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Advocacy and Outreach Committee

Mandate – to promote the profile of the organization to the cultural, social, political and mainstream communities; and participate in Downtown Eastside community-building efforts.

Actions

  • Liaises with other arts and community organizations to foster awareness and partnerships
  • Liaises with local and national Japanese Canadian cultural and social organizations
  • Meets with community leaders
  • Identifies issues around location (specific concerns of the Downtown Eastside)
  • Works cooperatively with other neighbourhood organizations (such as Oppenheimer Park Committee, DTES Community Arts Network, Heart of the City Festival) to promote change and support to renew the area

Explore Advocacy and Outreach events: DTES Community Programs

Committee Members

Kathy Shimizu is a sansei, graphic and web designer, artist, and community organizer. She has worked for the Powell Street Festival Society in various roles since 1991, is a co-founder, collective member, and administrator of WePress, serves on the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association Human Rights Committee, and is a member of Sawagi Taiko. She works to use the importance of history, and the power and joy of arts and culture, to build community, fight for social justice and change, and help create space for the voices of communities and individuals marginalized by our existing systems.

Originally from Alberta, Edward Takayanagi attended university in Japan on the Monbusho Scholarship and lived in Kyoto for 4 years studying archaeology. He moved to Vancouver upon returning to Canada and attended Law School at UBC. After working for a Japanese plastics company for a number of years and practicing law in Vancouver, he is currently working Coast Mental Health Foundation. Edward has also been the president of the Vancouver Mokuyokai Society, is on the board of the Tomoe Arts Society and volunteers frequently with other community organizations.

Nicole Yakashiro is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Department of History, studying under the supervision of Dr. Laura Ishiguro. Her Masters’ thesis explored the dispossession of Nikkei daffodil farmers in the 1940s within the longer context of settler colonialism in the Fraser Valley. Her current research continues to examine settler colonialism by interrogating how the histories of non-Indigenous people of colour relate to the historical and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous communities in Canada. Nicole has worked as a research assistant for the Landscapes of Injustice project where she received the Hide Hyodo Shimizu Scholarship in 2016. She continues to work as a researcher for Dr. Laura Madokoro (Carleton University), Cited Podcast (UBC), and other projects at UBC. As a yonsei settler, she grew up on the unceded and occupied territory of the Stó:lō and currently resides on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.

Haruho Kubota attended the Powell Street Festival for the first time in 2018 after moving to BC to pursue an MA in Educational Studies at UBC. Shortly after volunteering for the festival in 2020, she joined the AOC. For her MA thesis, Haruho learned about the history of people of Japanese descent through the lives of eleven Japanese Canadian women who pursued the teaching profession in the first half of the twentieth century in British Columbia. Haruho is interested in learning how making sense of the past can help make sense of the present.

Mika Embury (she/they) is a mixed yonsei who grew up on the unceded Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. In 2020, she received her Honours Bachelor of Arts in French Language from the University of Toronto. She currently works as the Community Programming Coordinator at the Vancouver Japanese Language School-Japanese Hallwhere she develops programs and events to promote Japanese language and culture.  
 

Caleb Nakasaki is a community support worker to seniors in the DTES neighborhood, and is passionate about opening up cultural access and sharing between our local communities. As a yonsei Japanese from Honolulu, he came to Vancouver in 2015 and in the summer of 2021 he connected with the Powell Street Festival through the PSF Dialogues.

Olivia Chupik is a mixed yonsei/gosei who grew up on the unceded territories of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen people. She attended the festival once while growing up and first volunteered for the festival in 2020.

Russell Chiong is a law student at the University of Victoria. Born and raised in Vancouver, Russell has been attending the Powell Street Festival for as long as he can remember, and looks forward to contributing this year as a board member.

Miki Konishi (he/him) is a mixed, nisei Japanese-American who grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. From young age, he has been involved in the Japanese community through cultural and educational practices such as kendo and Japanese Saturday school. He became more involved in social justice advocacy beginning in college, where he co-founded MULTI, a student organization for multiracial and multiethnic students, while completing his BA in Critical Theory and Social Justice at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. After college, Miki moved to Miyazaki prefecture in Japan to teach English to elementary and junior high school students for two years. Following his time in Japan, he moved to Washington state where he worked as an Admission Officer for Whitman College and remotely as an Assistant Teacher for the Japanese Saturday school he attended as a kid. Miki is excited to serve the Downtown Eastside community and contribute to the important work of Powell Street Festival Society

Please contact emiko [at] powellstreetfestival.com if you are interested in joining any committee.

Read Paueru Gaizette, the Advocacy & Outreach Committee Zine