On the day of President Obama’s inauguration, the East-West Center received several mentions in a front page story in The New York Times exploring the First Family’s diverse roots. The article mentioned the Center as a place where Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, spent time and also where the president’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, met her husband, Konrad Ng. (Click the link above to read the full NYT article.)
President Obama’s mother and stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, were both East-West Center grantees, although at different times. Konrad Ng worked from for several years as a graduate research intern in the International Cultural Studies Certificate Program, a joint program between the East-West Center and the University of Hawaii.
The U.S. Presidential election is over, and tens of millions of Americans were involved but it is a good bet few had as focused and up-front a look at this process as a dozen journalists, mostly from Asia and the Pacific, who studied the election under the Center’s Jefferson Fellowship program.
These journalists visited factories, union halls, depressed and upscale neighborhoods, campaign headquarters and political activists of every stripe. They had a chance to see Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Barack Obama up close, in Rust Belt rallies during the closing days of the campaign.
For a look of some of their observations and commentaries and blogs, reported around the world, look:
And there’s a lot more. Check previous posts and watch here for more on how the world sees the US. Presidential election.
If the mark of a good journalist is getting to where the story is, then the current East West Center Jefferson Fellows are on the top of their game.
The group, mostly newspaper and broadcast journalists from Asia (plus one American newspaper writer/columnist) have been criss-crossing the United States in search of the true story of the 2008 presidential elections. You’d be amazed at who they “met.” Continue reading