A 4-part series introducing listeners to living survivors of the atomic bomb blast. Originally aired on PRI's The World in 2006.
This four-part series introduces listeners to some of the more-than-250,000 living survivors of the atomic bomb blast, including a woman who has only recently gone public with her memories, Korean immigrants whose status as outsiders has made their ordeal even more difficult, and Japanese-American Hiroshima survivors now living in California. Below is the transcript of the four-part series.
Listen to part one of the four-part series:
Sixty years ago this Saturday a US warplane dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Little Boy was followed three days later by "Fat Man," which exploded over Nagasaki.
Six days after that Japan surrendered to U.S. forces. The Pacific War was over.
Between them the two bombs killed 120,000 people outright and close to a quarter million more over time. Tens of thousands died from radiation sickness.
We're going to spend this week in the company of some survivors of the Hiroshima blast. Most of them were children in 1945. What they experienced on the morning of August 6th changed them for ever.
Hiroshima is a place whose reputation precedes it -- overwhelms it, in fact.
It's easy to forget that this is a living city.
Hiroshima has rebuilt itself, as so many Japanese cities have done after wars or natural disasters. This city, though, could never conceal its history behind sparkling new buildings. Not without changing its name.
In any case, Hiroshima deliberately makes connections with its past. The streetcars are part of that. You can still ride one of four refurbished streetcars that survived the atomic bomb, though most of the city's fleet are ultramodern.
There are other reminders of Hiroshima's past. A couple of half-destroyed buildings, a memorial, a museum. But many of the living reminders - the people themselves-- are silent.
Akiko Naono grew up here, knowing that her aunt had lived through the atomic bomb. She says her aunt doesn't talk about the experience. "There was only one time when I was a high school student, I begged her to tell me her story. That was the only time she told me her story. She just says she doesn't want to talk about it."
Until recently, that was also the case with Sueko Hada. Hada says "I didn't talk about it, at least in a formal way. But I would watch the commemoration on TV with my children every August 6th and I'd talk about it a bit then. No details though."
On this day, Hada has agreed to meet us for an interview. She is a small, thin woman, dressed in a black trouser suit. Hada has brought along her daughter, her two granddaughters and her one-year-old great-granddaughter. The story she tells us is horrific. It contains many details that even her granddaughters didn't know before this day.
In August 1945, Hada lived with her parents and her four elder sisters in a house that was barely a half mile from the point where the bomb hit.
On that morning, her parents had already left the house to go to work. She and sisters were eating breakfast.
Suddenly there was a flash of light, followed by a tremendous explosion. That's all Hada remembers of the blast. She lost consciousness.
When she came to, she found herself trapped under a collapsed wall. Her sisters were, too. Sueko Hada was seven years old when this happened.
Sueko Hada: "I managed to claw my way out from under the rubble," Hada says. "By now, our house was on fire and the cries of my sisters were getting fainter. I left to look for help. When I went outside I saw that everything had totally changed. Although it had been a beautiful morning, it looked like twilight now. Everyone was injured, badly injured. No-one was helping other people, they just looked after themselves. I myself was bleeding from a neck wound. There was blood all over the white clothes I was wearing.
"I wanted to return to the house, but I got lost - the landscape had totally changed. I didn't know which way to go! The only thing I could do was follow the other injured people. Still to this day, my sisters' voices haunt me. I can hear them saying 'Please call for help!' That's the most painful thing - that I ran away from my sisters. I've felt guilty about this since that day. I'll feel guilty as long as I live. I will never be happy."
None of Sueko Hada's sisters survived. Hada herself was in a daze.
She was utterly unable to comprehend this new world, inhabited by strangers. "I didn't recognize anyone," she says, "so all I could do was follow the others. I saw terrible things. There were people with their eyeballs hanging out of their sockets. There were others whose cheeks had been ripped open from the corners of their mouths to their ears. I saw a young mother running with a headless baby on her back. I saw someone else with his belly ripped open and intestines spilling out. Most of these people looked like ghosts - it truly was a vision of Hell. But pretty soon, I got used to seeing these things. Everyone did."
