Video screening

Film: Rosenwald

The ADORE (A Dialogue On Race and Ethnicity) group meet via Zoom on March 27th, 11:30am-2:00pm Hawai’I Time following the church service. Now that we have posted a newly revised Black Lives Matter banner in front of our church building on the Pali Hwy, one which includes the statement, “we oppose antisemitism,” it seems timely to learn a bit about the history of Black Americans and Jewish Americans working together for social justice reform in America.

We viewed and discussed writer/director Aviva Kempner’s inspiring 100-minute film documentary, Rosenwald, which will take us back a century to the era of extremely restrictive Jim Crow laws and culture. This film beautifully portrays the little-known cooperative efforts of Jewish American philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who was the CEO of Sears, and African American educator Booker T. Washington, author, orator, and adviser to several U.S. presidents. Among the many civil rights endeavors Rosenwald and Washington collaborated on were the creation of over 5,000 schools for African American children in the South and the establishment of a generous fund for grants to be given to African American artists, writers, intellectuals, historians and others. Four notable graduates of Rosenwald schools are author and poet Maya Angelou, Congressman John Lewis, journalist Eugene Robinson, and playwright George Wolfe. The Rosenwald Fund recipients included giants such as James Baldwin, W.E.B. DuBois, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Augusta Savage, Jacob Lawrence, Ralph Bunche, Marian Anderson, Gordon Parks, Dr. Charles Drew, and the Tuskegee Airmen. The influence of these Black community leaders has had untold positive reverberating influence up until the present. Julius Rosenwald was deeply inspired by the Jewish tenets, tikkun olam (repair the world) and tzedakah (righteousness, fairness, justice, charity) as well as Booker T. Washington’s writings and philosophy.

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Video screening

Environmental Justice (parts 1 & 2)

Our own Allison Jacobs presented a variety of short videos to stimulate a robust  discussion on Environmental Justice.

“Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”(EPA) Please prepare by reading the following articles : https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/06/is-there-environmental-racism-in-hawaii/ and https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/16/opinion/environmental-racism-memphis-pipeline.html.

Google Slides Part 1
Google Slides Part 2

Guest speaker, Video screening

“Voices Behind Barbed Wire” + Dr. Jonathan Y. Okamura

Showing of the 75-minute docudrama Voices Behind Barbed Wire: Stories of Hawai’i followed by discussion with Dr. Okamura

Description of the presentation:
The rise in anti-Asian hate incidents this past year has prompted an important discussion about racism toward the Asian-American population, both in Hawai’i and the Continental United States. During the meeting, we will view the film mentioned above and then listen to a presentation and hold a discussion led by University of Hawai’i Professor Emeritus Jonathan Y. Okamura. This will include various related topics such as the history of anti-Asian racism, including the WWII internment camps, the burden of the model minority myth, the indiscriminate lumping of all Asians into one block, and Asian-American support for other vulnerable ethnic groups such as those who are caged at the US southern border and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Dr. Okamura’s biosketch:
Jonathan Y. Okamura is professor emeritus at the University of Hawai’i where he worked for more than thirty years, twenty of which were with the Department of Ethnic Studies. He is the author of several books, including “Ethnicity and Inequity in Hawai’i” and “Raced to Death in 1920s Hawai’i: Injustice and Revenge in the Fukunaga Case.” Professor Okamura continues to serve on the UH Manoa Commission on Racism and Bias and to write and lecture on race and ethnicity in Hawai’i.

Description of the docudrama:
Voices Behind Barbed Wire: Stories of Hawai’i. The film was sponsored by, among others, the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i. It was written and directed by Ryan Kawamoto with David Sato directing photography, including the historical reenactments.

While the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II has been well documented on the U.S. Mainland, new information about the sites and untold stories continue to emerge from Japanese Americans in Hawai’i who endured this dark chapter of history. “Voices Behind Barbed Wire: Stories of Hawai’i” explores the personal stories of Yakuma Hayashi, George Hoshida, Koiichi Iida, Rev. Tadao Kouchi, Dr. Motokazu Mori, Dr. Seiichi Ohata, Kanesaburo Oshima, Matsujiro Otani, Joichi Tahara, Shigeri Terada, and Kyoichi Ueda from the counties of O’ahu, Maui, Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island. The film also takes an archeological journey through the 19 former WWII confinement sites in Hawai’i and the relevance of history upon civil liberties today.

Video screening

past ADORE discussion group at All Souls, Unitarian in Washington, D.C

This Sunday we had a unique opportunity to visit a special ADORE (A Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity) discussion group at All Souls, Unitarian in Washington, D.C. which took place in September of 2020.

We listened to and discuss a presentation which examines the racist role of police through US history, particularly in modern times and challenges us to consider alternatives to policing.