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MEI in the News & Press Releases

Maddison editorial in MI Journal
MEI issues March 1 statement by ED on NVRD; advocates for nuclear justice in an inclusive Compact

Statement published in the Marshall Islands JournalFriday, March 17, 2023

Maddison meets with advocacy groups in DC, February 2023

Organized by Global Zero and hosted by Ploughshares, MEI's Executive Director, Benetick Kabua Maddison, met with several advocacy groups to discuss MEI programming and explain some of the challenges faced by Marshallese community members in diaspora in the United States. The meeting was the first in-person meeting with various advocacy groups. We look forward to ongoing and future collaboration to amplify Marshallese voices and for nuclear justice for all affected communities.


The Marshallese Educational Initiative, a Springdale-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, announces that Benetick Kabua Maddison has been named Executive Director. Maddison most recently served as Assistant Director and Project Specialist for Youth, Nuclear, and Climate Issues. Maddison first joined MEI in 2014 to assist with the Marshallese Oral History Project while still in high school. He took over as Director in July 2022.


On September 7, 2022, Maddison addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City on the ongoing consequences of the nuclear legacy to commemorate and promote the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. He also delivered the youth address at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Conference at the United Nations in August, 2022, and led a youth delegation to Vienna, Austria, to attend the U.N. Conference on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in June, 2022. The Marshall Islands was subjected to 67 nuclear weapons’ tests from 1946-1958, the biological, ecological, and cultural consequences of which are ongoing.

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MEI's work on Climate Justice feature in Reuters story

by David Sherfinski, "Migrants share lessons with US to improve climate resilience," Thomson Reuters Foundation, Aug. 19, 2022

Maddison leads MEI team to participate in United Nations' Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Conference, July 29-Aug. 13th; Addresses UN General Assembly as Youth Representation with Civil Society. 

Photos below (clockwise):  Benetick being interviewed by a reporter from Japan, speaking at the GA, with NAPF President, Dr. Ivana Hughes, and Matthew, Benetick, and Marino at the UN.

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MEI Press Release, June 13, 2022

"MEI team to participate in Nuclear Ban Conference; Maddison to speak on nuclear legacy"


A team from the Marshallese Educational Initiative will participate in the ICAN Civil Society Conference leading up to the United Nations meeting on the TPNW in Vienna, Austria on June 18-19. The Marshall Islands was used by the United States as a testing ground for nuclear weapons from 1946-1958, the effects of which are still being felt by community members.

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Resilience in community: Marshallese leaders race to fill gaps in aid amid ‘existential threats’ - Despite lack of federal attention, the effects of America’s nuclear legacy, and climate disasters, Marshallese people still cling to hope for a renewed future.

by Javan Santos and Joshua Yang from The Yappie, May 11, 2022

MEI recognized as partner in local Community of Practice cohort led by UAMS to help address food insecurity in the region

KUAF, March 2, 2022 - "UAMS partners with local organizations to address food insecurity in NWA"

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MEI Press Release, Nov. 3, 2021 -
MEI Assist. Dir. Benetick Maddison Speaks at Yale Club in NYC; Addresses Nuclear Justice, Urges Youth to Raise Awareness

MEI hosts Women's Conference in honor of Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Oct. 29, 2021
Visit our Facebook page for more photos!

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Article on MEI's work for nuclear justice; partnership with RTT and Lovely Ulmayam

Olivia Paschal, "The long road to nuclear justice for the Marshallese people," Facing South, April 2, 2021

OIA's Tanya Joshua interview with MEI staff about the work we do; COVID-19's impact

OIA Conversations, June 10, 2021, YouTube Video

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KUAF audio story about MEI's commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the 1st nuclear test in the Marshall Islands on Bikini Atoll, July 7, 2021

Article about Coldwell Banker's donation drive for MEI to assist Marshallese families due to impact of COVID-19

5 News Online,"Organizations asking for donations to aid Marshallese educational initiative amid coronavirus pandemic," July 10, 2020

Outreach to Pocahontas
Visit of Speaker Kenneth Kedi
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MEI participates in Springdale Art Walk
Visti by HE Amb. Amaitlain Kabua
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Reclaiming our Future webinar
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Empowering First Nations and Indigenous Communities Webinar
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MEI News Archive


NPR feature on Mentorship Program, 2016

"Marshallese College Students Mentor Middle School Students in Springdale," KUAF, 91.3 FM, interview by Jacqueline Froelich, November, 2016

Mark Abide, "Marshallese 'Climate Refugees' Could Soon be Headed to this Middle America Town," Business Insider, Feb. 6, 2016

MEI team members interviewed for article.

Feature article (solicited) in Reflections about the MOHP

April Brown, "Marshallese Oral History Project: Stories from Arkansas' Latest Wave of Pioneers," Reflections, Arkansas Humanities Council, Vol. 38, Issue 4 (Winter 2015):5-6.

Feature on MEI Cofounder, Dr. Jessica Schwartz, 2015

Serena Golden, "UCLA's Professor of Punk," UCLA Magazine, March 23, 2015.

Laukon speaks at Techno-Utopianism & the Fate of the Earth conference, New York City, 2014

Neisen Laukon, "Present at Birth," Techno-Utopianism & the Fate of the Earth, International Forum on Globalization, Oct. 25-26, 2014 

Watch video on YouTube

Stege speaks at American Museum of Natural History, New York City, 2014

Tina Stege, "Islands at the Edge with Jenny Newell and Tina Stege," SciCafe, American Museum of Natural History, Oct. 1, 2014. 

Watch video on YouTube

Schwartz speaks at U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, 2014

"Nuclear Weapons Testing: History, Progress, Challenges," Embassy of Kazakhstan & Partners, Sept. 15, 2014.

Article (solicited) on Castle Bravo in Arms Control Association publication

April L. Brown, "No Promised Land: The Shared Legacy of the Castle Bravo Nuclear Test," Arms Control Today, March 2014.

NPR Interview with Dr. Schwartz about her research on radiation songs, 2013 

Jessica A. Schwartz, "Marshallese Radiation Songs," KUAF, 91.3 FM, interview by Jacqueline Froelich, July 2013.

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