Hada eventually made it to a makeshift camp outside of town. She stayed there for a few days. "More and more injured people were being brought in every day. I just waited there, always hoping that my parents to come to pick me up. But then, suddenly, the refugee camp was shut down because the military thought it would be targeted in air raids.
Sueko Hada: "I had nowhere to go. A soldier took pity on me, gave me some money and told me to take the train to his grandmother's house. But on the train a woman stole all my belongings. Then someone else offered to take me to my elementary school. There I met one of one my teachers. He'd returned to the school to look for missing students. It was the first time since the A-bomb had hit that I had come across anyone I knew. When I saw him, I felt as if I met a Buddha in Hell."
Hada's teacher was alive, but her parents weren't. Her entire family had been wiped out by the bomb.
Sueko Hada grew up very quickly after that. She knew she was on her own.
A few years after Atomic bomb struck, she decided she'd have to get married to survive. "At the time I was being raised by relatives. It was very hard for them, especially after they had a baby. I need they had to reduce the number of mouths to feed. round about then, a man offered to take me as his wife. I said yes, and we got married the month I graduated from junior high."
Hada had children, but she was often distant from them.
Only rarely did she talk about what she'd been through. "Even though he was little, my son cried when I told him my story. I think he was in third grade. He cried and said 'I'm so sorry mom.' Generally, I didn't want other people to know I was a Hiroshima orphan. It wasn't respectable to be an orphan. Also, a lot of Japanese people believed that if you'd been exposed to A-bomb radiation you had a contagious disease. I know many other survivors who have concealed their past from friends and neighbors."
Hada, though, no longer conceals her past. She even talks about her health problems, often the most sensitive issue for A-bomb survivors. She's had many illnesses. In 1987, doctors told her she wouldn't live five years.
Sueko Hada hasn't exactly come to terms with her life story, but she does want to make sense of it by retelling it. This interview is as much for the family members she'd brought with her as for anyone else. Hada's granddaughter Yuko is 23.
Yuko says that she, like all children in Japan, learned about the A-bomb at school. But lectures in class, she says, don't compare with hearing it direct from your own grandmother.
Yuko's, elder sister, Yoshiko, says she now feels she has inherited her grandmother's memory. Holding her one-year-old baby she says "It's my responsibility to pass this on to my child."
The baby is named Luna, and she's a delightful surprise for the 67-year-old Hada. "I always thought I would die in my forties," she says. "I never imagined that I would be able to see my great grandchild."
These lighter moments are rare, and they're often followed by dark observations. It happens several times during our interview. First contentment, then foreboding.
Sueko Hada: "Today, I'm so grateful to see my family living in happiness," she says. "But I get nervous because I was at the height of my happiness the day before the A-bomb was dropped. Our family had a meal together for the first time in four months. And then the next day, my life was destroyed."
There seems to be enough tragedy in Hada's story for an entire generation, but in fact there are ten of thousands of people with similar stories.
Like Hada, they describe what they saw as a hell populated by ghosts.
Like her, they are unable to feel happy.
Like her, they worry that radiation is still in their bodies.
Akiko Naono -- the woman who coaxed a few A-bomb memories out of her aunt- has heard the stories of more than a hundred survivors. She recently compiled those in a book. Naono uses the Japanese word "hibakusha," which means bomb-affected people.
Akiko Naono: "Every time I talk with hibakusha I feel so painful because in a way they are reliving their trauma again."
But many survivors feel they have to do that now. They're concerned that their stories will die with them, and that their suffering will have been for nought. So, they're speaking of their experiences for the very first time.
Akiko Naono: "One aged hibakusha literally told me 'now I've told you my story, I can die in peace.'"
The story told, the memory preserved.
Listen to part two of the four-part series:
This Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later, the United States dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki. Japan's surrender less than a week later ended the war.
Most of the nearly quarter of million people the two bombs killed were Japanese. But tens of thousands of Koreans were also among the dead.
More than fifty-thousand Koreans were living in Hiroshima during World War Two. Most of them had left Japanese-occupied Korea in search of work. In Japan, they did manual labor and were treated as second-class citizens.
As the war effort intensified, Japanese authorities began importing more Koreans. They forced them into slave labor in armament factories. Several of those factories were in Hiroshima.
