The Binghamton University chapter of Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this Friday in Old University Union’s Mandela Room with a banquet featuring student performances and catered food.
With all ticket proceeds aiding in the rescuing and resettlement of North Korean refugees, the doors will open at 7:15 p.m. Performances will feature Korean hip-hop dance group Kasa Moda, beatboxing and Sul Poong, a traditional Korean percussion group. Although the evening will be filled with socialization, celebration and food, the organization’s main goal for the event is to further educate attendees about LiNK, an international organization.
Its focus is to create rescue teams, or school chapters, like the one at BU to fundraise. Proceeds go toward help refugees who have escaped to China from North Korea, but are still in danger of deportation. For these refugees, a typical journey costs $3,000.
BU’s chapter was able to fundraise over $3,000 last semester, which was used to help rescue two refugees who were facing imprisonment.
“We think we made a big difference,” said Da Young Lee, LiNK chapter president and a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience. “We were able to save two people’s lives. So just for that, we feel like we did a great job and that the work pays off.”
LiNK has held many events in the past, including movie night fundraisers, game nights and even guest refugee speakers who have discussed their lives as North Korean citizens and their motivating journeys to freedom. However, Lee called the banquet the chapter’s first big event.
Documentaries depicting life in North Korea are frequently shown at meetings to further educate students on the realities of the atrocities happening throughout the country.
“People who watched [these movies] said they were very shocked after they saw the documentaries,” Lee said. “We were very happy about this because our members knew what was happening [in North Korea], but they didn’t really see it with their own eyes.”
Lee shared that she is excited by the prospect of students coming to the banquet, and is interested in learning more about North Korea and ways to help out.
“You often hear things on the news that North Korean people are starving and suffering and some are escaping, though it all feels very vague,” Lee said. “When you actually see it, it becomes more real.”
Tickets are selling for $7 online through the Student Association website or $8 at the door. The dress code for the evening is semiformal.