Okinawa: Environment, History and Peace Movements

In this online workshop, we will address the long history of US military bases in Okinawa and the Okinawan peoples’ struggles for peace and environmental preservation as we highlight civic engagement across borders. This program will be lead by Stan Shikuma and Tracy Lai with Melanie King assisting as facilitator.

Stan Shikuma is a taiko performer, composer and percussionist who plays with Seattle Kokon Taiko, directs Kaze Daiko (a taiko youth group) and has also worked on music for new opera, Butoh dance, and puppet theatre. As an artist, he performs, writes, and lectures on the history, teaching, and performance of taiko in North America. As a social activist, Stan helped organize the first Asian American History course at Stanford University, organized against Draft Registration at UC Berkeley, pursued divestment from Apartheid South Africa at UW, wrote and organized for the Redress Movement for Japanese Americans incarcerated during WW II, and covered the Philippines democracy movement and the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific movement for the International Examiner. Currently, Stan helps organize the Tule Lake Pilgrimage (the largest of America’s WW II concentration camps for Japanese Americans); serves on the National Education Committee of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL); serves on the Board of Seattle JACL, From Hiroshima to Hope and Tsuru for Solidarity; and is a member of the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) and Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).

Tracy Lai teaches history, ethnic and women’s studies at Seattle Central College. She co-authored The Snake Dance of Asian American Activism with Michael Liu and Kim Geron, as well as several articles published in UCLA’s AAPI Nexus Journal. Her book reviews appear in the International Examiner, a community-based newspaper in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. She is currently collaborating on a history of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) to be completed for its 30th anniversary in 2022. Tracy serves as national secretary of APALA and vice president of the Seattle chapter. She is vice president for human rights for the American Federation of Teachers, Washington state.

Melanie King is one of the EARC program leader, and serves as the Interim Associate Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at South Seattle College.