The inaugural Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture at the Library of Congress, featuring Former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell on "Finding Shared Values for U.S. Foreign Policy" was an amazing and heartfelt success. People lined up three hours ahead of the 6:30 p.m. lecture on July 8th. A total of 650 people were accommodated at Coolidge Hall and an overflow room, which included congressional members, senators and ambassadors. Unfortunately, more than 600 members of the general public were turned away at the door.
The chemistry between Albright and Powell was electrifying. They were candid, humorous, aspirational and, most importantly, optimistic about the future of our nation.
The lecture was live streamed to the University of Hawaii Manoa campus. In fact, it was the first time the Library of Congress had ever live-streamed a lecture. We were eager to engage our Hawaii community and educational leaders, and to ask them to provide feedback on how to continue the discussion beyond the lecture and into the classroom.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be continuing our curriculum development work, utilizing our new website platform to create short video snippets, embedded with thoughtprovoking questions, that will serve as teacher/professor educational supplements to be down-loaded and used in classrooms in Hawaii and throughout the nation via a link to the Library of Congress’ educational website. If you are interested in getting a glimpse of the lecture, you can watch it at: www.danielkinouyelectures.org.
In keeping with the theme of bipartisanship, on the following day, July 9th, Room S-126 in the U.S. Capitol was officially unveiled as the Daniel K. Inouye Room. The U.S. Senate passed a resolution on March 2013 so designating this room. However, the decision was made to await the restoration of the beautiful artwork on the walls and ceiling of the hallway leading to the room before scheduling any "unveiling." S-126 is the Office of the President Pro Tempore, which the Senator occupied at the time of his passing. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, the current President Pro Tempore, and Democratic Leader Reid both spoke during the short program. It was heartwarming, and clearly in the spirit of bipartisanship. It was packed with Senators, former staff and friends who came to pay tribute, and to celebrate DKI's life.
Our next big initiative involves a partnership with the Smithsonian's American History Museum, and their "WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AMERICAN" Initiative. The Smithsonian is hosting conversations in cities throughout America, with DKII bringing this initiative to Hawaii. The first of three "conversations" is confirmed for September 16, 2015 at 5:00 - 8:30 pm, at Agora in Kakaako, around the topic: "What Hawaii can teach America about Race?"
The 3-person panel will be comprised of Daniel Dae Kim, Guy Kawasaki, and Corbett Kalama. Leslie Wilcox of PBS Hawaii will moderate. After the panel discussion is done, there will be a "Melting Pot Chef Challenge", with chefs using 5 ingredients in their dish which each represent a different ethnicity. Chefs will present their dishes, and the panel will select a winner. The audience will retire to an adjacent warehouse for the reception. The "melting pot" dishes will be served as the "small plates" for the reception. There will, of course, be music and celebration. Please join us, if you are available!
Our Oral History Initiative is in full swing with a national historian in D.C., as well two in Hawaii to capture the amazing stories from Senator's colleagues, friends, family, and staff members to add depth to his papers which are currently being archived at the Hamilton Library. To date, 28 interviews have been completed to include former Senators Fritz Hollings and Bob Dole, Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato, General (ret.) Eric Shinseki, Mrs. Catherine Stevens, Mrs. Laura Thompson, former Governor George Ariyoshi, Senator’s first Chief of Staff in 1959, Alfred Laureta, childhood friends Fudge Matsuda and Frank Goto, fellow WWII veteran and state leader Bill Paty, and 442nd RCT brother Ted Tsukiyama, to name a few. The videographers are preparing snippets from each of the interviews and loading them on YouTube for a quick taste of the stories -- https://goo.gl/5tCEXF. The full interviews are being held at the ‘Ulu’ulu Archives at UH West Oahu.
Retired Judge Alfred Laureta with his daughter and son.
Bill Paty in the middle, with videographer Mike May and interviewer Gerald Kato.
Lastly, the U.S. Army Reserves named its installation in honor of Senator Inouye. Previously known as Shafter Flats, it is the home of the 442nd/100th Regimental Combat Team which is today a reserve unit. The ceremony was held on April 21, 2015, the day Senator was severely injured and lost his arm in combat. It was a wonderful ceremony, with Army Secretary McHugh in attendance. Irene presented, on behalf of the DKI Institute, a framed picture which depicts the 442nd Regimental Combat Team's heroics during World War II as the most decorated unit of its size in Army history. The original hangs in the Pentagon.
As you can see, we have been busy with a whirlwind of activities to carry forward Senator's legacy, and commitment to freedom and fairness to inspire the next generation of leaders. Thank you again for your support and kindness.
Irene, Kenny and Jennifer