That's why so many Koreans - more than thirty-thousand - died as a result of the Atomic bomb.
Over the years, most of Hiroshima's Koreans went back home. Many developed radiation-related health problems.
It's a measure of the Koreans' lingering distrust of the Japanese that some Korean survivors are only NOW returning to Hiroshima to register for health benefits.
On this morning, an elderly Korean woman arrives for an interview with Hiroshima officials. She's traveled here from her home in South Korea, with her son and her daughter-in-law.
The woman is applying for A-bomb survivor status. To get that, she has to prove that she was living in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing. The officials ask her to describe what she saw on August 6th 1945.
"There were a lot of dead bodies" the woman says.
Her application states that she lived in a Hiroshima neighborhood called Eba.
An official asks her, do remember Eba?
The woman's daughter-in-law steps in.
"The old lady's memory isn't so good any more." she says.
But the Japanese official persists. "I want to write down what HER memory is." he says.
It's difficult to establish the facts 60 years later.
But it's taken almost all those sixty years for Korean A-bomb survivors to win some-though not all - of the rights that their Japanese counterparts have.
And in that time, most of Hiroshima's estimated 20-thousand Korean survivors have died.many from illlness arising from exposure to radiation.
Those still alive who can afford it can travel to Hiroshima. There they receive specialist care at the city's hospital for Atomic bomb survivors.
Chong Sansok is undergoing cancer treatment.
Chong was a small child when his family moved Korea to Hiroshima. In 1945, he was a teenager, and was drafted by a kamikaze unit of the Japanese military.
Chong says kamikaze units recruit Koreans, until the last year of the war. But he wasn't interested in sacrificing his life for the Japanese Empire. So he got a doctor's note excusing him from serving.which is why he was in Hiroshima the day the Atomic bomb was dropped.
Chong survived the blast, but he got radiation sickness after spending several days wandering around city looking for his mother. He never found her.
Chong moved back to Korea a few years later. There he concealed his Hiroshima past from friends and neighbors.
"Korean people think of us A-bomb survivors," he says, "as having scary-looking injured faces. And they think your kids'll look like that too."
Chong says he didn't tell anyone outside his family that he was a survivor until he'd turned 55, and his children were married.
Recently, some Japanese survivor groups have helped Hiroshima's Koreans. Keizaburo Toyonaga heads one such group.
"One Korean survivor I know," he says, "was distraught that he couldn't get health benefits from the Japanese government. He told me when I die, leave my body in front of the Japanese Embassy."
Toyonaga says 30 years ago, the Japanese government didn't care about Koreans, and Japanese survivor groups didn't care. But year by year - and lawsuit by lawsuit - Korean survivors have won recognition and rights.
Now, people in Japan are starting to understand that the scar of Hiroshima isn't just a Japanese scar.
Listen to part three of the four-part series:
This Saturday, many thousands of survivors of the Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima will gather to commemorate the bomb's 60th anniversary.
Most still live in Hiroshima, but some have moved away, to other parts of Japan and other countries. About a thousand survivors live in the United States.
For US-based survivors, living in America has been a mixed blessing. Some have struggled with their own national identity; others have struggled with discrimination. Nearly all of them have run up against ignorance -even among doctors -- about the effects of radiation.
Like many Hiroshima survivors living in the United States, 73-year-old Teruko Morinaka is American by birth. She was born in Toledo, Ohio. When she was five, her Japanese father moved the family to Hiroshima. Her family survived the A-bomb - all of them except for one sister.
Morinaka returned to the US, five years later, with her new husband, a Japanese-American. When her mother-in-law heard that she was an A-bomb survivor, she told Morinaka to keep it quiet.
Teruko Morinaka: "When I came from Japan, that's the first thing she said, you know, because people think you're going to have crippled kids or whatever, so she was always telling me, don't ever say anybody."
As it turns out, her kids are fine, but Morinaka has herself had chronic ailments probably related to radiation exposure- intense heat rashes, kidney failure, long-term fatigue.
But as she gets older and her health declines, it's tougher to figure out what's the cause is.
