Lecture will highlight importance of Asian-Americans in U.S. history

September 11, 2012

Irene Hirano Inouye

DEARBORN/September 10, 2012-Irene Hirano Inouye, president of the U.S.-Japan Council, will visit campus Tuesday, September 11, to speak about the critical importance of Asian-Americans in U.S. history. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Kochoff Hall C of the University Center from 1:30-3 p.m.

Hirano Inouye has served culturally diverse communities throughout her career. In her current role with the U.S.-Japan Council, Hirano Inouye seeks to strengthen relations between the two countries by developing people-to-people connections.

“Ms. Inouye is a dynamic speaker who will greatly inform your thinking about the past, current and future state of Asian-American relations,” said Associate Provost Ismael Ahmed.

Hirano Inouye is the former president and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum, the first and largest museum in the U.S. focused on the history of Americans of Japanese ancestry. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum has grown to more than 65,000 member-donors representing every U.S. state and 16 countries.

Through the museum, Hirano Inouye shared the rich history of Hawaii with national and international audiences.

The museum’s traveling exhibit, “From Bento to Mixed Plate: Americans of Japanese Ancestry in Multicultural Hawaii,” traced the evolution of Japanese American identity in multicultural Hawaii, while “The Kona Coffee Story: Along the Hawaii Belt Road” share the history of the coffee-growing industry in Kona.

Hirano Inouye’s career includes more than 35 years in non-profit administration, community education and public affairs, with 13 years as executive director of T.H.E. Clinic, a community health facility serving low- and moderate-income women and families.

The event is supported by the Integrated Learning and Community Partnership Office, the Office for Inclusion and the Office for Student Engagement.

Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, University of Michigan-Dearborn is a metropolitan university serving southeastern Michigan, committed to excellence rooted in strong academics, innovative research and programming and civic engagement. The University has nearly 9,000 students pursuing more than 100 bachelor's, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business and education.  A top-ranked university with a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of partnering with local leaders and communities, and is committed to finding solutions for the challenges that face the region.



Beth Marmarelli