I was the featured speaker at an event at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on Friday. It was a great moment, the final scheduled speech of my trip to the USA.

But would anyone show up? It was right before Easter Weekend. We are talking about North Korean refugees and how people can get involved. And because it was during the morning, there would be many students at class who wouldn’t be able to make it.

I often have low expectations about speeches. After two decades of activity in causes, as a leader, helper or board member, I am delighted when at least one person steps forward to get involved and/or one donates. In most cases, people come out because of curiosity.

This is now the fifth time I have given a speech at Harvard as an invited speaker.

  • 2003, Harvard Law School, “No Child Left Behind” conference
  • 2003, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Alumni of Color conference. Topic: “Educational Freedom in Urban America.”
  • 2015, Harvard University Extension School, Innovation Symposium, Video: “Teach North Korean Refugees: Connecting Refugees in South Korea with Academic and Job Skill Opportunities.”
  • 2016, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Topic: “Hello Konglish! Teach North Korean Refugees.”
  • 2019, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Topic: “North Korean Refugees in South Korea and the Role of TNKR.”

We then had Q&A. I was giving long answers to questions! After giving eight speeches and talking about TNKR constantly to diverse audiences over the past few weeks, I have even started putting together slides based on questions I had been getting asked.

Then it was photo time!

A great thing about Harvard is that distinguished professors, politicians, academics and politicians are often walking around the campus. It took a moment for me to recognize Howard Gardner.