“Share Peace” will be the topic of an education seminar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, at the Sangha Hall at 424 Kilauea Ave. in Hilo. The seminar is sponsored by the Hawaii Island Hongwanji Buddhist Women’s Association and the Office of Buddhist Education of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii. This annual event is being spearheaded this year by the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Buddhist Women’s Association.
“This year we are very honored to have two outstanding and distinguished guest speakers,” said Jane Iida, chairwoman of the seminar. The speakers will be C. Kimo Alameda of Hilo, director of the Office of Health Equity within the state Department of Health, and David Loy, an international lecturer who focuses primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity, and what each can learn from the other. Prior to the seminar in Hilo, Loy will speak at the Numata Conference in Buddhist Studies in Honolulu.
Alameda will talk about “Sharing Peace in the Family.” He comes from a biracial and bicultural family and is a living example of multicultural Hawaii. His Portuguese and Hawaiian ancestry meant he grew up in two different cultural traditions. These childhood experiences prepared him for his early work as a school counselor and special education teacher.
After working for the Department of Education for many years, Alameda went back to school and received a Doctorate in Educational Psychological and Cultural Studies from the University of Nebraska. In 2008, Alameda won an award from Mental Health America as the Outstanding Government Agency Leader for his work in increasing cultural awareness in state government. In accepting the award, he said, “We cannot be a first-class state, with people who feel second-class.” His commitment to diversity has made him a popular speaker on cultural and social issues.
Alameda’s role within the DOH is to serve as a consultant and trainer for all matters regarding health equity, cultural competency, and diversity in the workplace. On weekends, he coaches youth sports and volunteers as a presenter for at-risk youth community programs. He and his wife of 19 years are the parents of seven children.
Loy is a professor, writer and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. He is a prolific author, whose essays and books have been translated into many languages. His articles appear regularly in the pages of major journals such as Tikkum and Buddhist magazines, as well as in a variety of scholarly journals. He is on the editorial or advisory boards of the journals Cultural Dynamic, Worldviews, Contemporary Buddhism, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and World Fellowship of Buddhists Review. He is also on the advisory boards of Buddhist Global Relief, the Clear View Project, Zen Peacemakers, and the Ernest Becker Foundation.
He lectures nationally and internationally on various topics, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity: what each can learn from the other. He is especially concerned about the social and ecological issues. He received his BA from Carleton College in Minnesota, and he studied analytical philosophy at King’s College, University of London; his MA is from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his Ph.D. is from the National University of Singapore. His dissertation was published by Yale University Press as Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy. He was senior tutor in the Philosophy Department of Singapore University (later the National University of Singapore) from 1978 to 1984. From 1990 until 2005 he was professor in the Faculty of International Studies, Bunkyo University, Chigasaki, Japan. In January 2006 he became the Besl Family Chair Professor of Ethics/Religion and Society with Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, a visiting position that ended in September
In April 2007 David Loy was visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. From January to August 2009 he was a research scholar with the Institute for Advanced Study, the Hebrew University, and Jerusalem. From September through December 2012 he was in residence at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, with a Lenz Fellowship.
Loy began practicing Zen with Yamada Koun Roshi and Robert Aitken in Hawaii in 1971. In 1984 Loy moved to Kamakura, Japan to continue Zen Practice and completed formal koan study in 1988 and received the dharma name Tetsu-un, “Wisdom Cloud.” He is married to Linda Goodhew, a professor of English literature and language (and co-author of The Dharma of Dragons and Daemons). They have a son, Mark Loy Goodhew.
Schedule for the seminar is as follows: 9 a.m., registration; 9:30 a.m., Alameda’s talk on “Sharing Peace in the Family”; 10:30 a.m., a break; 11 a.m., the Family Violence Interagency Committee will provide a panel which will discuss the extent of the problems in the community and how we can “Share Peace in the Community.” Moderator will be Roxanne Aburamen; noon, lunch; 1 p.m., Loy’s talk on “Transforming Self, Transforming Society.”
The public is invited to attend. Call the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin office at 961-6677 to reserve a seat by March 15. Cost is $8 and includes lunch and materials.