CIF SPEAKER SERIES
The Speaker Series is a part of Critical Issues Forum (CIF) outreach efforts to promote disarmament and nonproliferation education to high school students and teachers. At the same time, the Speaker Series is open to everyone who is interested in international peace and security, as well as youth education. We plan to host the Speaker Series event occasionally, inviting guest speakers from around the world in these fields. We believe in the important role that youth can play to make progress toward a world free of nuclear weapons. In this regard, we are actively engaging young generations in the events, both as speakers and participants.
9th Speaker Series: September 27th, 2023
Rebooting Memories : Enhancing Empathy through Colorized Photos of Hiroshima
On September 27th 2023, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies hosted a speaker series featuring Anju Niwata. Anju Niwata is a 4th year undergraduate student at the University of Tokyo and a Critical Issues Forum (CIF) Alumna. She participated in the CIF conference in 2018 as a representative of Hiroshima Jogakuin Senior High School.
Her speech titled “Rebooting Memories” Enhancing Empathy through Colorized Photos of Hiroshima, discussed her process of colorizing photos of Hiroshima from the time of WWII using AI technology as well as consulting Hibakusha, atomic bombing survivors. Her work has been featured in exhibitions, a music video and also compiled in an award-winning book. Her seminal work titled, Rebooting Memories of Prewar & War Through Colorized Photographs in Collaboration with AI and Human, co-authored with Professor Hidenori Watanave of the University of Tokyo, contains 355 colorized photographs. Her work has warmed the hearts of not only those whose memories she revived, but also those who have inherited those memories.
8th Speaker Series: February 22, 2023
On February 22, 2023, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) Student Council DEI Committee co-hosted the BIPOC Speaker Series. The featured speaker was Dr. Vincent Intondi, a professor, historian, and author who is widely considered the preeminent authority on the intersection of race and nuclear weapons. His speech, titled, “Intersections of Racial Justice and Nuclear Disarmament” focused on the intersection of race and nuclear weapons and provided an overview of his research on his book, African Americans Against the Bomb. Dr. Intondi’s book examines Black activists who fought for nuclear disarmament and connects the issue of nuclear weapons with the fight for racial equality and liberation movements around the world.
Seventh Speaker Series: October 14, 2022
On October 14th, 2022, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) hosted the Critical Issues Forum’s (CIF) seventh Speaker Series: “The Power of VR and Storytelling: Building Empathy for a Nuclear Weapons Free World.” The event featured an award-winning documentary film On the Morning You Wake (To the End of the World) about the 2018 ballistic missile false alert in Hawaii and two guest speakers.
Sixth Speaker Series: January 21, 2022
On January 21, 2022, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) hosted the Critical Issues Forum’s (CIF) sixth Speaker Series inviting Dr. Natasha Bajema, a nuclear expert with over 20 years of experience in the field, to discuss her unique public engagement activities in nuclear risk reduction, nonproliferation and disarmament. The event, titled “A Pit Stop on Natasha Bajema’s Radioactive Road Trip,” provided an exciting opportunity for participants, including high school students, to learn about Dr. Bajema’s journey visiting historic and current US nuclear weapon complex sites.
Fifth Speaker Series: December 10, 2021
On December 10th, 2021, The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) hosted the Critical Issues Forum’s (CIF) fifth Speaker Series titled “How Can Disarmament and Nonproliferation Education Empower Students to Tackle Complex Social Justice Issues?” Three speakers shared views on the importance of youth engagement in nuclear disarmament, the role of educators, and the intersection between nuclear issues, social justice, and climate change. Speakers included Jasmine Owens, the Lead Organizer and Policy Coordinator for the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Program at the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), Rayna Rogers, recent graduate from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) with a master’s degree in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies, and Andrew King, lead teacher at CIF for over 10 years and Assistant Principal of the Alliance Dr. Olga Mohan High School.
Fourth Speaker Series: October 8, 2021
On October 8, 2021, The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) hosted the Critical Issues Forum’s (CIF) fourth Speaker Series, the first of the new academic year, featuring Mary Popeo from Hiroshima. The theme of this event was “Using Technology and Education to Bring the Past to the Present and the Future for Nuclear Disarmament.” The event included a keynote speech, panel discussion, breakout session, and interactive activities.
Third Speaker Series: March 24, 2021
The Third Speaker Series meeting featured three distinguished speakers from Japan. First, Ms. Masako Wada, the Assistant Secretary General of ‘Nihon Hidankyo’ (The Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organization). She is also a Hibakusha, atomic bombing survivor, from Nagasaki. The other two speakers are from the University of Tokyo: Ms. Anju Niwata, a student, and Professor Hidenori Watanave. Anju is also a CIF alumna from Hiroshima Jogakuin High School. They co-authored a best-selling book, “AIとカラー化した写真でよみがえる戦前・戦争” (Rebooting Memories of Prewar & War Through Colorized Photographs in Collaboration with AI and Human). This book has a compilation of 355 colorized photos, which aims to bring the past wartime memories to the present. These colorized photos can revitalize memories of those who were involved in past events and make it more relatable to young generations. By visualizing and empathizing the suffering of the victims and survivors of war, including atomic bombings survivors, youth can better contribute to peace and disarmament.
Second Speaker Series: February 17, 2021
The second Speaker Series featured the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) presenting the Youth Champions for Disarmament at the event. The UNODA is spearheading youth engagement in international peace and security, as well as disarmament. At the meeting, the Youth Champions shared their experiences and ideas towards a world free of nuclear weapons. In addition, two of the CIF alumni shared their experience with their disarmament activities, and their vision for the future. Furthermore, the United Nations is celebrated the 75th anniversary of its first UN General Assembly Resolution that promotes disarmament. In this context, UNODA officials shared the role of the United Nations for disarmament.
First Speaker Series: October 23, 2020
Watch the Entire Event
On October 23, 2020, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) hosted the first virtual Speaker Series event for the 2020–21 Critical Issues Forum (CIF) featuring Lovely Umayam, the founder of Bombshelltoe.com. As the first event during the first all-virtual CIF, the format allowed the project to expand the network for disarmament education beyond the usually limited number of participants. More than 100 students and teachers from the United States, Japan, Russia, and Nigeria logged on to hear about Bombshelltoe’s disarmament and nonproliferation education work.