The East-West Center community has been saddened to learn of the sudden passing of former Education Director and longtime community supporter Larry Smith, who suffered a fatal heart attack over the weekend, shortly after arriving in New Delhi to attend a conference.
“It was a devastating shock to hear of Larry’s passing, since so many at the Center knew him as a dynamic and engaged supporter right up until his departure for India,” said EWC President Charles E. Morrison. “During his decades as a staff member and in subsequent years as a key leader of the EWC support community, Larry embodied the East-West Center spirit of warmth and humanitarianism. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.”
With a background in sociolinguistics, Smith joined the Center in 1970 to develop programs for English as a Foreign Language administrators from Asian institutions. He later became a research associate, ultimately retiring from EWC in 1999 as Director and Dean of the Education Program. After leaving the Center, he established a consultancy specializing in leadership education and was highly active with the Friends of the East-West Center, serving as the organization’s president from 2006 to 2008. Most recently, he chaired the EWC alumni association’s Endowment Committee.
(Read his EWC oral history.)
To inquire about memorial service plans once they have been finalized, please contact the EWC front desk at (808) 944-7111, or EWCinfo@EastWestCenter.org.
Aircraft carriers are finding favour with Indo-Asia-Pacific countries keen on bolstering their defences in an increasingly volatile neighbourhood
By Sarosh Bana
Executive Editor, Business India, and EWCA Mumbai Chapter Leader
China’s Liaoning carrier, purchased from Ukraine
With simmering territorial disputes inflaming the Indo-Asia-Pacific, countries in this fastest growing economic region in the world are making all efforts to buttress their defences.
In their anxiety to batten down the hatches, several of these countries are viewing the aircraft carrier as the preferred platform for sea control and are pulling out all the stops to commit funding for it.
These platforms, at times amphibious ships that are essentially helicopter destroyers with the potential to operate fixed-wing aircraft, including drones, have been gaining favour as the South and East China Seas find themselves in the cross-hairs of territorial ambitions. But this military build-up is raising tensions even higher in the region and will likely provoke an avoidable arms race.
Life behind bars can be a never-ending struggle to survive anger and violence, or a place where all hopes are gone. However, it could also be a place where hearts are healed and the past becomes a bridge to the future.
EWC leadership students visit the women’s prison on O’ahu
For Toni Bissen, the Executive Director of Hawai‘i’s Pū‘ā Foundation, healing takes priority when working with women behind bars at O‘ahu’s Women’s Community Correctional Facility (WCCC). Seeing inmates’ misconduct as a result of their past traumas such as sex abuse or domestic violence, community leaders are helping WCCC residents share their stories, learn from the past, forgive themselves and move on.
In an effort to deepen their understanding of how prison can become a place of healing, nine fellows from the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) recently visited and talked with residents of the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) alongside Toni from the Pū‘ā Foundation. Their goal was to learn how leaders are helping WCCC women reconcile traumatic pasts with the present and facilitate healing in the community.
Click image for video.
EWC alumna Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, a writer and performance artist from the Marshall Islands, was selected from more than 500 nominees to deliver a poem to world leaders on Sept. 23 at the opening of the UN Climate Summit in New York. Jetnil-Kijiner, who recently completed her EWC degree fellowship in Pacific Islands Studies, recited a new poem written for her daughter, “Dear Matafele Peinem.”
Click image for slideshow.
More than 300 EWC alumni, friends and colleagues from 28 countries gathered at the 2014 EWC/EWCA International Conference in Naha, Okinawa on Sept. 17-19, 2014.The conference program on the theme of “Developing a Peaceful and Sustainable Asia Pacific Community” featured more than 100 presenters involved in substantive panels and expert discussions on a range of key regional topics, as well as a special luncheon honoring EWC’s 2014 distinguished alumni and volunteers.
(View videos from the conference.)
“The very first EWC student to step off the boat in 1960, the late Abdul Zia … once observed that at the East-West Center there are no foreigners,” Center President Charles E. Morrison said in the conference’s keynote address. “I always found that very apt, both as a description of a reality and as an aspiration for how we want it always to be … we are one family, sharing a dream together as we navigate toward a destiny of a better region and better world.”
Congratulations to husband-and-wife EWC alumni team Tomohiro and Asuka Hirabe Hamakawa, who both recently received Unsung Heroes of Compassion 2014 awards from His Holiness the Dalai Lama for their dedicated volunteer work.
At an event in San Francisco in February, the Dalai Lama personally recognized 51 individuals from around the world who help those in need without expectation of reward. Asia Pacific Leadership Program alum Tomo, who holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, helps raise funds for the preservation of Tibetan culture through documentary film and photography and is a staff member at Kopernik, an Indonesian nonprofit that brings simple, innovative technologies to rural areas. He also served four years as a full-time staff with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, which subsidizes low-cost and high-impact interventions that save children’s lives.
Asuka, or “Aska,” a former EWC affiliate degree student in Pacific islands studies, has known since she was a teenager donating to UNICEF that she wanted to devote her life to helping those in need. In 2009, she assisted with relief and reconstruction for victims of an earthquake and tsunami in Samoa, and she helped head relief efforts in the fishing village of Ishinomaki after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Currently, she serves as vice president of Tuvalu Overview, a NGO that promotes research and awareness of climate change in the island nation of Tuvalu.
See what sprouted when youth from Southeast Asia came to the United States to learn about leadership, civic engagement, and local sustainability through the lens of “green schools.” Since returning home, the participants have channeled their learning and experiences into positive community action to promote green practices.
In the fall of 2012, the East-WestCenter launched Leading Green: Shaping Sustainable Schools and Communities, a Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. To date, EWC has coordinated two exchanges in the United States for 61 youth and educators from the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The three-week-long exchanges offered took place in schools and communities in Hawai‘i; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, DC; and surrounding communities in Virginia.
Through hands-on activities focusing on civic education, leadership, diversity, and community engagement, the program provided opportunities for participants to interact with diverse Americans as they examined, through the lens of “green and sustainable schools and communities,” the principles of democracy and civil society. They also created Green Action Projects, described below and on the project website, which they have been implementing since their return home. By focusing on schools and their immediate community, participants have been able to practice leadership as they engage their peers and undertake positive community action to enhance their everyday environment.