(Organizing Kollaboration/konnections Around Education, Resilency, & Internationalsolidarity)
OKAERI, generally meaning “You have returned” or “you came back,” is a common expression used to greet people when they have returned home.
O.K.A.E.R.I. is a 2-week exploratory trip to Japan. Our pilot trip was for our members and took place in the Summer of 2012. The pilot program was to be a vehicle for people from the Japanese Diaspora* to reconnect and grow cultural roots to Japan through exposure to traditional and modern Japanese activities and building relationships with social justice organizations and individuals in Japan.
Our goal statement: “We will learn and share political organizing skills to build our collective tool box of anti-colonial and international solidarity strategies.
We do this in order to promote a generational shift towards a positive nikkei* identity that includes
- remembering parts of our identities lost to assimilation and incarceration,
- building resiliency and healing strategies around internalized oppression and other shared traumas
- creating lasting relationships both internally and internationally.”
This project has been modeled by our amazing ally organizations such as: Sahngnoksoo/Nodutol/Eclipse Rising with their Korean Education and Exposure Program (KEEP) and Koreans in Japan Education and Exposure Program (kJEEP), as well as Pinay Sa Seattle/Bayan Seattle involvement in the Philippine Exposure Program. (See our Allies page for more info)
Here’s a link to a bilingual radio show about Eclipse Rising’s trip: http://www.tcc117.org/fmyy/index.php?e=784
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, would like to share resources, or make a donation to help fund OKAERI. You can also join our Allies list serve at http://groups.google.com/group/tadaima_okaeri?pli=1
*we define both nikkei (“a person of the Japanese Diaspora”) and Japanese Diaspora very widely to include multi-racial folks, cultural and ethnic minorities from Japan (zainichi-koreans, etc), adoptees, and their descendents.