Teruko Morinaka: "You kind of wonder you know, is this from just I'm getting old, or is it sickness from - from atomic bomb?"
Four years ago, the Japanese government began assisting survivors like Morninaka who were living abroad. The help began after a Korean survivor won a discrimination suit, compelling Japanese authorities to pay monthly medical allowances to overseas survivors.
Now, it seemed, A-bomb survivors living in the US and elsewhere would be treated the same way as their counterparts in Japan.
But Morinaka wasn't so sure. To apply for those medical benefits, she'd still have to travel to Hiroshima - 13 hours flying time from Los Angeles, a daunting journey for any sick, elderly person. So Morinaka brought her own lawsuit, arguing that she should be able to apply for her benefits in the U.S. Her action puzzled a relative who lives in Hiroshima and is also a survivor.
Teruko Morinaka: "He says "hey did you sue the Hiroshima mayor?" I says "I have a reason. You people all taken care in Japan. Anytime you go to the doctor you don't have to pay a penny out your pocket. But we have to stay in a hotel, eating outside. It's not that easy when you getting old, you know, it's not easy for us." So he understood. He says "I don't know why they treat you like an outsider."
Earlier this year, Morinaka won her case, but the government is appealing.
The fact that Japanese authorities are still resisting helping survivors living in America confirms what many Japanese-American survivors have believed for years - that they are on their own.
In Hiroshima in 1945, most lost family members. Then, they lost the support of their countries - Japan and the United States.
Mitsuo Tomozawa, a US citizen born in Hawaii to Japanese parents, puts it this way:
Mitsuo Tomozawa: "I felt that Japan was my mother country and US was my father country. So I felt real bad that my father and mother are fighting. Then the war ended, now we tried to get help from the father country and the mother country. Neither of them would offer any help."
In the decades after the war, the Japanese government didn't want anything to do with survivors who had left for the U.S. And the U.S. government had negotiated an agreement with the Japanese, absolving it of any responsibility for bomb victims.
Also disheartening for survivors was the not-so-subtle message to keep quiet and not complain. Mitsuo Tomozawa recalls that when one group of California survivors tried to publicize their plight, the Japanese-American establishment didn't like it.
Mitsuo Tomozawa: "They were accused by the Japanese community leaders - "you guys shut up. you talk about A-bombing and radiation, the whole Japanese community going to be discriminated against." So they were told "Don't rock the boat."
That was the Japanese way. It still is, in many quarters. But gradually, America's confessional culture has rubbed off on a few US-based survivor, especially, says Tomozawa, when it comes to talking about their memories of the A-bomb.
Mitsuo Tomozawa: "Survivors here in the United States still have the reluctance to speak about it, but not as much as people in Japan, see. Japanese culture says you don't talk about that, you're supposed to say "can't be helped," let's not talk about the past, look in the future and so forth, but in United States we tend to think more "we'd better speak up and let people know what happened there."
Today there are other reasons that survivors here have for not talking about their Hiroshima experiences - American reasons, like the fear that health insurance plans might not cover treatment for illnesses related to radiation exposure.
But in the subdivisions of some Los Angeles neighborhoods, some people well into their 70s do draw on their painful memories. Green tea is being consumed almost by the gallon in this LA home. Two survivors of the A-bomb are here, chatting about a local Japanese bakery.
Soon the conversation turns to Hiroshima, to sickness and to the cost of care. Teruko Namura is 78.
Teruko Namura: "It's not that cheap the medication I'm taking. 80-something dollars. Plus the high blood pressure pill and the thyroid pill. It adds up, you know."
As a registered A-bomb survivor, Namura receives a medical allowance from the Japanese government. She's relatively healthy, so it wasn't a problem for her to travel to Hiroshima to apply for the benefit.
Returning there brought back old memories, which hurt, but - as Namura says - would hurt even more if she didn't speak of them. So, she and her survivor friend talk about Hiroshima and what they saw on August 6th 1945.
Teruko Namura: "You look outside - oh! bombed and then you see a big fire, and all the smoke like a mushroom you know. And then you see outside there's a lot of people with all raggedy clothes and their skins and their hair all like that, and you see like a ghost!"
