With the PyeongChang Winter Olympics taking place, you might see Dr. Tina Park on a TV screen near you.
Park came to Toronto from South Korea and has since become one of the country’s leading experts on Canadian Korean relations.
When she entered SHAD Queen’s in the summer of 2004 she had just finished grade 11. When she left after that summer she says she was a different person.
“Over the course of SHAD, I learned to think bigger, dream bigger, and meet new friends who have since become trusted colleagues -- one of them, Dania, remains as one of my best friends to this date," said Tina. "Through SHAD, I realized, quite simply, that if you put the brightest minds together, use the latest technology, and think outside the box, anything is possible. It was an absolutely transformative experience and I think I've applied the lesson for various other causes since then, such as human rights and gender equality.”
Tina co-founded a research centre, Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, in 2010. It tackles the very difficult task of preventing and responding to mass human atrocities, including genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The task at hand is very daunting when we look at the current crises in Syria, North Korea, Myanmar, and elsewhere. But she is certainly making a difference. She’s advised more than 30 governments and inter-governmental organizations on their human rights policy, has participated at the annual UN general assembly dialogue on Responsibility to Protect, and most importantly through her work with youth and outreach efforts.
Tina has worked with some of the brightest students at the University of Toronto and her chapters across Canada and around the world. And she remains close to her SHAD roots and the SHAD network. Since last summer, she has hosted more than 50 SHAD participants as summer interns, all of whom are so bright and eager and she says did fantastic work creating infographics on various humanitarian crises.
Tina says “I am a firm believer that education holds the key to the brighter future for humanity. We may not have all the solutions for stopping genocide, and geopolitics will always get in the way of saving human lives. But I take great comfort in the fact that well beyond my own lifetime, young students who have encountered R2P through our Centre's activities will carry the torch and come up with new solutions to tackle this daunting challenge."