Margo Okazaka-Rey (b. 1949) is a Japanese American activist professor whose feminist writings and research revolves around women’s security in relation to globalization and militarism globally. Margo’s experience of the Allied US Occupation of Japan and its aftereffects in her childhood influenced her anti-militarist writings and activism. She was a founding member of the Combahee River Collective (1974-1980), a Black lesbian feminist socialist coalition dedicated to eradicating racial, sexual, and class oppression. While on a Fulbright Scholarship in South Korea, she observed how understandings of race and relationships between Korean, American, and Japanese people in South Korea were impacted by colonialism. Her experiences studying militarism and violence against women led her to co-found the International Women's Network Against Militarism in 1997, as well as co-convening several international conferences on “Women Redefining Security” in Okinawa, Washington, D.C., and Seoul, South Korea. She is also a founding member of the Afro-Asian Relations Council, Global University for Sustainability, and the Institute for Multiracial Justice. She has experience doing social justice work in Palestine with the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling. Margo Okazawa-Rey is currently a member of faculty with the School of Leadership Studies at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California, and is also Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University. Margo is also the Elihu Root Peach Fund Chair in Women’s Studies at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. In winter 2002, UM's Center for Japanese Studies was lucky to host her as part of the noon lecture series.
“While it is critically important to acknowledge Okazawa-Rey’s long list of accomplishments and her significant contributions to Black and women of color feminist thought and behavior, it is her compassionate spirit; her commitment to learning and working across differences; and her desire to lead in love that are shining representations of what we should aspire to be as activists, as human beings, and as a community. Okazawa-Rey is an example of the radical possibilities of what leading in love can look like for our world.” Jaimee A. Swift, Asian American Writers’ Workshop.
“I’m more radical now than I’ve ever felt or believed, and more compassionate. I think compassion and understanding are important qualities of being radical. I feel the urgency of the moment but also understand that these kinds of changes we need to make take a while. As young people say, “it takes a minute.” That’s the kind of emotional, spiritual, and psychological things I’ve learned. I’ve also learned that what we didn’t think enough about earlier on were things like militarism and military expansion, not just wars. Thinking about the ways in which race, even in this country, isn’t just the racial paradigm of African-American people and white people. That racial paradigm is the dominant one, but it doesn’t really reflect the fullness of dynamics of race now. And it didn’t really reflect the dynamics of the race in the past. If you take into account genocide and colonization and take both of these forces seriously — because it wasn’t just the enslavement of people of African descent that created this country — then the racial paradigm would have to look different. I also understand now in a way that I couldn’t have before the importance and salience of thinking about the category of nation. That is, what it means to be connected to the US state.” Margo Okazawa-Rey, in BPR Interviews.
Colonial control erases individual dignity and ethnic identity. State-sanctioned racism rises to the surface time and again. The voices that oppose it reach the same wavelength, and dispel all doubts as to what lies at the roots of racism. Now, as the women who were once made subservient to militarism grow old, I concur with Margo Okazawa-Rey.
For further learning
- Jaimee A. Swift. 2020. On The Radical Possibilities of Leading With Love: An Interview with Dr. Margo Okazawa-Rey. Asian American Writers’ Workshop.
- Rose Houglet. 2020. BPR Interviews: Margo Okazawa-Rey. Brown Political Review.
- Katrin Meyer. 2019. “We care about feminist notions of genuine security” A Conversation with Margo Okazawa-Rey. Budrich UniPress.
- Gwyn Kirk and Margo Okazawa-Rey. 2012. Women's Lives : Multicultural Perspectives. 6th Ed. McGraw-Hill.
- Julia Sudbury and Margo Okazawa-Rey. 2009. Activist Scholarship: Antiracism, Feminism, and Social Change. 1st Ed. Routledge.
京都精華大学 版画専攻 卒業
個展、グループ展多数 / 大阪・京都・韓国（ソウル、光州）・ニューヨーク・パリ
美術によって開花する子どもの自己表現の場として、自宅にて子どもアトリエ Art Room+を運営
Kang Jungsook (born 1975 in Osaka) is a third-generation Zainichi Korean (Korean with the status of special permanent residents of Japan). She attended schools for Korean ethnic education, and holds a degree in printmaking from Kyoto Seika University. Her work has been featured in various solo and group exhibitions in Osaka, Kyoto, Korea (Seoul and Gwangju), New York, and Paris. At present, she works as an art instructor at the Higashi Osaka Korean Elementary School (in Higashi Osaka City) and at Johoku Korean Elementary School (in Osaka City). In her home, she runs a children’s art program called Art Room+, which provides a space where children’s self-expression can bloom through the arts.