May 31, 2014

May Update from the Daniel K. Inouye Institute

Mon Grey

Aloha dear friends,  

There has been much activity surrounding the Daniel K. Inouye Institute over the past several months, culminating with a host of exciting announcements in April and May which we are pleased to share with you.

On May 7th, the University of Hawaii publicly unveiled the preliminary design for the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Democratic Leadership, or more simply, the DKI Center, to be located on the Manoa campus next to the Hamilton Library.  Leading the architectural team is the world renowned firm of Pei Cobb Freed, together with Hawaii architectural firm Clifford Planning.  The design is elegant yet functional, with a sense of transparency and a beckoning flair.  There will be innovative classrooms for academic programs, archives for original research, an exhibition area, as well as a great hall which spills out onto an expansive lawn for public lectures, community outreach and civic engagement.  We hope this space will provide for both thoughtful contemplation and a call to action on how to build a more perfect democratic union.

We are most appreciative for the support of the Hawaii Legislature which appropriated $10 million this session to support the DKI Center.  Final construction documents will take about a year to complete, with construction bids to follow.  We will keep you posted as plans and the timeline firm up.  It is exciting indeed.

We were in Washington D.C. in May to unveil these DKI Center plans, and to announce the Library of Congress/Daniel K. Inouye Distinguished Lecture Series -- Honoring a Legacy of bipartisan leadership, democratic values, and moral courage.  It will be a 5-year series, with the first lecture scheduled for on or about May 2015.  The Librarian of the Congress will be issuing invitations to two prominent speakers and a skilled moderator.  Irene put together a stellar advisory committee to help make recommendations as to possible themes and speakers.  Stay tuned for one of our next emails announcing our speakers.

Also in Washington, the National Museum of the American Indian sponsored a full day symposium to honor Senator Inouye for his work on behalf of the native peoples of this land.  Leaders from Alaska, Indian country, and of course, Native Hawaiians gathered to share their stories and statistics about the Senator's lasting legacy which included the establishment of the National Museum of the American Indian.  The overarching theme was that "he believed in us, sometimes more than we believed in ourselves. Senator encouraged us to be proud of our heritage, and pursue our dreams."  The Symposium culminated with the naming of the Museum's terrace in his honor.

We are also pleased to share with you a beautiful permanent exhibit featuring the Senator's life and story at the Honolulu International Airport, near gates 24 & 25 or across from Samurai Sushi & Bento.  We chuckled and thought he would be most pleased with the placement.

Lastly, thanks to  support from the Japanese government, the Tomodachi Inouye Scholars program will launch in June to provide 100 American and 100 Japanese college students with the opportunity to travel to Japan and the United States, respectively, to promote a greater understanding between nations, as well as to learn about the Senator's contributions to Hawaii, America and the high value he placed on U.S.-Japan relations as the foundation for a stable  Asia-Pacific region.   Four U.S. schools -- DePaul University (Chicago), Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), University of Massachusetts (Boston) and the University of Hawaii (Honolulu) -- will lead the American effort and will partner with colleges in Kyoto, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Ehime prefecture. 

Phew! -- We're been busy and it is all good!  Thank you for your interest and support, and for continuing to keep Senator so kindly and warmly in your heart.    

Thank you for your continuing support, friendship, and kindness. 


Irene, Kenny and Jennifer