| ||Nuclear Awareness Conference The conference includes keynote talks by Ms. Shigeko Sasamori, a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima, Mayor James Matayoshi, an activist on behalf of the Marshallese people in the aftermath of the nuclear testing conducted by the U.S. and Dr. Holly Barker, an author and senior advisor to the Marshallese government.
The three-day event was a joint project of the Hiroshima Peace Museum, The
Marshall Island Government, Veteran’s for Peace, Alpha Phi Omega (Alpha
Zeta Theta Chapter) and the UAS Chancellor’s office.
Dr. David Noon, UAS History Professor
Bruce Botelho, Mayor of Juneau
Greetings and Awarding of the Keys to the City
James Matayoshi, Mayor of Rongelap
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.
Lijon Eknilang, Marshallese Rights Activist
Lijon Eknilang was a child when Bravo was detonated and fallout snowed on her.
She has since experience seven miscarriages and thyroid cancer. Lijon has spoken
out against nuclear weapons and fought for Marshallese rights and compensation
around the world. She has presented to the World Court in Hague and her testimony
has appeared in many books including Pacific Women Speak Out; Day of Two Suns;
Bravo for the Marshallese; and The Case Against the Bomb.
Dr. Holly Barker, Author and Senior Advisor to the Republic of Marshall Islands
Dr. Barker is currently Senior Advisor to the Republic of Marshall Islands 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.
Ms. Shigeko Sasamori, International Peace Activist
An International Peace Activist, Ms. Sasamori 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.
Victoria Samson, Research Analyst for the Center for Defense Information
Victoria joined the Center for Defense Information in November 2001. Her areas
of interest include missile defense, nuclear reductions, and emerging weapons
technologies. Samson, the author of numerous op-eds, analytical pieces, journal
articles, and electronic updates on missile defense and space security matters,
provides an objective assessment of U.S. policy. (With closing Remarks by Dr.
Recorded April 18-20, 2008
Produced by: UAS Video Production Services
© 2008 University of Alaska Southeast
Running Time: 5 Hours, 19 Minutes