Training an Advocate for Change in China

“My parents were raised in a traditional Chinese family who practiced Buddhism. Their marriage was arranged and during that time a husband and wife were separated forcefully by the Chinese government. My father was sent to work in a remote province 4,000 miles away and he was only allowed to see my mother 15 days a year. My mother was an accountant and was employed full time in a small town close to Shanghai.

After three years of this miserable situation,  mother decided to move with my sister and I to the province where my father lived and worked. We spent six years there during which time we were not in school. When the Cultural Revolution ended we moved back to Beijing. After completing high school I was admitted to Beijing University, the top school in the country.

During my second year at the university, I was part of a pro-democracy peaceful movement. Was it luck that I had stayed on campus those two days when the massacre took place at Tiananmen Square, when the government fired on my peers? Or was it luck that I was not among those sent to jail? In the aftermath, the government sent officials to every university in the country and they made us watch videos produced to brainwash us.

After I earned my bachelor’s degree in 1992, we were required to work five years for the government in exchange for our free education. But no government agency in China wanted to hire members of the Tiananmen Square graduating class. Thus, I went to work for an American tech company with an office in Beijing. This ultimately led to admission to graduate school in the U.S. and shortly thereafter my introduction to Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual discipline.

While I have not been jailed or physically persecuted as a practitioner of Falun Gong, persecution has escalated in China where thousands of practitioners have been arrested, tortured and killed. And a global misinformation campaign has resulted in Falun Gong practitioners being ostracized from the Chinese American community in America. As the situation continues to worsen, it is imperative that the Falun Gong learn how to defend their right to believe as they wish and to advocate for those who are suffering in China.

I care deeply about helping the Falun Gong and other religious minorities suffering in China. I had been searching for an organization to provide me with advocacy training for my volunteer work with the Falun Gong. I discovered 21Wilberforce and their incredible background in training people to use their voices against persecution. Their team has given me valuable guidance and I am impressed with their efforts to advocate for all faiths.”

Pamela is just one of many people 21Wilberforce has trained who are making a difference for the oppressed.