Fri, April 18th 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Sat, April 19th 12:00 – 9:00 PM
Sun, April 20th 12:00 – 7:00 PM
This conference is being sponsored by UAS with support from Skagway City High School, the Juneau World Affairs Council, the Leighty Foundation, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and the Rongelap (Marshall Islands) City Government.
Ms. Shigeko Sasamori is an International Peace Activist, was only one mile from the hypocenter when Little Boy exploded over Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945 at 8:15 am. She barely survived. Terribly burned, her parents could not tell the front of her head from the back of her head. She became one of the "Hiroshima Maidens" and traveled to the U.S. to receive extensive plastic surgery. Today she works tirelessly for nuclear disarmament and appears at conferences around the world. Recently she has spoken at "Think Outside the Bomb" at the University of California, Santa Barbara and at Los Almos Study Group --“Life of a Hiroshima Maiden”. Featured in the films, “White Light/Black Rain” and “Hiroshima Survivor: Shigeko”, Shigeko Sasamori's life journey has been a symbol for peace and the resurrection of humanity.
Dr. Holly Barker is currently Senior Advisor to the RMI Ambassador. Her book, Bravo for the Marshallese: Regaining Control in a Post-Nuclear, Post-Colonial World, is a case study that recounts the story of the people of the Marshall Islands and their efforts to understand the effects of nuclear contamination and to hold the U.S. government accountable. She currently teaches at the University of Washington in Seattle.
James Matayoshi. At the age of 18, Almira Ainri was exposed to fallout from the United States largest atmospheric test, Castle Bravo, which was carried by winds to Rongelap Atoll over 100 miles away from the detonation. Over 50 years later, James Matayoshi, Almira’s son, has become dedicated towards finding both immediate and long-term solutions to the many problems created by the U.S. Nuclear testing program for the Marshallese people. Over his 16 years as Mayor of Rongelap, James has spoken at multiple ‘Bravo Day’ and ‘Nuclear Remembrance’ events, actively participated in efforts to make the United States recognize it’s unfulfilled responsibilities to the Rongelapese people (who have been displaced from their homes due to radioactive contamination), and engaged independent scientific research of Rongelap concerning radioactivity and clean-up
The Drama, Debate and Forensics team from Skagway City High School is the prime motivator behind this conference. In 2007, Shelby Surdyk and Erica Harris performed at the state DDF competition entitled “For the Good of Mankind”. Told from the viewpoint of the people of the Marshall Islands, the duo interpretation explains the history U.S. nuclear testing in the Pacific.
The students traveled to the Marshall Islands in October 2007 with their coach, English teacher Kent Fielding. They did 15 performances in three weeks before hundreds of Marshallese citizens, including an audience before the President of Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Now, the DDF team has organized this event, which will include their performance and much more. For a full schedule, see the program posted on the UAS website http://www.uas.alaska.edu/.