Team

The Nuclear Truth Project benefits from the expertise of people across the world, particularly those with direct or intergenerational experience of nuclear harms.

We welcome new members to join our regular online meetings and events. Please inquire about upcoming meetings here.

We have a Steering Committee which is comprised of at least sixty percent First Nations Peoples, people of colour, affected community members, LGBTQ, and women. In December 2022 the Steering Committee elected Bedi Racule and Kathleen Sullivan to Co-Chair the Nuclear Truth Project. Molly McGinty and Mitchie Takeuchi are also Board members.

We have two co-Coordinators, Pam Kingfisher (based in the United States) and Dimity Hawkins (based in Australia). 

Introducing Co-Chair BEDI RACULE

Bedi Racule hails from the Marshall Islands and Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, with roots in Hawaii and Fiji. 

She has completed her postgraduate degree in Development Studies at the University of the South Pacific where she was serving as the former president of MISA4thePacific – a grassroots youth organization raising awareness for nuclear justice in the Pacific.

Bedi is now engaged as an Interning Ecumenical Enabler for Climate Justice at the Pacific Conference of Churches, where she aims to link the climate crisis to nuclear issues.

She attended the First Meeting of State Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Vienna, Austria in 2022 where she met nuclear bomb and tests survivors from many parts of the world and shared truths about the ongoing impacts of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.

Bedi’s beautiful poem, “See you Soon, Lagoon” was launched in August 2023, produced by Asia Pacific Leaders Network and Lumen films. It was part of APLN’s project on Nuclear Disarmament and the Anthropocene: Voices from Pacific Island Countries

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE NUCLEAR TRUTH PROJECT

“The nuclear truth project is about bringing together people from all over the world with different backgrounds, different cultures, and different interests – who are all so incredibly passionate about seeking justice through truth telling and through the collective collaboration of indigenous peoples.

This space is very valuable to me because of the way it is centered on indigenous experiences and values which often get lost in conversations about nuclear issues which mainly focus on the unemotional language of laws or science.

It is also very valuable to me because of the network and connections that I have been able to make with people from all around the globe.

I am here and look forward to working with the nuclear truth project because the truth about nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands is still being censored or even worse, erased, which prevents my people from seeing the long-awaited justice they so rightfully deserve.”

Bedi Racule

Introducing Co-Chair KATHLEEN SULLIVAN

Dr. Kathleen Sullivan has been engaged in the nuclear issue for more than 30 years. Director of Hibakusha Stories, an education initiative that has brought atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha) to some 50,000 students, she produces nuclear themed films and projects that focus on art for disarmament. With the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, she developed the disarmament education web portal for the UN’s Cyberschoolbus website and co-wrote Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do!. In 2007, Kathleen was commissioned by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to produce the campaign’s first education material for high school and early college students.  She has supported hibakusha inclusion in international conferences and UN fora that preceded the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Kathleen is a Nagasaki Peace Correspondent and Hiroshima Peace Ambassador.  

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE NUCLEAR TRUTH PROJECT

“I have had the honor and privilege to work with atomic bomb survivors over decades. Hearing their stories of struggle and survival and seeing how others react when listening has helped me to understand the gap between lived experience and a more or less abstract appreciation of the real risks of the nuclear age.

I love the Nuclear Truth Project because it is truly unique in the abolitionist field as it uplifts lived experience as a necessary counterbalance to scientific and medical evidence of the unspeakable suffering caused by radioactive violence. We need both for us to truly comprehend the risks we live with: some 13,000 nuclear weapons and the related processes necessary for their deployment: from uranium mining to nuclear waste.

Every nuclear armed state is modernizing their arsenals and diverting money desperately needed to address climate chaos and the destabilizing conditions of social and economic injustice. Every moment of every day nuclear weapons threaten everyone we love and everything we hold dear. Hearing, documenting and sharing the nuclear truths of hibakusha, of Indigenous Peoples and other affected communities can help us remember what we are fighting for: a livable world for future generations and the responsible guardianship of radioactive materials borne of the twin technologies of nuclear weapons and nuclear power.”

Introducing Co-Coordinator PAM KINGFISHER

Pam Kingfisher has been central to the Nuclear Truth Project from the beginning. She is the Co-Coordinator of the Nuclear Truth Project, with particular oversight of the organizational, donor and fundraising relations and Indigenous outreach.

Born and raised in the shadow and secrecy of the nuclear bomb, where her dad began working construction at the Hanford Nuclear plant in 1943, Pam became an activist at a young age. Her brother also retired from 30 years in management at one of the nuclear reactors at Hanford, but he died from a very rare bone marrow cancer.