Namura's most painful memory is of an encounter she had a few hours after the bomb hit. It was with a group of those ghost-like people. They came to the school where she was working, seeking help from the staff.
Teruko Namura: "They wanted to have water so bad. But when we were young we were told that if you drink too much water when you have the burn you'll die or it's not good for your health, so we try not to give them. But later on, I wish I'd gave them because they were going to die anyway, you know? I wish I gave them a little bit of water."
Many survivors have recollections like those.moments in the bomb's aftermath when they wished they'd done more.
These are not memories that fade easily with age.
But for the people who have chosen to speak about them, the memories may be a little more bearable.
Listen to part four of the four-part series:
This Saturday is a day of remembrance for survivors of the world's first nuclear attack.
It was on August 6, 1945, that the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The event marked the beginning of the nuclear age. And it marked the beginning of the end of World War Two in the Pacific.
Japan surrendered nine days later, after a second A-bomb hit Nagasaki.
By the end of 1945, the death toll from the bombings stood at nearly 250,000. The victims were either killed instantly...or died soon thereafter from radiation sickness.
Today, a quarter of a million people are registered as A-bomb survivors. They're elderly now. What they saw, what they remember, and what they say will help shape how future generations understand nuclear war. The World's Patrick Cox has the final part in our series "Hiroshima's Survivors: The Last Generation."
The city of Hiroshima has two kinds of social workers on its staff: those who aid the general population, and those assigned to help A-bomb survivors.
Minori Nakaso is a survivor specialist.
On this windy morning, Nakaso's visiting an elderly woman. The woman lives alone. She spends most of the day sitting on her living room floor. She says she feels most comfortable that way.
"I'm 98" the woman tells the social worker. "No, I'm 96."
"Are you sure about that?" asks Nakaso.
"I don't know how old I am," comes the reply.
The social worker asks the old woman about the A-bomb.
But the woman doesn't want to discuss it. She just says "life was hard back then."
Minori Nakaso takes us to a nearby caf é after her house call.
She speaks about the city's efforts to take care of A-bomb survivors -- hibakusha, as they're called in Japanese. Right now, Hiroshima doesn't have enough housing for elderly hibakusha. There's a three-year wait to get into a nursing home.
Many survivors lost their families in the atomic bomb, says Nakaso, so they're all alone now. She says that solitude is compounded by the fact that some survivors chose not to have children, for fear that they would pass on the effects of radiation. Many, she says, are silent in their suffering.
Nakaso is an expert on hibakusha. One of very few experts.
Akiko Naono: there is this absence of any research or treatment of hibakusha's psyche.
Akiko Naono is currently doing post doctoral research on memories of the A-bomb. Naono says there's never been much academic interest in Japan in the mental health of survivors. Without having studied them, no-one really knows how to counsel them.
Akiko Naono: I think that contributes at least partly to hibakusha's silence, and them not being able to work through their loss, because they had to hold in themselves all the pain and grief.
To this day, the only major psychological study of hibakusha was done by an American researcher. Robert Jay Lifton first published his work in 1967. He lives in Massachusetts now. Lifton says what singled out Hiroshima's survivors from survivors of conventional bombings was the presence of radiation.
Robert Jay Lifton: "I found that the existence of radiation effects rendered this a lifelong encounter with death, an endless encounter with death, which they could imagine and fear extended beyond their lifetime. So, the scientific knowledge that delayed effects can occur and have occurred and that radiation effects can be transmitted over generations, those scientific findings can contribute to this endless feeling of vulnerability. And it's not just vulnerability to some kind of minor illness. It's vulnerability to a lethal poison."
Lifton says that combination of acute danger and chronic uncertainty can have a devastating effect over a lifetime.
And it's now been sixty years. The average age of a survivor is 75. Time is running out for Hiroshima's hibakusha.
Robert Jay Lifton: "There's a constant preoccupation now about their own old age and death and the loss of direct witnesses. The survivors themselves, the people who were there have a kind of maximum authority. In a way, psychologically they're closest to the dead and they speak for the dead.They sense this and they fear that the message will be lost."
That's what's driving some hibakusha to finally speak of their experiences after so long.
