program’s goal is to provide a forum that will heighten knowledge, promote critical thinking, and provide opportunities for our audience to interact with academic and professional specialists working on these issues.

This lecture series moves beyond the conventional discourse on North Korea and discusses real solutions to the country’s humanitarian problems. By doing so, this will help create a better understanding of the humanitarian situation in North Korea, demonstrate how humanitarian work is making a positive impact, and inspire more students, professionals, and scholars to become involved in initiatives furthering humanitarian aid and human security in North Korea.

About the Korean Center, Inc.
KCI is the only comprehensive community service organization in San Francisco dedicated to serving the Korean American community as well as promoting cross-cultural exchanges in recognition of today’s global society. KCI accomplishes this through educational programs and cultural offerings that cultivate Korea’s rich cultural and historical legacy. It has been KCI’s task to share its distinct resources with the public, thus contributing to the fabric of San Francisco, an international city known for its cultural richness. KCI works to deliver its programs in collaboration with other agencies that represent today’s multiethnic and global environment. The organization also aims to assist Korean Americans realize their full potential through education, training, and cultural and social services. KCI strives to advocate the rights and interests of immigrants in the Bay Area as well as serve as a cultural focal point for the community. 

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