articles tagged "Jan Miyasaki"

Molly Stentz – Election Coverage

Wednesday, 7 November 2012 | buzz
Molly Stentz

On Wednesday November 7, our host Jan Miyasaki spoke with WORT News and Public Affairs Facilitator Molly Stentz about the November 6 elections. WORT had a four hour coverage of the elections on Nov 6 night.   Molly reports on some of the highlights from last night, including the local elections. She talks about Tammy Baldwin, “…We have not only our first gay Senator, but also our first female Senator, from Wisconsin. So Tammy Baldwin continues to break records and break through glass ceilings here in Wisconsin, and continues to represent that streak in Wisconsin politics of independent thinkers. People that buck the status quo…” Molly also reports on the other highlights; the State Senate did return to the control of the Republicans, picking up two seats – the seat held by Jessica King for the 18th Senate District as well as the seat formerly held by Jim Holperin. Explains Molly, “That gives the Republicans a comfortable majority in the State Senate, adding to their hefty control of the State Assembly. It means that in addition to the Governor’s Office, all three bodies are controlled by Republicans, meaning its going to be an interesting year for politics in the State Legislature next year. They’re in a stronger position now than even in 2011. What happened last night is that the two seats that the Democrats picked up in the recall were effectively just switched back.” Robin Vos was predicted to have leadership in the Assembly. Paul Ryan, who also ran for re-election for US House District 1, will return to congress. Also victorious was Mark Pocan, who is now the congressman for US House District 2. He spoke with Norm Stockwell from the Monona Terrace, “This district has a long reputation of a strong fighting progressive spirits. Im up for that, and i’m going to make sure that I do my best to represent our district in congress and be ready on day one.”   Jan asks about the voter turnout from yesterday. Says Molly, “It was high.. it was a record. The state elections board was projecting three million voters statewide.” Also present were international election observers present in Madison to monitor the elections. They will be holding a press conference later today.   Listen to the entire interview here: more »

Cindy Hooper: Conflict, African American Women, and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 | buzz
Cindy Hooper, author of Conflict, African American Women, and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics.

On Wednesday October 24, Jan Miyasaki spoke with Cindy Hooper, author of Conflict, African American Women, and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics. In her book, Cindy surveys the history of black women in American politics in both women’s suffrage and in the civil rights movement. She looks specifically at the 2008 presidential election, examining how race and gender politics have shaped their political decisions.   Cindy cites the lack of adequate research about the African American women subgroup and their influential role in the presidential elections as the reason that prompted her to explore the topic further and write her book, “there was one statistic that kept coming through the wires…that African American women had the highest turnout rate percentage of all racial and gender demographics in the 2008 presidential election. So I began to look for more books and more research about this specific subgroup, and I couldn’t find too much, so at this point… I felt someone had to examine this, and I wanted to be the one to do that.” Cindy explains how this particular voting bloc has been largely overlooked and passed over to focus more on others, “Given the fact that we are President Obama’s most loyal voting base, in a traditionally loyal voting base of the Democratic Party, it is disappointing when we feel we are not in the forefront of the candidates, in terms of their focus and making us a priority in their presidential campaign.”   African American women participated in two struggles: the women’s suffrage movement and the civil right’s movement. This dual struggle, which was unique to African American women, created internal struggles in which they were often torn as to which direction to focus their attention upon. In her book, Cindy discusses the issue that many of the women faced regarding the “prioritization of race over gender.” She explains how, during the civil rights movement, the issue of women’s rights had to take a step back, noting how during the 1963 march in Washington, black women were not asked to speak, the focus being instead on the black male leaders of the movement, “we were strong workers in the background of the civil rights movement, and a lot of it was by choice, because we felt that the black men should be in the forefront, and they, in effect, became the leaders who were the most visible within that movement.”   The book also talks about women of color in politics …. more »

Tom McGrath – Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 | buzz
Honoring the Ellwangers at the Awards Reception

