Maya Soetoro-Ng, director of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution and the younger sister of former President Barack Obama, will visit Cal Poly Pomona to discuss her work in the area of peace studies.
The talk is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23 in the Bronco Student Center’s Ursa Minor at noon. The free event, sponsored by the H.O. La Bounty Chair of Interdisciplinary Applied Knowledge, is open to the public and will include a meet-and-greet from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in Ursa Minor.
In her director role, Soetoro-Ng teaches several courses, oversees externships for undergraduate students whose major or minor is peace studies and coordinates the institute’s community and global service learning programs. Her work is focused on working with the education community in the areas of peace, the history of peace movements, and leadership for social change. She also taught multicultural, comparative and social studies education for the University of Hawaii’s College of Education for more than a decade.
The Asian American Transnational Research Initiative and Weglyn Endowed Chair of Multicultural Studies invited Soetero-Ng to speak.
“She is a wonderful ambassador for education and globalized investment in youth and community,” says Mary Yu Danico, director of the Asian American Transnational Research Initiative and the associate dean of the College of Environmental Design. “Her collaborative and giving spirit is infused in her work around peace, community engagement and involvement.”
Soetoro-Ng’s talk at Cal Poly Pomona coincides with the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which ordered the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps. She plans to speak about how people can recharge, engage, and work together to create change. She also plans to share that the planned Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum, for which she serves on the board, will be focused on civic engagement.
The Jakarta, Indonesia-born Soetoro-Ng is the daughter of the late Ann Dunham, Obama’s mother, and her then-husband Lolo Soetoro. She and Obama grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii.
The former high school teacher authored a children’s book titled “Ladder to the Moon,” which was inspired by her mother and her daughter, Suhaila. It was published in 2001. She is working on a novel titled “Yellowood.”
Registration is available online.
*This story has been edited to reflect a new location for the scheduled talk.