Miya Iwataki

Miya Iwataki helped build Serve the People programs inspired by the Black Panther Party with JACS Asian Involvement in Little Tokyo, the first Asian movement center during the 1970s, while living in a political collective in Boyle Heights.  An advocate for women, she became director of the first Asian Women’s Center; was a delegate to UN Decade for Women Convention in Nairobi, Kenya sponsored by United Nations NGO; was on a Women’s Healthcare Delegation to China; co-authored the first study on cultural barriers to women’s reproductive health care in 8 API communities.  With NCRR, she fought in the grassroots campaign for JA Redress/Reparations, and worked for Rep. Mervyn Dymally, chair of Congressional Black Caucus.  A poet, writer, KPFK-FM Radio producer of East Wind; Rafu Shimpo columnist, and diversity/cultural competency program developer for LA County, her life experiences have informed her cultural and political activism.  She is currently a member of Nikkei Progressives, and Vice President of Little Tokyo Historical Society working to preserve the history, legacy and cultural soul of Little Tokyo in the face of gentrification.