I started this blog in 2012 to write about my interest in mass human rights violations from the perspective of studying history and current events to help prevent such injustices from occurring in the future. As Shin Dong Hyuk (a North Korean defector) said in one of my articles, “we think that massive genocides took place long ago in our history. ‘Never again,’ we think. We’re mistaken! These systematic killings are taking place, and will continue to take place until we bring change.” Throughout my studies and travels over the past few years, I have broadened the scope of my blogging to share my experiences as an observer of the world through the lens of seeing people as equally human.
We’re all fundamentally and equally human. We’re all born to a mother and father, crave to love and be loved, yearn to know and be known, and have an inalienable dignity that makes us the most unique specie to populate this earth. We must remember that a baby has no past.
This is such a simple truth, an obvious fact, yet so easily forgotten in government policies as well as daily interactions among people on a daily basis. As someone who believes that human beings are inherently equal, I am fascinated by how humanity—with all of its complexities and similarities—is segregated by states with man-made boundaries and varying types of governments. As I am fortunate enough to have been born in a country whose political leadership allows me both freedom and education, I believe I have a duty to learn how I could bridge differences and misunderstandings that are consequences of political borders. We all have this duty.
Let’s never stop educating ourselves with the experiences of other people so that we can inform our lifestyles, professions, conversations, and mindsets to see each other as equally human. I hope that my writing triggers a thought or two for my readers.
ABOUT JIEUN: Jieun Baek is a researcher and author. She also is founder/co-director of the nonprofit, Lumen. Previously, she was a research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University where she wrote North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society (Yale University Press, 2016). Baek worked at Google, where, among other roles, she served as Google Ideas’ North Korea expert. She has spoken on NPR, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and has written for The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Politico, Huffington Post, and various Harvard publications. Baek received her bachelor’s in Government and master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University, and her PhD in Public Policy at the University of Oxford. Her hometown is Los Angeles, California. Click here for CV
A few articles about me: