Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute Speaker Series

Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute Speaker Series

The Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute (APPSI) at Holy Names University promotes positive peace – peace with security as well as justice and sustainability – through a broad array of activities, including research, publishing, service and civic engagement.


Unless otherwise noted, free and open to the public. For additional information contact Professor Chiho Sawada at

Earth Week Sustainability Forum with Numi Organic Tea

Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Time: 5:45 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Location: Valley Center for the Performing Arts (3500 Mountain Boulevard, Oakland, CA 94619) 
Pricing: FREE and open to the public

Fair Trade Lecture by Brian Durkee, Chief Operating Officer, Numi Organic Tea

numi_organic_tea_01Numi Organic Tea is an industry leader in organics, fair trade, and sustainable innovation. Numi, which is based here in Oakland, has also established a foundation with a mission to “foster thriving communities by supporting initiatives that nurture art, education, health, and our natural environment.” Come join us to learn about Numi and the growing movement to celebrate people and planet—and enjoy a cup of delicious pure tea!  

Brian Durkee is Chief Operating Officer of Numi Organic Tea, and developed its Fair Labor program with Scientific Certifications Systems. He has worked with Numi since 2003 directing the management of purchasing, quality control, production, distribution, and supply chain operations. While managing Numi’s world-wide supply chain and distribution logistics, he has also focused his efforts on developing the organization’s sustainable and socially responsible initiatives, including advancements in sustainable packaging, fair trade and fair labor practices, and creating direct relationships that foster improved standards of living in the developing countries were tea is produced. Brian Durkee has an MBA from Saint Mary’s College and graduated Cum Laude from University of San Francisco with a B.S. in Systems Management.

This special event is presented by the HNU Peace & Justice Club, the Associated Students of Holy Names University (ASHNU), and the Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute (APPSI)—in partnership with Fair Trade Colleges & Universities and Numi Organic Tea. 

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Past Events

Georgia O'Keeffe Lecture with Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Georgia O’Keeffe Lecture: the Landscapes of Lake George and the Development of O’Keeffe’s Modernist Style

This illustrated lecture by Emma Acker of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco will explore the themes and artworks in the exhibition Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and the Landscapes of Lake George, on view at the de Young Museum through May 11, 2014.

From 1918 until the early 1930s, O’Keeffe retreated annually to Alfred Stieglitz’s family estate on Lake George in upstate New York, where she reveled in the discovery of new subject matter and found respite in the rural setting without the distractions of city life. O’Keeffe’s experiences there inspired one of the most transformative and productive periods of her career, energizing the development of her signature modernist style. Organized by the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, this is the first major exhibition and publication devoted to this period in O'Keeffe’s career.

Emma Acker is the Assistant Curator of American Art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where she recently wrote an essay and comprehensive chronology for the catalogue accompanying the exhibition Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966. She has a BA from Brown University and an MA in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California, and has worked in curatorial departments at the Getty Research Institute and the National Gallery of Art. She has curated three exhibitions and authored various scholarly articles and exhibition catalogues entries, including an object essay for American Modernism: The Ed and Deborah Shein Collection (National Gallery of Art, 2010). She is the recipient of a Robert H. Smith Fellowship (National Gallery of Art), a Helene Gladstone Williams Award (English Speaking Union), and a Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Research Support Grant (Paul Mellon Centre for British Studies, Yale University). 


Strait Talk Peace Conference

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chinese Defense Innovation Today and Tomorrow: Implications for the United States and Asia-Pacific Regional Security 

Lecture by Dr. Tai Ming Cheung, director of the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC)

IMAGE_china_j20_apChina has achieved striking advances in defense sector science and technology over the past few years—including the development of stealth aircraft and supercomputers. What explains these advances? Is this progress primarily driven by homegrown innovation or the absorption of foreign technologies? What can be expected in the coming years? What are the security implications of a China that enjoys access to increasingly potent military technology? In particular, how might China’s defense innovation affect the U.S. position in the Asia Pacific and ongoing maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea? Most importantly, how are technological innovations impacting prospects for peace?

Dr. Tai Ming Cheung will address these questions and share key insights from the new book Forging China’s Military Might: A New Framework for Assessing Innovation (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), which he edited. The book provides an overview of the current state of the Chinese defense industry and issues critical to understanding short- and long-term developments, including the relationship between defense contractors, regulators and end-users; civil-military integration; China’s defense innovation system; and China’s place in the global defense economy. 

Tai Ming Cheung is the Director of the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and an Associate Professor at the University of California San Diego. He received his Ph.D. from the War Studies Department at King’s College, London University. In addition to the aforementioned Forging China’s Military Might, Dr. Cheung is also author or editor of many other works including China’s Emergence as a Defense Technological Power (Routledge, 2012) and Fortifying China: The Struggle to Build a Modern Defense Economy (Cornell University Press, 2009).

Program Agenda

5:30-6:00  Registration & Opening Ceremony / 6:00-7:00  Talk & Audience Q&A / 7:00-7:30  Reception 

Presented by the Japan Policy Research Institute (JPRI) in partnership with Asia Society Northern California.  Co-sponsors: Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute (APPSI) at Holy Names University, Saint Mary’s College Global and Regional Studies, Strait Talk, UC Berkeley Institute for East Asian Studies.

This talk officially opens the Fifth Annual Strait Talk Bay Area Peace Conference, a week of workshops and public events to promote peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait and throughout the Pacific Rim. Strait Talk is a student-centered non-partisan dialogue program that seeks to transform Cross-Strait and broader Asia-Pacific relations by connecting young people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait and from the United States, and by empowering them through conflict resolution training to become the next generation of peacemakers. 

2014 Steinbeck Festival Comes to Oakland

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Join us for a special preview of the 2014 Steinbeck Festival! The National Steinbeck Center celebrates the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Grapes of Wrath by convening a national dialogue, seeking out the stories of individuals struggling against many of the same challenges so poignantly represented in this classic work: financial insecurity, social discrimination, widespread unemployment and foreclosures, drought and other environmental crises. 

To gather contemporary stories of resilience and migrations in hard times, curators from the National Steinbeck Center commissioned a talented group of artists to retrace the Joad family’s journey. 

* P.J. Palmer, filmmaker and videographer

* Octavio Solis, playwright and director

* Patricia Wakida, writer and block-print artist 

Come hear from this diverse group of artists—along with curators from the National Steinbeck Center—as they discuss the continuing relevance of The Grapes of Wrath for a globalizing world as well as what they learned from folks encountered along the trek from Oklahoma to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally California.

You will also get a sneak peek of artworks resulting from this project: excerpts from oral history videos by P.J. Palmer, samples of prints by Patricia Wakida, and a reading from a new play by Octavio Solis. As another bonus, the musical duo Cascada de Flores will perform Dust Bowl-era folk songs. Don’t miss out! This is the only Bay Area preview before the Festival opens in Salinas, California, then heads east to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. 

This special preview is presented by the Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute, the Peace & Justice Club, and the Associated Students of Holy Names University in partnership with the National Steinbeck Center and the Japan Policy Research Institute (JPRI). Special thanks to supporters and promotional co-sponsors: HNU Music program, HNU Integrative Studies Across Cultures (ISAC) program and Intercultural Peace & Justice Studies program, Mills College English program, St. Mary's College History program and Global/Regional Studies program.