Nagoya is currently seeing a rise in activism. From environmental concerns to issues of social justice, all over the city groups of concerned locals and ex-pats are joining together to make the world a better place.
One such group is the Amnesty International Nagoya Multicultural Group (Provisional). Japan Info Swap and Like Nagoya spoke to Glen Cowan, one of their key members, to find out what they are doing, and how we can all get involved.
“The Amnesty International Nagoya Multicultural Group (Provisional), or AINMCG in acronym form, was founded in August of 2019. We hold meetings on the fourth Sunday of each month from 1 PM at the Nagoya Civic Activity Promotion Centre on the sixth floor of the Nadya Park Building in Sakae. The group’s members come from numerous linguistic, gender, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Yet, all uphold Amnesty’s core mission of defending human rights and human rights defenders worldwide, whether they are social, civil, economic, or cultural rights.
“We were initially an offshoot of the Waya chapter of Amnesty International in Nagoya. AINMCG was founded when 3 English speaking members of Waya group recognized the demand among socially conscientious foreigners, who have just started learning or cannot fluently speak Japanese, to be involved with activist causes. While our lingua franca is English, we are not an ‘English Group’ per se. As such, we are open to all who fight for the rights of those oppressed and discriminated against worldwide.”
“Activities we host are not limited to Amnesty’s well-known letter-writing campaigns nor monthly meetings. We will also be holding tri-monthly ‘Freedom Toast Cafes’, a tradition imported from the Amnesty International Tokyo English Network, from this March. These events see one or two speakers with expertise in a particular field hosting an open discussion forum in conjunction with AINMCG. The discussion forums will be held at venues in central Nagoya and will concern topics related to human rights.
“Our first Freedom Toast Café, to be held on the 22nd of March at the Raven’s Table board game bar, will concern how climate change impacts human rights. We have invited two panelists, Professor Masao Takano from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Nagoya University and Marinel Sumook Ubaldo, a globally renowned climate and human rights activist and founder of the first Philippines climate strike, to discuss this topic.
“Entry is 1,000 JPY, but the majority of proceeds will be donated to help rebuild houses in Marinel’s home village of Matarinao that were devastated by Typhoon Ursula (other monies will be used to cover the cost of the venue, transportation costs, and other sundry expenses). Light snacks provided, but drinks are charged separately.
“In addition to this, we intend on also holding social mixers, potlucks, and other activities, such as our climate working group that is working on a campaign that aims to have the city of Nagoya declare a climate emergency.”
If you would like to find out more about these events or AINMCG in general, you can:
For more on Marinel, our speaker at the Freedom Toast Café, click this link.
Unfortunately, due to concerns over the spread of the Corona Virus, the aforementioned event has regrettably been postponed.
For further information on the event and details of its reorganisation, please check out the event group page here.
Image: via wikimedia [Fair Use] – Modified