February 18, 2016 Ambassador Mark Lippert agrees to come in for a guest lecture for the first Human Rights Week celebration hosted by the school’s student run club, the Global Ambassador’s Club. Chihoon Kim is the founder of the club who started the organization in the hopes to bring consciousness to the power that students in the international school system hold in shaping future US-South Korea relations, to raise awareness of students’ future roles in influencing Human Rights, and to promote acting locally and thinking globally.
“On twitter, he follows my account. I followed him,” announced ambassador Lippert. “He sent me a message telling me about the Global Ambassador’s club, and he asked me in a message if I could come give a guest lecture. And I agreed to most of it, in that I would do a little bit of a lecture, but I really want to have more of a conversation, and I can’t wait to get to the questions and answers”
Although the purpose of the event was to celebrate the progress made on human rights and to promote consciousness of the opportunities that KIS students are given by their education, the event marks a change of times. Korean students are not only disciplined in their studies, like past generations, but they are now also actively braving actions for their fellow peers and community.
“But it really is, I think, indicative of, again, the power of the social media in that there are about two other people that can summon the US Ambassador, the president - president Park - Foreign minister Yoon, and then ... Kai, who has a twitter account. So it’s a really good lesson here, in the power of social interactions and media,” continued Lippert.
As ambassador Lippert spoke to his crowd, he emphasized the importance of the roles that today’s students will play in the global arena of tomorrow. “As the US ambassador i do spend a lot of time dealing with senior government officials, the military, corporate business officials, but … we put a lot of priority in meeting students because it’s students like you that represent the next generation, it’s students like you that will carry on the great traditions of this country, and it’s also in a bilateral sense between our two countries, it is you that will decide the future and shape of the US, Republic of Korea rock-alliance
and so that is another big reason why I am here.”
Lippert’s vision for the students was on the future, “ten, twenty, thirty years from now and you will be in position of power, you will be in positions of influence, doing great interesting things one day, so it’s important to get the conversation started sooner rather than later, as they say.”
Finally, he concluded his talk on the protection of basic human rights, how it should be a matter of concern “to every human being on the planet,” on international relations between North and South Korea, and on the importance of transparency between nations. The event was empowering to the students, and the visit by the US ambassador set forth an inspiring energy for the KIS community to think, speak, and act with responsibility for themselves and the world around them.
Chihoon Kai Kim
Korea International School
Chihoon Kai Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
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