“The silence settled in our families, so few stories were shared in the community. As children growing up in the company sphere, we never understood the full impact of our father’s work. We never heard that the Columbia River was the most radioactive river in the world’. We didn’t hear about the fires, explosions, failures and extensive contamination.”

This silence was a fuel for her curious mind! 

Pam is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, born to the Bird Clan. She farms organically, working with bees, medicinal plants and trees on her grandmother’s 1906 allotment land in NE Oklahoma. Pam has been a consultant to the nonprofit field for the past twenty-five years, providing services in organizational capacity, policy and programming.

Significant activities include: community organizing to shut down 23% of the worlds uranium supply at the contaminated Sequoyah Fuels/Kerr McGee processing plants; was a team member in the creation, endowment and successful launch of a new Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, securing endowment funds resulting in a $13 million investment from the Ford Foundation and two tribes; and recently local organizing to shut down the construction of six mega poultry houses on Spring Creek near her home.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE NUCLEAR TRUTH PROJECT:

“In today’s violent reality, it is comforting to work with community activists, young and old, who share my urgency about nuclear abolition, climate change and human rights. Our monthly zoom calls throughout the pandemic were a lifeline connecting us across the time zones and the realities of our lived experiences on the front lines of nuclear colonialism.

The burden of the bombs started long before they were ever tested, and continues today, especially in Native communities. Whether weapons of war or atoms for peace – they are all deadly. We can never look away from the destructive forces which have been unleashed on the planet and we must continue to speak up for non-proliferation, nuclear abolition and peace. Sharing our stories about our sacrificed communities and cultures is extremely important for young people to hear now. The international community we have created within the Nuclear Truth Project gives me hope for the future of the planet as we connect impacted communities.”

Introducing Co-Coordinator DIMITY HAWKINS

Dimity Hawkins AM (she/her) is a queer activist, researcher and PhD candidate living as a settler in Australia.

Dimity is the Co-Coordinator of the Nuclear Truth Project. Her work as Program Lead is building on our foundational projects as well as advocacy for recognition, rights, and inclusion of those with lived experiences of nuclear harms. She is an advocate for accountability and transparency for nuclear weapons testing, particularly in the region where she lives.

Dimity was also a co-founder of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) and a Board member and campaigner for ICAN Australia. Dimity is finalising a PhD through Swinburne University focussed on nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific and the response of Fiji to nuclear testing and decolonisation in the period of 1966-1975. She has an Honours degree in Politics and Public Policy from Swinburne; her Honours thesis examined the development of the extended nuclear deterrence concepts in Australian defence policy.

Dimity is also a current National Committee member with the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA), an Indigenous led forum supporting communities impacted by past, existing or proposed nuclear projects in Australia.

Dimity was recognised in 2019 through the Australian Honours system having been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to the global community as an advocate for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.”

In addition to her work with ICAN, Dimity has over three decades of voluntary, pro-bono and paid work in the civil society sector as an advocate on issues of nuclear disarmament and broader social, environmental and human rights activism. Dimity lives and works on the lands of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations, in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE NUCLEAR TRUTH PROJECT 

“The Nuclear Truth Project arose in deep conversations between affected community members and nuclear abolition advocates in the wake of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. When the Truth Project began, it was with a clear intention to centre the voices, knowledge and expertise of those with the lived experience of nuclear harms. This includes nuclear weapons and all parts of the nuclear chain, from cradle to grave, uranium to nuclear waste dumping and much else.

For me, having grown up in Australia and Pacific Islands, these issues have been a lifelong passion. How could they not be – our region was subjected to 315 nuclear weapons tests over 50 years last century. This fact overshadowed my childhood in the Pacific, and informed my politics over decades of activism since.

Nuclear weapons are seen as a weapon to threaten cities. But the reality is from the very start these were often tested on occupied and colonised lands – on places misconceived by foreign forces as ‘remote’, ‘far away’ or even ’empty’. These places were none of these things to the people and cultures who live there.

The nuclear armed states greatly benefited from the silences that could be imposed on those colonised or subservient to foreign powers. Denial and secrecy have been key to the nuclear age, imposing silences over medical, environmental, scientific, human rights, Indigenous rights, and other legal and political considerations. 

Through the Nuclear Truth Project we hope to challenge many of these silences.

The Nuclear Truth Project offers connection and collaboration with affected community members. We work to bring community together in story and strategy, inviting conversations and exchange. Our intent is to uplift the expertise of those who truly know the harm to our planet and lives due to nuclear activities. Whether focussing on identifying best practice for working within, alongside or for affected communities through Protocols, seeking transparency and accountability through our nuclear archive work, or connecting with community members and allies across the world, to work with the Nuclear Truth Project is a profound education and a true privilege.

