Ward's mother (Kim Young-hee 김영희) is Korean and his father (Hines Ward, Sr.) is African-American. In 2006, Ward became the first Korean-American to win the Super Bowl MVP award. This achievement threw him into the media
spotlight in South Korea, a nation with a blood-based social registry that restricts the rights of those not of full Korean blood.
Ward returned to his birthplace of Seoul on April 3, 2006 for the first time since his parents moved to the United States when he was a year old. Ward used his celebrity
status to arrange "hope-sharing" meetings with multiracial Korean children and to encourage social and political reform. At
one hope-sharing meeting, he told a group of children, "If the country can accept me for who I am and accept me for being
a Korean, I'm pretty sure that this country can change and accept you for who you are."