On Wed October 17, Jan Miyasaki spoke with Tom McGrath, co-chair on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. The Network, which is a member agency of community share of Wisconsin and founded in 1991 as a coalition of activist groups in Wisconsin, is working towards the creation of a sustainable world free from violence and injustice. The network consists of over 160 groups across Wisconsin that are concerned with social justice issues – from immigration, environmental, anti-war, and more. Tom McGrath, who comes by way of the Northwoods Peace Fellowship, spoke to Jan about the upcoming Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Awards Reception in Milwaukee and a Press Conference that will be held in Madison tomorrow, October 18.   Tom, a navy veteran who grew disillusioned with US presence in Iraq, decided to get involved with the peace movement and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. Says Tom, “I’d say I was probably very pro-military when I got out [of service] but over the years I think I’ve evolved… We’ve probably been in some form of war ever since World War II ended, and it seems like we’re always at war.”   The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Awards Reception will be held on October 27 at the Friends Meeting House in Milwaukee. Reverend Joe and Joyce Ellwanger will be honored for their fifty year commitment to community organizing. Joe, a retired Lutheran minister, was active in the civil rights movement in the south, even marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And Joyce, who served six months in federal prison in 2003 for taking part in a peaceful protest on military grounds, has for a long time protested the US Army School of the Americas. Says Tom, “The School of the Americas trains soldiers to help enforce governments that are in power in [Central America]. They teach immoral tactics such as torture and assassination.”   The “Peacemakers of the Year” awards will also be given out at the ceremony, awarded in three different categories: youth, adult, and senior. In the youth category, the Autonomous Solidarity Organization in Madison will be awarded for their “ongoing nonviolence and civil disobedience in support of the right to peacefully assemble at the State Capital”; in the adult category, Mike Wiggins Jr., from Odana Wisconsin, Chair of the Bad River Tribe of Ojibwe Indians, will be awarded “for his advocacy for the lands water and culture of the Penokee Hills …. more »

Jennifer Wilson – Running Away to Home

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 | buzz
Running Away to Home, by Jennifer Wilson (

On Wednesday October 17, our host Jan Miyasaki spoke with Jennifer Wilson of Des Moines, Iowa, a travel writer whose works have been featured in National Geographic Traveler, Gourmet Magazine, Midwest Living, and more. Jennifer is the author of Running Away to Home – Our family’s journey to Croatia in search of who we are, where we came from, and what really matters. The book was named Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She spoke with Jan about her experience in Croatia.   During the recession, Jennifer, who is Croatian by ancestry, decided to leave Des Moines, Iowa and “take a family sabbatical” to the land where her great-grandparents were born. “As a travel writer I get obsessions with places, and Mrkopalj, Croatia became an obsession… and within the year, we were plunked down in this little mountain village in the northwest of Croatia that seemed like it had stopped in time since my great-grandparents left.” Jennifer’s great-grandfather left Mrkopalj for Iowa in 1906, where he worked in a coal mining community, and then sent for Jennifer’s great-grandmother to join him in 1908. Much like her great-grandfather, Jennifer traveled ahead of her family to Mrkopalj to see if she could bring her family there. Encountering an entirely unfamiliar landscape, lifestyle, language and currency, Jennifer was initially daunted by the drastically different life that Mrkopalj presented. Entering the village the second time however, this time with her family, Jennifer explains, “it was an entirely different scene. Croatia is all about family, and when I arrived with my family, in search of my Croatian family, the tone had changed significantly.” Jennifer describes the amount of help that was extended to her family by their friends and neighbors. “… it became an obsession for them to help us find old relatives and help us learn what kind of lives our grandparents must have lived when they were there.”   She will be speaking at Sequoya Branch Public Library on Friday Oct 19 at 7 pm.   Visit Jennifer’s website at   Listen to the interview here: more »

Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 | buzz
Dr. Kamiar Alaei

On Wednesday October 10, Jan Miyasaki interviewed brothers Dr. Kamiar Alaei, MD, MPH, MS and Dr. Arash Alaei, MD. Dr. Kamiar Alaei will be speaking tonight at the Pyle Center.   Dr. Kamiar Alaei, who is an expert on HIV/AIDS and international and human rights, and his brother Dr. Arash Alaei founded the first triangular clinic for drug users HIV patients and STD cases in Iran. Their work, which has been extended into neighboring Afghanistan and Tajikistan, has been acknowledged by the World Health Organization as the “best practice model” in the region. The triangular clinic was designed as a community-based model, with which they integrated prevention care and social support. Rather than approaching policy makers, they decided to address the target-group: those living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Alaei describes the Iranian government’s response to the HIV epidemic, “the policymakers stigmatized the HIV/AIDS from the beginning, and they highlighted that it is a western disease.” They believed that Iran, being a Muslim nation, did not face this problem. Though incidence reports increased, policymakers continued to ignore the issue. The Alaei brothers were instrumental in developing a major health proposal that was awarded $16 million by the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS. Despite their work in public health and efforts spent with individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS, the brothers were imprisoned by the Iranian government in 2008. Citing their travel around the world to attend international AIDS conferences as the grounds for this charge, the government charged the brothers as conspiring to work with a “foreign enemy government” to overthrow the government of Iran. Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei will speak on the UW Madison campus Wednesday, October 10, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. The event is at the Pyle Center on 702 Langdon St. It is free and open to the public. For more information contact: Prof. Joe Elder, PhD [] Prof. Azam Niroomand-Rad, PhD [] Listen to the interview: more »

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