My name is Benetick Kabua Maddison and I am the Executive Director at the Marshallese Educational Initiative. On behalf of the entire MEI team, I'd like to welcome you to our website and introduce you to our organization and work.
This year we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary as a nonprofit!
I first joined MEI back in 2014 as part of the team collecting oral histories, and was one of the guest speakers at a nuclear remembrance event at the Clinton Presidential Library to reflect on the 60th anniversary of the Bravo detonation, honor the victims/survivors who experienced the testing first-hand, and educate the public about the ongoing consequences of our nuclear testing legacy and climate change. It was my first presentation about climate change and its impact on our Islands.
As MEI's ED since July 2022, part of my role is to educate the general public, lawmakers and diplomats, and our Marshallese youth about those twin existential threats and the challenges our people face day to day that are linked directly to the nuclear legacy.
Please follow us on social media to keep up with our various activities and announcements. Our team is busy working on programs with youth, women, and elders and helping our community navigate life here in Arkansas and the greater United States. We have some exciting events planned for our anniversary year as we celebrate the Marshallese people and a decade of service to them!
What we do
The Marshallese Educational Initiative was established in 2013 by two non-Marshallese educators to blend scholarly research with practical outreach efforts. Our goals were to increase Marshallese educational attainment and create awareness of the ongoing impact of the nuclear testing legacy and climate change.
Today, MEI is led by an extraordinary group of Marshallese community leaders and advocates. MEI staff serve our community through direct outreach, helping Marshallese residents navigate life in Arkansas and the United States. We offer programming to empower Marshallese youth, women, and elders, and share our history and culture through humanities-based projects and through classes and trainings. We work closely with our partners to better health outcomes of our community members, especially given the health inequities that exist. We continue to work to increase educational attainment levels of Marshallese from GED through higher education, and remain committed to educate the world of the ongoing consequences of nuclear testing and climate change.
Our mission: through educational programming, MEI promotes the cultural, intellectual, and historical awareness of the Marshallese people and facilitates intercultural dialogue to foster positive social change.