Christine Ahn: 2012-2013 Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist


In April 2013, CEW hosted Christine Ahn, Executive Director of the Korea Policy Institute. KPI is an independent research and educational institute providing timely analyses of United States policies toward Korea and developments on the Korean peninsula. At the time, Ms. Ahn also held positions as Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the Global Fund for Women, Senior Fellow with the Oakland Institute, and consultant to the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.

For her Visiting Social Activist project, Ahn examined women’s movements that transgress political and social norms by using direct action to break down barriers and cross boundaries. She researched the stories of women who have lived this experience, including women from the Korean peninsula and diaspora, as well as women on the Israel-Palestine border. She examined transnational feminist ideas, the challenges these women faced, and lessons they learned. The second component of her project was to build on that knowledge as she discussed plans with Korean women and their diaspora about marching across Korea’s de-militarized zone in order to prevent patriarchal regimes from destroying the region.  

In May 2015, Ms. Ahn was one of thirty international women peacemakers from around the world who walked with thousands of Korean women, north and south, to call for an end to the Korean War, reunification of families and women’s leadership in the peace process. They held international peace symposiums in Pyongyang and Seoul where they listened to Korean women and shared experiences and ideas of mobilizing women to bring an end to war and violent conflict. On May 24, International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament, they successfully crossed the 2-mile wide De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) that separates millions of Korean families as a symbolic act of peace.

See photos from the successful May 24, 2015 march and related activities.

 Feminist icon Gloria Steinem (4th from left, front row) walks with Christine Ahn (5th from left) & others

 

Christine & A Korean Pearl Diver                         Ahn Speaking to Students at U-M's Nam Center for Korean Studies