JONATHAN Y. OKAMURA, PhD
University of Hawai‘i
Dr. Jonathan Okamura was born and raised on Maui as a yonsei (fourth-generation Japanese American) and attended high school and college in California. He received his graduate training in social anthropology in London and conducted his dissertation fieldwork with Filipino immigrants in the Kalihi inner-city area of Honolulu. After teaching at a Catholic university in Manila for three years in the mid-1980s, he began working at UH Mānoa in 1989, where he has been with Ethnic Studies since 2000.
As a specialist in race and ethnicity, Dr. Okamura has researched on topics such as ethnic inequality in Hawai‘i, the Filipino American diaspora, Japanese American political power in Hawai‘i, and Filipino identity in Hawai‘i. His research has been motivated by a keen desire to foster racial and ethnic equality, particularly for aggrieved minorities in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. He recently did a study, “Ethnic Inequality in Public Education in Hawai‘i,” for the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association. My current book project, “Raced to Death: Racial Injustice in 1920s Hawai‘i,” is on the larger racial significance of the hasty conviction and execution of a Japanese American teenager for killing a Haole boy.
He has participated on local radio and television discussion programs and in community forums on current issues.
AKIEMI GLENN, PhD
Founder & Executive Director
The Pōpolo Project
Dr. Akiemi Glenn is a Honolulu-based scholar and cultureworker. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a B.A. in linguistics from New York University. With genealogical ties to the forest and coastal areas currently known as North Carolina and Virginia, her research considers the interplay of space, geography, community, and language. Akiemi's primary interests are in how Indigenous peoples, refugees, captives, migrants, and other diasporic peoples in the Pacific and the Americas use language to construct, navigate, and politicize their identities. She commits her interests in systems, semiotics, and culture to an applied research method and curatorial practice that explore the rich vectors of change in community culturework programming.
Akiemi is the founder and executive director of the Pōpolo Project, a multimedia exploration of Blackness in Hawai‘i and the larger Pacific. She is also the co-founder and principal at Hawaiʻi Strategy Lab, a mixed-methods research project that brings together data and culture in the service of social justice. Akiemi was formerly the director of Tele!, a language revitalization and engagement project in Hawai‘i's Tokelauan community funded by the federal Administration for Native Americans and administered by Te Taki Tokelau Community Training & Development.