And here's where their mental state has something in common with others who have undergone intense group trauma. Their desire to speak is part of what Lifton calls their survivor mission.
Robert Jay Lifton: "Their survivor mission is to create some kind of edifying narrative about that experience that has meaning for the world, and then gives some kind of satisfaction and healing in carrying it through."
(sound of hibakusha speaker in Japanese)
You can witness that need to tell the story at Hiroshima's Atomic bomb museum. Here, a survivor is telling a group of elementary school children about what happened to her on August 6th 1945.
After the presentation, the children offer their respect.
It's far from clear how much impact these storytelling sessions have. For one thing, fewer and fewer schools send children on field trips to Hiroshima. Tokyo Disneyland is much bigger draw.
Also, the kids aren't always receptive. That was the case with Aya Kano, a 24-year-old Hiroshima native, who writes for the city's main newspaper. When she was young she went on lots of school trips and heard from many A-bomb witnesses.
Aya Kano: "Boring, yeah, really boring. I didn't listen, so I can't remember."
But Kano's take on the Atomic bomb changed last summer, when her editor at the paper sent her on assignment to an island in Hiroshima Bay.
Aya Kano: "I went to Ninoshima where a lot of people who were damaged by atomic bomb were buried. And I saw lot of human bones and I thought people who were buried were saying please look at me, and please remember me."
It was only then that Kano's status as a third-generation survivor became important to her. Her grandfather had died in the bombing but her grandmother was still alive. Kano peppered her grandmother with questions. She also submitted her grandfather's photo to Hiroshima's Memorial Hall. That was perhaps Kano's own survivor mission, and her own way of reclaiming the A-bomb story.
Kazuhiko Miyoshi is a teacher in Hiroshima who specializes in A-bomb education. He believes there's a crisis in teaching and learning about hibakusha.
The number of survivors is decreasing, Miyoshi says, so we have to figure out a new way to pass down the experience of living through an atomic bomb attack.
But he fears that the Hiroshima of 1945 is simply too remote for most Japanese children and adults.
Miyoshi is part of a movement that advocates a nuclear-free world. Classroom testimony from hibakusha is often Exhibit A in making that argument. Survivors have even occasionally been used to illustrate an opposing argument, favored by some Japanese nationalists, that the United States dropped the bomb for racial reasons.
Researcher Akiko Naono says both approaches exploit survivors.
Akiko Naono: "I think it's really really important that we try to listen to Hibakusha trying to follow along what they're trying to convey without really trying to reduce their stories to what we want to hear."
Naono has listened to the stories of more than a hundred A-bomb survivors, including her own aunt's. For her, what makes Hiroshima's hibakusha unique is how stuck they are in the past.
Akiko Naono: "I can't quite pin down what causes this but/the extent to which the survivors who lost their family members or who lost their loved ones - the extent to which they still are unable to put closure to their grief and still are in a state of mourning, I think it's significant, because it's been 60 years."
Perhaps it's living with the fear of radiation.
Perhaps it's the increasing indifference to their plight.
Perhaps it is the Hell on Earth that they witnessed - most of them as children.
Whatever it is, many of Hiroshima's survivors aren't healing.
Meet the Team
Reporter / Producer
2006 Dart Award Final Judges
Margaret Blaustein, Ph.D. is the Director of Training and Education at The Trauma Center at JRI in Brookline, MA. Dr. Blaustein is a practicing clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of complex childhood trauma. She is co-developer of the Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency treatment framework, designated a promising practice for treatment of childhood trauma by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, and has provided didactic and interactive training to over 3000 clinicians, educators, professionals, and consumers regarding the impact of and intervention for childhood-onset trauma.
Laura Jackson has worked as an independent radio and video producer for the past 20 years. In 1996 she was selected to be the first Independent Producer-in-Residence at WHYY in Philadelphia. Jackson has taught documentary production at Swarthmore College and the University of the Arts. She has received many awards, including a regional Emmy for Beyond Beijing: Women & Economic Justice. Her most recent radio work has been as senior producer for PeaceTalks Radio. In 1994, Ms. Jackson founded Nightingale Productions. She is a Dart Center Ochberg Fellow.
