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In the context of great power competition between the United States and China, this webinar will help to situate Hawaiʻi within the U.S. geopolitical “pivot” to the Pacific region from the perspective of the islands confronting hyper-militarization. Panelists will provide brief reports on the state of militarization and resistance in their respective islands: In Okinawa, military base construction and protests, military contamination issues; in Guåhan (Guam), CHamoru opposition to the Marine Corps build up and missile defense developments; in the Northern Marianas, the emergence of economic militarism; and in Hawaiʻi, updates on the Red Hill fuel spill disaster and land back campaigns at several military sites where leases expire in 2029.
Kenneth Gofigan Kuper, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Micronesian Studies at the Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam focusing on geopolitics and International Relations. Dr. Kuper is an Indigenous CHamoru from Guåhan/Guam and a founding fellow at the Pacific Center for Island Security, a think-tank analyzing security issues from an Oceanic perspective.
Theresa Arriola, Ph.D. Dr. Arriola is an Indigenous Chamorro from the Northern Mariana Islands and the Chair of Our Common Wealth 670, a grassroots organization working to counter the negative effects of U.S. militarization in the Northern Marianas. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University.
Tatsuki Kohatsu, Ph.D. Candidate, Geography and Environment, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Mr. Kohatsu is an Indigenous Okinawan scholar of militarization and resistance movements in the Ryūkyū islands.
Joy Lehuanani Enomoto is a Kanaka Maoli, Black, Japanese, Scottish, Caddo and Punjabi visual artist and organizer. Joy has M.A. degrees in Pacific Island Studies and Library Information Science. She is the Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Peace and Justice, an organization dedicated to demilitarization organizing, and is a leader in Hui Aloha ʻĀina, a Hawaiian Independence organization.
Kyle Kajihiro (he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa whose research and activism focuses on demilitarization movements in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region.