Rico Robertson

Introducing Outreach Coordinator RICO ISHII ROBERTSON  

Rico Ishii Robertson joined the Nuclear Truth Project as an Outreach Coordinator in April 2024.

Born and raised in Hiroshima as a third-generation Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor), Rico has been engaging with the people affected by the nuclear weapons industry for almost 20 years. She lived and worked with 102 Hibakusha traveling around the world delivering their message for peace (the first Hibakusha Project by PeaceBoat), represented an Aboriginal community fighting to protect their land against the harm from Uranium mining at international conferences, coordinated a group of Aboriginal women for their journey together with other affected community members (the fourth Hibakusha Project by PeaceBoat, and the first that involved in other nuclear affected communities), co-coordinated several events in Australia with local partners to brief the situation of Fukushima nuclear disaster in its first year, supported IPPNW to launch their office in Costa Rica through a joint event with ICAN, coordinated a group of third generation Hibakusha from Hiroshima during the workshop in the Republic of Marshall Islands as a part of the Global Hibakusha project by Mick Broderick and Robert Jacobs, liaised an Aboriginal community with the City of Nagasaki for a sculpture gifting project by the Nuclear Futures, before she joined Peace Boat as an international coordinator in 2019. 

Her focus has always been to support the horizontal network across various nuclear-affected peoples and communities through coordinating forums and other opportunities for them to build trust and learn about one another, as well as to advocate the importance and necessity of sensitivity when dealing with people with trauma to prevent re-traumatization and exploitation. As an international coordinator of Peace Boat, a Japan based international organization and an International Steering Group member of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN), Rico played the main role in the consultation with the affected communities, design, and implementation of the Nuclear Survivors Forum 2021 as well as the Nuclear Survivors Forum in NYC in 2023 during the second Meeting of State Parties for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, both as a part of the campaign led by ICAN. 

By joining the Nuclear Truth Project while continuing her role with Peace Boat, Rico hopes to boost her contribution to uniting and empowering the affected peoples to achieve a nuclear-free world. 

Besides being an antinuclear campaigner, Rico also supported the national peace process of Myanmar between 2013 and 2017 through consultations, training, and project evaluations as a conflict sensitivity and analysis expert in (then) post-conflict areas operated by ethnic armed groups within the country. 

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE NUCLEAR TRUTH PROJECT 

“Among the many nuclear abolition campaigns, this unique initiative sets its focus around the rights, dignity, and justice of Indigenous peoples and nuclear-affected peoples. Its Protocols that advocate rights, respect, and reciprocity mirror my principles for work and beyond.

The Nuclear Truth Project actively contributes to the global campaign to push forward the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a comprehensive nuclear ban treaty. Although the voices of affected peoples are essential for fully understanding the humanitarian consequences of nuclear harm, working with them requires a thoughtful approach as many of them suffer from ongoing, intergenerational trauma. The NTP fully understands this and aims to advocate it through the Protocols.  

The NTP practices what it advocates – the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusivity by having Indigenous peoples, people of color, women, youth, and LGBTQ as its core driving force. It fosters an open and inviting environment, collaborating with scientists, academics, and diplomats as well as other like-minded groups and individuals. It is only natural that I love it and its people. I am truly honored to be a part of this dream team!”

 

 

DNA Repair. 2017. 16 x 20 in. Acrylic on Watercolor Paper. Mallery Quetawki (Zuni Pueblo). artist site | instagram

​DNA has the ability to repair itself through complex mechanisms and pathways when damage occurs. Its intricacy of repair can be compared to the creation of beaded items in Native Culture. Designs are thought out ahead and require skill and patience to be able to bead such intricate pieces. When a beaded necklace comes undone, the stones/beads are restrung by using what is already there. The design used is from the Crow Nation. The use of the flower design symbolizes the idea of regrowth.

We would like to acknowledge the use of Ms. Quetawki’s images from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, the University of New Mexico NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy.

We are grateful to Zuni Pueblo artist Mallery Quetawki for designing the beautiful Nuclear Truth Project logo. Combining many symbols familiar within the nuclear free movement, this stunning design evokes both the strength and the long story of the movement we are a living part of. As the artist explains;

“The olive branch is the offering for peace, the arrows are signifying the work towards a common cause and the peace symbol represents the outcome. The handprint represents unity and the sunflower represents remediation. The DNA strand represents the positive outcome for all living things.”

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