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The Forerunner Film and Speaker Series presents Behind Closed Doors: The Human Rights Crisis in North Korea in partnership with CIGI with expert guests Dr. Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights and professor, Department of Global Studies and Balsillie School of International Affairs and Mr. Kyung B. Lee, President, Council for Human Rights in North Korea (Toronto).

Two short films will be shown during this discussion, 'Darkness and Crying of the Land" and "Crossing" (approx 18 mins each).

For the WEBCAST- special guest expert David Hawk, international human rights expert on Cambodia and North Korea, will join in the dialogue from the U.S.

Mr. Kyung B. Lee, President, The Council For Human Rights in North Korea, is an activist for human rights in North Korea, has organized and led several petition/protest campaigns, national and international. He founded "The Council for Human Rights in North Korea" in 2008, and has hosted international forums annually with local political leaders and many prominent activists from abroad. Mr. Lee, who received a Bachelor's degree in Foreign Trade from Myongji University in Seoul, South Korea, immigrated to Canada in 1973 and has practised accounting as Certified General Accountant since 1983. He served as a board member for Ontario Lottery Corporation from 1991 to 1995 and for the City of York's Board of Health from 1995 to 1997.

Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann is Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where she holds a joint appointment in the Department of Global Studies and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. In 2006 she was named the first Distinguished Scholar of Human Rights by the Human Rights Section, American Political Science Association. Dr. Howard-Hassmann was also a Senior Editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Rights (2010), which won the Dartmouth Medal from the Reference and User Services Association. Her current research interests include human security and state-induced famine.; so far, her case studies include North Korea, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

The Forerunner Film and Speaker Series is an initiative of The Forerunner Project Inc., (TFP) a non profit, charitable organization based in Waterloo Region which encourages the work of ‘forerunners’ – people who are intrinsically motivated to build, create, innovate and reform. The Forerunner Project presents cutting edge documentaries and expert speakers about important issues in partnership with community groups and educational institutions. TFP is currently in the process of building The Forerunner Living and Learning Community in Atenas, Costa Rica where people of all ages can ‘retire with purpose’. Residents and volunteers mentor youth in making positive change in their communities and the world.

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