Meet our external support on racism, Prof. Margo Okazawa-Rey

At the OCB Board 25 September 2020: Jean-Paul Jemmy, OCB Board member, and Meinie Nicolai, OCB DG updated on the work done since the last OCB Board meeting in July and they introduced Dr. Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University, who has been appointed as the consultant to help us address racism in MSF-OCB. Read here the terms of reference and meet her here!



Professor Margo Okazawa-Rey is an activist and educator working on issues of militarism, armed conflict, and violence against women examined intersectionally. Most recently, she was the Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership and Visiting Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Public Policy at Mills College in Oakland, California. She has long-standing activist commitments in South Korea and Palestine, working closely with Du Re Bang/My Sisters Place and Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling, respectively. She is a founding member of the Combahee River Collective, 1970s anti-imperialist, socialist Black feminist group that promoted an understanding of intersectionality.
Professor Okazawa-Rey is one of the founders of the International Women's Network against Militarism and serves on the International Advisory Board of Du Re Bang (My Sisters Place) in Uijongbu So. Korea, International Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe in Bern, Switzerland, and Board of Directors of Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). Her recent publications include “Nation-izing” Coalition and Solidarity Politics  for US Anti-militarist Feminists, Social Justice (2020); Gendered Lives: Intersectional Perspectives, Oxford University Press (2020); “No Freedom without Connections: Envisioning Sustainable Feminist Solidarities”(2018) in Feminist Freedom Warriors: Genealogies, Justice, Politics, and Hope, Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Linda Carty (eds.); Between a Rock and Hard Place: Southeast Asian Women Confront Extractivism, Militarism, and Religious Fundamentalisms (2018); “Liberal Arts Colleges Partnering with Highlander Research and Education Center: Intergenerational Learning for Student Campus Activism and Personal Transformation,” Feminist Formations Special Issue on Feminist Social Justice Pedagogy (2018).

Before and since entering the academy, from 1979 until now, Prof. Okazawa-Rey has engaged with community groups, educational and governmental institutions, and NGO/CBOs to facilitate conversations and change work that address institutionalized discrimination and structural inequalities based on social categories such as race/ethnicity, caste, gender, sexual orientation, class, nationality, language, and so on. In this arena, she also has conducted trainings of facilitators to extend the work. 
She earned her Master of Social Work degree from Boston University (1974) and doctorate from Harvard University Graduate School of Education (1987). She fluently speaks US English and Japanese, and also has worked closely with Arabic and Spanish speakers using interpretation.


By: Claudia Schur