HWS Stands With Japan – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Stands With Japan

In a continuation of the efforts to support Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the Colleges will host a panel event on Tuesday, April 19. “Global Solidarity – Communities Coming Together to Respond to Japan’s National Tragedy” will bring together students, faculty and staff – as well as three Japanese youth via Skype – in a thoughtful question and answer session at 7 p.m. in the Vandervort Room.

“With this panel, we hope to build solidarity with a nation that has been tragically impacted,” says Katie Flowers, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. “By hearing the voices of those connected to communities in Japan, HWS will be able to reaffirm that we are standing beside those who are hoping to rebuild their lives and communities.” 

Moderated by Provost Teresa Amott, panelists will answer questions about their personal connections to Japan, as well as what global solidarity means personally and in context of this great tragedy.  To further expand upon these questions, Assistant Professor of Psychology Julie Kingery, who traveled to Japan with the Colleges as part of the Tanaka Foundation Technos Exchange, will discuss the psychology of community, and the human desire to respond to crisis. 


Tadanao Akechi, mayor of Asahi , and Mr. Sasamoto, section manager of public relations in Asahi, will also be joining the panelists via Skype. 


Student contributors include President of the Caribbean Student Association Gabriella Perez ’11, who organized the Pray for Japan movement on HWS campus just days after the disaster, Ruiwan Xu ’11, President of the Asian Student Union, and Andrew Upton ’12, who studied in Japan while in high school. Upton has also invited three friends he made while in Japan to Skype live at the event. The Japanese youth will also answer questions as part of the panel. 

The panel will also include recent graduate Jake Derector ’09, who holds a B.A. in Asian languages and cultures. Derector, who studied in Aomori City while in high school and in Hikone while abroad at HWS, was teaching in the Miyagi prefecture when the earthquake occurred.