Born in Japan despite being a descendent of the Korean ruling family, Joy Powell Gebhard witnessed a lot of brutality as a child. She vowed then to fight for world peace for the rest of her life, and she has held fast to her goals. Ms. Powell Gebhard founded Healing Inc. in 1997 to help humanitarian and education needs. She remains involved in the organization, which mainly focuses on children from North Korea, to this day. Other notable achievements include founding the Meadow Peace Park, co-founding the Washington Korean Writers Association, and serving as the president of Washington Jeonju Lee Chosun Dynasty Royal Family Association.
Outside of her organizations, Ms. Powell Gebhard found that another way to achieve her goals was spreading knowledge, and thus building understanding and compassion. She proceeded to serve as a Spanish teacher at Carl Albert High School, a teacher in Oklahoma City Public Schools, and the head of the social studies department at Dunjee High School. Ms. Powell Gebhard was also a news anchor for Pusan Radio Station, part of a special study of prejudice among children grades 1-12 through Public Opinion and Propaganda, a member of The Washington Post through the States Academy of Science (now the National Academy of Sciences), and the owner of International Antiques in Upperville, Virginia. She believes that antiques help tell the story of the past.
Ms. Powell Gebhard prepared for her career by completing graduate coursework at the International Speech Academy in 1952, at the National University of Pusan between 1953 and 1955 and at McMurry University between 1956 and 1958. She then earned Bachelor of Arts from Wayland Baptist University in 1966, completed postgraduate coursework at Central State University between 1967 and 1968, and became a certified antique appraiser and consultant. She also garnered experience as the secretary and retired choir organizer for the Chaplain’s Office at American University, the Methodist Mission in Korea, Army Division 8069 at the United Nations in Korea, and the U.S. A.S.C. Office in Texas.
When Ms. Powell Gebhard has free time, she enjoys music, writing, swimming, collecting, and traveling. She authored “New Voices in American Poetry” in 1978, and has contributed numerous poems and essays to Korean Periodicals. She received a Writers Award from Sigma Tau Delta for her efforts.