Simmone Park

Country of Origin:

Canada

Themes:

Asian Heritage, Racism/Discrimination, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity

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Bio

Simmone is a consultant, strategist, coach, speaker and optimist for humanity. She studied International Business in Canada and Germany, with a focus on cross-cultural communication and negotiation and is currently completing courses with Philanthropy University, powered by Berkeley-Haas. She has lived, worked, and/or studied in 10 countries to date. A lover of giving back, Simmone has helped to source supplies and physically build homes, schools, and sustainable communities in Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala, El Salvador, Kenya, and Panama.

Working hard to make the world a better place and restoring balance by all means necessary.

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Story

Born and raised in Toronto of Korean parents and after many interesting experiences in life, I battled with a severe identity crisis my entire life. I wasn't Canadian enough, not Korean enough, not masculine or feminine enough... Living life in Toronto and then coming home to the expectation to be a "good Korean girl", despite not having a clue what that even meant!

Being made to feel stupid in Korean school when I was young, my self-imposed narrative became "If I am not good enough for Korea, then just watch, Korea will be sorry because EVERY other culture will love me".

At 11 years old I had my first serious touch of racism when three men in full KKK regalia showed up at my birthday party. I didn't recognize it for many years, however that inadvertently made me question my worth and I wanted to prove that I was good enough for white people, by dating blond hair and blue eyed men and studying in Germany. I put off my Asian heritage in shame and am only now embracing my Korean heritage.

Experiencing unwanted sexual experiences made me operate out of my masculine side, believing that bad things wouldn't happen to me if I were male.

All of those combined, and many more experiences, led me to the person I am today. I would not change a single thing. I take everything as an opportunity to win or learn. I have traveled the world and have dedicated my life to making the world a better place. All of this would not have been possible if those events did not occur in my life.

I now recognize that what I thought were my greatest weaknesses as my greatest strengths. I would love the chance to help young people recognize that what makes them different is so beautiful and unique and something to be embraced.