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Yeonmi Park; Tales of Tears

by Anna Tillman

On Monday, March 20th, Roanoke College had the pleasure of hosting Yeonmi Park. This was a part of the David L. Guy Lecture Series where Roanoke is able to bring in many different types of lecturers to the campus. These lectures are always amazing and a great opportunity for students to learn new perspectives and meet new people. Yeonmi Park’s lecture was a very emotional retelling of her childhood growing up in North Korea. Her lecture is titled “The Fundamentals of Freedom: We Must All Fight Against Tyranny.”

This lecture was incredibly powerful and impactful. It had many people in the audience tearing up. She discussed what it was like growing up in North Korea with a dictator who did not have its citizens best interest in mind. When she was 13 years old, she made the brave decision to flee and find refuge in China. Her journey from there was shocking to many and was hard to listen to. She ended her lecture by urging people to fight against oppression all around the world. Yeonmi Park is a strong and amazing woman. It was such an incredible experience to be able to listen to her life story and what it taught her going forward in life. She is an inspiration and Roanoke College students were so grateful to have the opportunity to hear her story. This event was sponsored by David L. Guy, Young America’s Foundation, and the Center for Economic Freedom.