Christine Ahn, Women Cross DMZ — Believing That Peace Is Possible

Listen to On Leading

 Photo Credit: Jung Yeon-Je

Photo Credit: Jung Yeon-Je

“I have to believe that I can reach people’s hearts.”

Christine Ahn is a passionate voice for peace who has focused her life’s work on ending the Korean War, reuniting Korean families, and ensuring the leadership of women in the peace-building process. Inspired by a vision of women uniting across diverse boundaries, Christine led thirty women peacemakers from 15 countries on a walk for peace across the two-­mile wide Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from North to South Korea in 2015. Because international forces separated this ancient country over 70 years ago, the walk for peace sought to help stitch it back together by connecting with Korean women in both north and south and crossing the heavily fortified border that keeps them and their families separated. For her historic accomplishment, Christine has been inducted into the OMB Watch Public Interest Hall of Fame and recognized as a Rising Peacemaker.

A public policy analyst by training, Christine’s expertise lies in Korean politics, globalization, militarism, women’s rights and philanthropy. As an international coordinator and campaigner, she co-founded the Korea Policy Institute (KPI), the National Campaign to End the Korean War, and Korean Americans for Fair Trade. Christine also writes as a columnist with the Institute for Policy Studies’ Foreign Policy In Focus, and her op-eds have appeared in many major news networks from CNN to Democracy Now!

Using her voice to promote ending the Korean War by encouraging the replacement of the 1953 ceasefire with a permanent peace treaty, she has addressed the US Congress, the United Nations and the Republic of Korea National Commission on Human Rights. She is driven by love and connection as she works to bring much-needed international attention to the devastating human cost of the unresolved Korean War, especially to women, children and families.

A lifelong learner well versed in history, Christine advocates for citizen diplomacy in response to the threat of nuclear war and reminds us that heart-based engagement is one of the most powerful tools we have for shaping the course of history. With unwavering belief in possibility, she illustrates how to bridge divides through deep understanding and faith in the potential for change.

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Mobilize For Peace On Earth

Mobilizing Women Globally for Peace in Korea: Since our historic crossing, we have continued our journey to mobilize women globally for peace in Korea. We seek to do this by 1) Raising global awareness about the urgent need for peace in Korea; 2) Expanding and deepening relationships among women leaders and organizations in North and South Korea and globally; 3) Promoting women’s leadership in peace-building processes on the Korean peninsula and region; and 4) Building capacity and partnerships for greater impact and sustainability.

Walking for Peace: Reuniting Families, Ending the Korean War. Christine Ahn inspires a vision of unity and Gloria Steinem shares how women have transcended boundaries of regions and religions to bring peace around the world. #WalkWithUs!