GARDENA — Okinawa Association of America (OAA) presents “Afro-Okinawan Dialogues” live on Zoom on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.

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OAA is a cultural organization that was founded by immigrants and finds strength in inclusivity and our diverse membership. In June, we published a statement expressing solidarity with marginalized communities against racism and injustice. We pledged to do what we can to address discrimination within our own communities and to create platforms for voices that are too often excluded. Our new online series, “Afro-Okinawan Dialogues,” will be the first step.

“Afro-Okinawan Dialogues” is being organized by a group of young Okinawans who have been active in the OAA and we look forward to the much-needed discussions that will be had. These will be safe, supportive community spaces for sharing and listening, so we ask audience members to please be considerate and compassionate.

This interactive discussion series will provide a platform to yuntaku (talk story) in a space that centers Black/African-descended peoples and their experiences within the Okinawan community. Acknowledging that Japan, Okinawa and the United States each have their own unique forms of anti-Black racism, we hope that these dialogues will provide a space to challenge stereotypes and diversify our understanding of Blackness in Okinawa and the Okinawan diaspora.

Each dialogue will be discussion-based and feature a Q&A with artists, activists, academics and community members whose work exists at the intersections of Black and Okinawan community issues. Potential topics discussed may include understanding mixed race politics, dismantling anti-Black racism and celebrating Black/Okinawan art forms. Sunday’s speakers will be Shigeru and Will Logan.

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