We wanted to raise awareness of the unjust treatment the people of North Korea suffer in prison camps to the whole of Washtenaw International High School. Thanks to the generosity of the South Korean Consulate General in Chicago, we were able to hold an exhibition of their gallery set detailing conditions in the prison camps after school. We hope that this exhibition will inspire both students and teachers alike to stand action against the conditions of the North Korean prison camps.
With the creation of an Everyone’s Free chapter in St. Paul’s Coed College in Hong Kong, the Everyone’s Free Organization is now officially an international NGO!
To kick off the year, we held our second annual Movie Night to Save A Life at Washtenaw International High School. We continued our tradition of pampering our guests by serving a wide variety of complementary foods and drinks including ramen, pizza, sushi (freshly made by our members), soda, and bubble tea (also made by our members).
This year’s film choice was Welcome to Dongmakgol, a culture rich comedy set during the Korean War where North and South Korea soldiers are forced to live amongst each other in a secluded village where people know nothing about the war.
We also added an element of worldly education for our event by holding an exhibition that raises awareness of North Korea prison camps and their brutal conditions, courtesy of the Consulate General of South Korea in Chicago.
We are excited to announce the creation of an Everyone’s Free Chapter in Greenhills School located in Ann Arbor, Michigan!
Indeed we have heard that youth are our future; however, often times adults and political disagreements make it impossible for young people to have a future at all. The youth of North and South Korea deserve a future. It is difficult to take political stances when much of the information that people in the Western Hemisphere received is very much skewed in one direction. It is easy to demonize that which we do not understand or that which we “choose” to make as our enemy. Children are no-one’s enemy. I hope that both Koreans and people from all over the world engage in the complex work of building one Korea. A people should not be divided. That work may appear “impossible” but one must dream beyond the societal barriers placed in front of us. I challenge this young man, John Park, to do the most difficult of work; to see beyond hate, beyond political battle lines and to seek for a united Korea. The forces of power, greed and imperialism are mighty strong, but the will of the people, organized, can move mountains. May mountains get moved.
– Cesar A. Cruz
Assistant Dean, Harvard Summer School, Summer 2014
Not just his words, but his actions are truly inspirational to our organization. As the founder of the Homies Empowerment Program and an educational activist, Mr. Cruz is a visionary and a leader that exemplifies how “people, organized, can move mountains”. He has worked for over twenty years in educational activism by tackling educational inequality, the rise of high school dropout rates, and gang violence in California. Please support his cause and like the Homies Empowerment Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homies-Empowerment-ProgramAdelante/391011680935287?fref=photo and donate to his organization by purchasing Homies Empowerment apparel at http://www.cafepress.com/teolol.
Welcome, potential new members and students of Washtenaw International High School! I hope that you have been able to find yourself amongst these photos and continue to remain interested in attending meetings, which will be held on tuesdays (more information will be distributed via email). Every year, our chapter at this school outdoes itself, and this year is your own opportunity to be a part of a growing student movement founded in your school by doing hands on work that will help change the lives of many North Korean refugees.
Sincerely, President and Founder of the Everyone’s Free Organization
The Everyone’s Free Young Scholars Program was created to support the educational aspirations of outstanding students who defected from North Korea. To insure the program grows with Everyone’s Free, the total scholarship fund will consistently be 25% of what we fundraise annually.
Each year, four students will be selected for the program. All the students of Kumkang School for North Korean children are eligible, and the applicants will be judged by the principal of Kumkang School and a board of teachers using:
1. The Student’s grade point average
2. A teacher’s report of classroom citizenship
3. An essay; questions of the essay will vary annually from academic aspirations, dreams, observations on their community, personal experiences, and more.
Today was a momentous day. Not only was it a fantastic, celebratory conclusion to a year of admirable hard work and commitment from all our members, but also the birth of the Everyone’s Free Young Scholars Program (poster coming soon). With a portion of the money that we have raised this year, we will award 4 outstanding students in Kumkang School for North Korean defector children with a scholarship to inspire and aid in the education of these bright, but financially disadvantaged, students.
With over three hundred guests, this year’s Korean Dinner was our most successful event so far; however, the most amazing aspect of the Korean Dinner was that it was a work of extensive collaboration. We sincerely thank Shin Dong-Hyuk for accepting our humble invitation to the state of Michigan and speaking at our event, Debbie Dingell for supporting our organization and advocating for North Korean human rights, Hansori from Eastern Michigan University for their traditional Korean Samulnori percussion performances, D!VERSE for performing their songs on Korean unification and human rights, the Michigan Today Publication, all the restaurants and stores in Michigan that donated food to this event, and all other individuals that generously helped out during the event.
Below are some of our generous supporters that will make our 2nd Annual Korean Dinner possible. All the funds we raise from the Korean Dinner will go to support out cause to help save the lives of North Korean refugee children.
Supporters: The Law Office of Soo Park, Hyundai Market, Broadway Cafe, Galleria Market, BeWon Korean Restaurant, Sang Do Market, Manna Market, and Sweetwater Coffee and Tea.