Yoseñio V. Lewis is a dark skinned Latino female to male transsexual who has been an activist since 1973. A health educator, speaker, writer, performer, trainer, and facilitator, he is on the Board of Directors of the Task Force (NGLTF). He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center. Yoseñio is also a co-founder of Big Boys’ Ink™ Productions, a theatrical writing and performing company. He has been a subject of several documentaries, including Christopher Lee’s “Trappings of Transhood” and the television channel A&E’s “Transgender Revolution.”
Suzan Shown Harjo is a poet, writer, lecturer, curator and policy advocate who has helped Native peoples recover more than one million acres of land and numerous sacred places. She has developed key federal Indian law since 1975, including the most important national policy advances in the modern era for the protection of Native American cultures and arts: the 1996 Executive Order on Indian Sacred Sites, the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the 1989 National Museum of the American Indian Act and the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Ms. Harjo is president and executive director of The Morning Star Institute, a national Indian rights organization founded in 1984 for Native peoples’ traditional and cultural advocacy, arts promotion and research.
Frank Ucciardo reports on foreign affairs at the United Nations for CBS News. The Emmy award-wining anchor/reporter has been a familiar face in the New York television market for the last two decades. His live reporting has included the visit of Pope John Paul II, TWA 800 and the September 11th terrorist Attacks. Ucciardo served as a campaign correspondent for national political conventions; his special report on the 50th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift received The Society of Professional Journalists top prize. Ucciardo’s work as an investigative reporter forced the Department of Energy to close down its main research nuclear reactor in New York. He serves as the broadcasting chairman for the United Nations Correspondents Association and is the Executive Council Chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists in New York City. He has also worked as correspondent for the AP, NBC, CNN and WNBC-TV.
Jimmie Briggs has a personal mission to share the voices and stories of the disenfranchised and voiceless. The release of his first book entitled, Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War, is the culmination of six years of painstaking investigation. He served as a Special Consultant for the United Nations Special Session on Children in 2002. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, with a degree in philosophy from Morehouse College. His work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, People, Vibe, The Source and Fortune. He is a Dart Center Ochberg Fellow.
Andrew Innerarity has been a Senior Staff Photographer at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida since 2005. He began his career at the Miami Herald in 1985 before joining Associated Press in Atlanta in 1994, and then The St. Petersburg Times in 1996. He also worked six years at the Houston Chronicle where his photography was featured in the 2003 Dart Award winner, “Legacy of Love and Pain.” He received a Bachelor of Arts in European History from the University of Southern California in 1985.
Felicia Lynch is a senior associate with Bradford & Associates, a collective of consultants in health care and organizational development. She is a national board member of Family Violence Prevention Fund and formerly oversaw Ryan White Care Act Title I and II in the District of Columbia Department of Health HIV/AIDS Administration. Her most recent professional experience was as president and CEO of Women and Philanthropy, an organization of men and women who recognize that regardless of race, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation women’s voices lend depth and meaning to issues we face as a society. Ms. Lynch chaired the board of the Center for Women Policy Studies. She currently sits on the national board of the Americans All Foundation.
Elana Newman, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Tulsa and has conducted research on a variety of topics regarding the psychological and physical response to traumatic life events, assessment of PTSD in children and adults, understanding the impact of participating in trauma-related research from the trauma survivor’s perspective, and the exposure of journalists to trauma-producing events. She was the key investigator on the Dart Center’s research survey on photojournalists’ exposure to trauma. As a clinical psychologist, she has worked with survivors of all types of events and is currently addressing trauma-related problems with substance-abusing women. Dr. Newman is president-elect of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.
Anthony Shadid is the Islamic affairs correspondent for the Washington Post and is based in the Middle East. Previously, he worked for two years in Washington with the Boston Globe, where he covered diplomacy and the State Department. Since September 11, 2001, he has traveled to Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Europe, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel and the Palestinian territories. Prior to working for the Globe, he was news editor of the Los Angeles bureau of the Associated Press. Shadid, an American of Lebanese descent, speaks and reads Arabic, which offers him insights not available to most Western journalists working in the Middle East.