Benetick Kabua Maddison - Marshallese Educational Initiative

Stephen K. Boss, professor of environmental dynamics and sustainability in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, launched the Coastlines & People (CoPe) Virtual Symposium Project on September 14, 2022. Boss presented “Far-Field Effects of Sea-Level Rise and Ocean-Climate Processes on the Heartland: An Overview.” This project was cosponsored by the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History in Fulbright College.

The thirteenth presentation entitled "Marshallese Educational Initiative" was delivered on April 6, 2023, by Benetick Kabua Maddison, executive director at the Marshallese Educational Initiative (MEI), a nonprofit organization located in Springdale, Arkansas, where the highest concentration of Marshallese reside in the continental United States.

Maddison's presentation highlighted the ongoing health, environmental, and cultural consequences of the US Nuclear Testing Program in the Marshall Islands, including the effects of climate change in the archipelago.

Born in Majuro Atoll, Maddison migrated to the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas with his family at the age of six. His work at MEI includes raising the educational attainment levels of Marshallese residents. He regularly speaks about the ongoing consequences of the nuclear legacy and climate change on his homelands at conferences and events in the US and internationally. Benetick is also an Arkansas State University student pursuing a political science degree.

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