The International Strategy Center’s New Year’s Party
On January 8th, the International Strategy Center hosted a New Year’s party and invited advisers, sponsors, participants for past events, and others who wanted to know more about us. In the party, we shared what we did in 2016 and our direction for 2017. Each of us also shared our personal hopes for 2017.
We first had an icebreaker. While, the ISC knew everyone present through various routes, some people were seeing each other for the first time in the party. So we prepared an icebreaker called “Let me introduce my partner”. It was a fun way to get to know each other despite the differences in age, sex, nationality and history.
Then we presented the ISC’s 2016 activities and 2017 direction. Last year, the ISC had three regular projects: the Open Lectures that gave an opportunity for foreigners, Korean Americans, adoptees, and Koreans to learn more deeply about Korean culture, society, politics and economy; solidarity activities with the Venezuelan and Bolivian embassies; the monthly World Current Report that covered domestic and international issues to deliver news with a progressive point of view. We also had two special projects: the Sewol Ferry Forum to build solidarity with the Sewol struggle and promote democracy and peace through cooperation among activists in Asia; International conference on Latin America to inform the truth on Latin America when mainstream media failed to and to identify ways to build solidarity actions in the future. Last of all, the ISC made three study groups on feminism, Jeon Tae-il biography, and modern Korean history with the various people we had met through our different events.
For 2017, the ISC is considering coming up with a new name since we have been told that our current name sounds like a government institution.We plan to have a new name, move our direction to solidarity of alternatives, and to change into a member-based organization with programs that allow members to participate.
When we were preparing for the party, we asked people to bring items that they did not use or wanted to share in order to raise funds for the 1000th day of the Sewol ferry tragedy. Three tables were not enough to have all the things people had brought. In the auction, people decided the price based not on the market price but based on the value the item had for them. Everyone that brought the items and those that bought them both seemed happy. We raised 81,500 won and sent it to 416 Sewol Families for Truth and A Safer Society. It was meaningful since everyone showed the value of solidarity.
Finally we had a moment to hear from people’s keywords about how they want to make their 2017. There were many different stories: “I would like to have more challenge and adventure”; “I would like to make more democratic and better society after this political scandal settles”; “I will not stop learning and want to have more wisdom”.
Thanks to everyone, we had a meaningful and great time and could start 2017 with a lot of positive energy. Solidarity means “people do something together and take responsibility together” or are “connected with each other as one”. The ISC had various activities in 2016. It would not have been possible without the help of everyone, including you, our reader. In 2017, the ISC will dream of what we can do with you and strengthen the links with you along the way.