We Should Know Each Other Speakers continues into December with an Academic Panel comprised of Dr. Pam Sugiman, Dr. Mona Oikawa and Dr. Izumi Sakamoto.
Pam Sugiman is the newly appointed Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Ryerson University. She is the former president of the Canadian Sociological Association, and former director on the national executive board of the National Association of Japanese Canadians. Before becoming dean at Ryerson, Sugiman was a tenured professor at McMaster University for 15 years. Her expertise on oral history, gender and race includes an SSHRC Standard Research Grant on Japanese Canadian internment. On the basis of this grant, she published eight scholarly articles and chapters, one of which won the Marion Dewar Prize in history.
Being appointed dean of arts at Ryerson University, Sugiman has taken an important role for students, allowing them to see an Asian-Canadian woman in a leadership role.
Professor Mona Oikawa teaches and researches in the areas of critical race studies, gender, and cultural studies at York University in Toronto. She is currently researching Japanese Canadians' relationship to colonialism in Canada, the historical construction of relational racial formations in Canada, and coalition building between racialized communities in Canada.
Mona also conducts research on Japanese Canadian internment. Mona has published a book focusing on Japanese Canadian women interned, called Cartographies of violence: Japanese Canadian women, memory and subjects of internment..
Izumi Sakamoto is associate professor of social work at the University of Toronto, whose research, training and education span over Canada, U.S. and Japan. A former Fulbright Scholar, she received MSW, MS (social psychology) and Ph.D. (social work & psychology) from University of Michigan and BA and MA from Sophia University, Japan.
Sakamoto's research and teaching focus on anti-oppression, empowerment, globalization, community organizing, qualitative research, and decolonization of dominant knowledge through community-based and arts-informed research. With six government grants (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) as the principal investigator, Sakamoto’s research has focused on equity, anti-oppression and social inclusion of immigrants as well as women/transwomen who have experienced homelessness. She has used photography and theatrical techniques to collaboratively create knowledge with research participants and the help of artists, which then led to various knowledge mobilization activities including readers theatre performances, art exhibits, and videos.