Damdamag ti Programa - Program News

UH Ilokano Program Co-Organizes 18th NAKEM Conference

For the 18th year in a row with no let-up, the University of the Hawaii Ilokano Program has kept on its role in spearheading the work of language justice, cultural democracy, and liberatory education.

Aside from the annual conference, NAKEM and UH have joined hands in holding a conference on Ilokano and Amianan Studies in 2019 and two language summits and co-organizing language, culture, and history conferences such as the one held at Kalinga State College in Tabuk City in the Philippines’ Cordillera Region in November 2022.

Even during the two years of Covid-19, in 2020 and 2021, UH Ilokano Program has continued its role in conceptualizing and convening the annual NAKEM Conferences.

NAKEM, also known as the National Alliance for Knowledge, Empowerment, and Meaning, has now grown to six autonomous groups starting from its beginnings as NAKEM Conferences International based in Hawaii and organized by Aurelio Agcaoili, then program coordinator for Ilokano in 2006 at the 100th year of the coming of the first 15 Ilokanos to Hawaii.

These Ilokanos would be the beginnings of waves of Ilokanos, and then Visayans, that toiled in the plantations until the last batch that arrived in 1946.

This year’s conference on “Herstories and Histories of Diversity: Narrating (Im)migrant and Multiple Lives and Engaging the Community from the Margins” is co-organized by the Mission College, the host academic institution, is organizationally hosted by NAKEM Conferences California headed by its president, Dr. Alvin Benjamin Gaerlan.

The conference will be held at Mission College in Santa Clara, California on July 26-28.

All presidents of NAKEM Conferences are part of the conveners’ committee: Prof. Dean Domingo of NAKEM Hawaii, Dr. Alegria Tan Visaya of NAKEM Philippines, Dr. Aurelio Solver Agcaoili of NAKEM Conferences International, Mr. Rey Felimon Agra of NAKEM Conferences Without Borders, and Ms. Imelda Toledo of NAKEM Canada.

Josephine Villanueva of NAKEM California serves as secretary-general of the conveners’ committee.

Dr. Agcaoili, an instructional faculty of the UH Ilokano Program and adjunct faculty of the university’s Asian Studies, conceptualized the conference and chairs the Conveners’ Committee.