Message from the President & Board


Black Lives Matter

2020 has brought challenging times for all of us, and Friends of Aomori is no exception. Plans for workshops, exhibitions, exchange programs, and future delegation visits have been postponed or cancelled, and even with continued warm communications from our friends in Japan we feel more disconnected than usual from our work in supporting the Sister State relationship. Despite these challenges, the bonds between Maine and Aomori remain strong, and in time will be strengthened by our common experiences.

As we look toward the future, it is important to recognize the current moment in our own country. As a community of volunteers who study, teach, write about, advocate for, and create experiences that bring together diverse communities, Friends of Aomori is committed to learning from our shared humanity.

We believe that Black Lives Matter, and we condemn and reject systemic racism and discrimination.

For our friends in Japan, we recommend that you reach out to the Black Lives Matter movement happening in your part of the world, such as Black Lives Matter Kansai which has rallies, marches, and educational materials. They can also be found on Twitter.

You can also support the Japanese organization Black Creatives Japan

Another resource is The Open Letter Project on Anti-Blackness, which has letters you can send to friends and family explaining why Black Lives Matter to You.

The Japanese Version can be found here.


Until we can connect again, we wish you all good health and safe keeping.

In Solidarity,

The Friends of Aomori Board