Kathryn Waddell Takara, author, born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama; has recently retired as an Associate Professor from the University of Hawai`i at Mànoa, where she taught in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and the Ethnic Studies Department. She also developed courses in African American and African politics, history, literature, and culture beginning in 1971.
Dr. Takara is the 2010 award winning poet by the Before Columbus Foundation for her book: Pacific Raven: Hawai’i Poems. She also received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 from the African American Community. She was previously the recipient of the Board of Regents Outstanding Teacher Award at the University of Hawai’i at Mànoa, a two-time Fulbright Fellow, a winner of the Girl Fest Hawai’i Award, Who’s Who in Poetry award, a Golden Poet Award, and a World of Poetry (merit) award, a two time Diversity Grant winner at the University of Hawai’i, and a grant recipient for two conferences at UHM, one national and one international in contemporary black voices and black issues.
She is a performance poet whose travels in Africa, Europe, Central America, Tahiti and China are reflected in her work. She recently released a poetic trilogy, including the books Zimbabwe Spin, Love’s Seasons, and Shadow Dancing: $elling $urvival in China. She has published three additional books of poetry: New and Collected Poems published by Ishmael Reed Press, Pacific Raven: Hawaii Poems published by Pacific Raven Press, LLC and Tourmalines: Beyond the Ebony Portal, published by Pacific Raven Press, LLC (2010). In 2010, she has been on book tour throughout the Hawaiian Islands, California, Pennsylvania, New York and Boston reading at various bookstores (including Borders Books & Music, Barnes & Noble, schools, jazz and community events, and private parties).
Her poetry has also been published in Interdisciplinary Studies Humanities Journal, Writing Macao (China), Kudzu, Honolulu Stories, The Bamboo Muse, Words Upon the Waters, The African Journal of New Poetry, Arkansas Review, Africa Literary Journal, Julie Mango Press, Poetry Motel, Peace & Policy, From Totems to Hip Hop, Bamboo Ridge, Rainbird, Konch, Kaimana, Hawai’i Review, Chaminade Literary Review, Ramrod, O’ahu Review, Pleiades, All She Wrote: Hawai’i Women’s Voices, and World of Poetry, an anthology, to mention a few.
Her essays have appeared in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Journal, Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, Social Process In Hawai’i, The Black Scholar, The Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History, Multi-America: Essays on Cultural Wars and Cultural Peace, The Western Journal of Black Studies, The Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Magazine, I Ka Huliau, and Valley Voices.
Takara has a Ph.D. in Political Science and an M.A. in French. She taught, advised, and mentored many students who themselves have become active in politics and the arts. She has read and performed her poetry, lectured and been a consultant in universities, colleges, schools, and community and military events throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the continental United States of America and in Beijing and Qingdao, China. Takara organized and coordinated several national and international conferences at the University of Hawai’i and in Honolulu. She has participated in several national book fairs.
Takara is a dynamic, respected public speaker and has been featured on a variety of television and radio shows in interviews and documentaries for over three decades in Hawai’i, the West Coast, and East Coast. She recently was a presenter at a spiritual workshop on Maui. She enjoys her family and friends, pets, meditation, qi gong, large garden, raising orchids and interior design. Writing is her passion and métier.
Dr. Takara is the daughter of pioneer black veterinarian, author and world famous Buffalo Soldier, Dr. William H. Waddell, IV, VMD (1908-2007).
Judge Sandra Simms was appointed to the First Circuit Court, Twelfth Division in May 1994. Prior to her appointment to the Circuit Court, she served on the District Court from November 1991. She retired from the bench June 1, 2004.
Judge Simms was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is a graduate of Hyde Park High School, and obtained a B. A. from the University of Illinois, Chicago with a major in Sociology and Political Science. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University, College of Law in 1978.
After graduating from the University of Illinois, she was employed as a flight attendant for United Airlines from 1972-1977. She and her husband Hank, moved to Hawai`i in 1979 upon his transfer with United Airlines.
Daphne Barbee-Wooten has authored several articles, Hawai`i Bar Journal, Hawai`i’s First Black Lawyer, February 2004, Hawai`i Bar Journal, The Lawgiver: George Marion Johnson, J.D., LLD, February 2005, Hawai`i Bar Journal, “Spreading the Aloha of Civil Rights,” October 1999. Hawai`i Women Lawyers “Our Rights, Our Lives” hand book, contributing writer, co-editor for 3rd Edition, December 1996, Essence Magazine, African Americans in Hawai`i, April 1994, Hawai`i Bar Journal, “Hawai`i Civil Rights Commission”, August 1993, Contributing Writer in A GO Girl! The Black Woman’s Guide to Travel and Adventure, “Visiting Nanny Town (The Eight Mountain Press, 1997), “Following the Tradewinds: African Americans in Hawai`i,” 2004, contributing author. She also is a regular contributing writer to Mahogany and Afro-Hawai`i News, monthly periodicals which emphasize events within the African-American community in Hawai`i. She was President of African American Lawyers Association in 2003.
Ayin M. Adams, native New Yorker began writing poetry at age five and selling them on her street corner in Brooklyn for twenty-five cents. With much success, she quickly increased her sales to fifty cents as passerbys’ enjoyed her work.
Winner of the Pat Parker Memorial Poetry Prize, the Audre Lorde Memorial Prose Prize, Nominated as Poet of the Year, Winner of the President’s Award For Literary Excellence, Grant Winner of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award, Winner of Sparrow Grass Publishing, Published in anthology Defjampoetry “Bum Rush The Page” 2004 top ten finalist in the Rap-It-Up BASS film competition sponsored by BET.com and Blackaids.org Foundation. 2008 Teacher of The Year Winner by the International Peace Poem. Ayin Adams holds a Ph.D. in Human Services and a Ph.D. in Metaphysics.