Date of Press Release: April 10, 2008
Hiroshima and Marshall Islands bombing and nuclear testing survivors to speak at the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau.
The University of Alaska Southeast is holding a Nuclear Awareness Conference Friday, April 18th (6-10pm), Saturday, April 19th (12-9 p.m.) and Sunday, April 20th (12-7pm). A featured topic is Juneau’s role in Ballistic Missile Defense and the Lena Point Radar. Please find detailed schedule attached (PDF | Updated 4-15-08).
The conference will include 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 is a joint project of the Hiroshima Peace Museum, The Marshall Island Government, Veteran’s for Peace, Alpha Phi Omega (Alpha Zeta Theta Chapter), The Leighty Foundation, Juneau People for Peace and Justice, Skagway School District and the UAS Chancellor’s office.
Numerous presentations will be conducted by Andrew Himes, founder of Voices in Wartime and members of Veterans for Peace, Juneau Chapter. Performances are scheduled by Skagway and Haines high school drama and debate teams. Other activities include an open Poetry and Prose reading, a documentary film series and an educational workshop for teachers directed by Andy Himes.
The Nuclear Awareness Conference is the result of a project by Skagway High School English teacher Kent Fielding and students Shelby Surdyk and Erica Harris. Through extensive research into Marshallese culture and history, they developed a passion for the Marshallese people and a desire to educate others about the effects of nuclear proliferation and nuclear testing.
After traveling and performing in the Marshall Islands, Fielding and his students capitalized on an opportunity from the Hiroshima Peace Museum. It was to host Ms. Shigeko Sasamouri to speak about her experiences following the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. Fielding and his high school students also arranged to bring Marshall Islands representatives Matayoshi and Barker. Other speakers and presenters will address the issue of nuclear technology and war time.
The Nuclear Awareness Conference will be held at the University of Alaska Southeast’s Egan Library.