Advocacy & Outreach Committee

Mandate: to promote the profile of the organization to the cultural, social, political and mainstream communities; and participate in Downtown Eastside community-building efforts


  • Liaises with other arts and community organizations to foster awareness and partnerships
  • Liaises with local and national Japanese Canadian cultural and social organizations
  • Meets with community leaders
  • Identifies issues around location (specific concerns of the Downtown Eastside)
  • Works cooperatively with other neighbourhood organizations (such as Oppenheimer Park Committee, DTES Community Arts Network, Heart of the City Festival) to promote change and support to renew the area

If you are interested in joining this committee, please contact Emiko Morita at emiko [at] or 604 739 9388.

Current Members

Emiko Morita
Maryka Omatsu
Kathy Shimizu
Edward Takayanagi
Rika Uto
Nicole Yakashiro
Tracy Moromisato
Lenita Wong

Members’ Bios

Originally from Alberta, Edward Takayanagi attended university in Japan on the Monbusho Scholarship and lived in Kyoto for 4 years studying archaeology. He moved to Vancouver upon returning to Canada and attended Law School at UBC. After working for a Japanese plastics company for a number of years and practicing law in Vancouver, he is currently working Coast Mental Health Foundation. Edward has also been the president of the Vancouver Mokuyokai Society, is on the board of the Tomoe Arts Society and volunteers frequently with other community organizations.

Emiko Morita is a hapa sansei who has been active in Vancouver’s cultural scene for over 25 years; her earliest grassroots experiences include the Powell Street Festival and the Chinese Cultural Centre’s art event Racy/Sexy. As a book marketer, she had worked with some of Canada’s leading writers and served on the board of the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop.

Nicole Yakashiro is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Department of History, studying under the supervision of Dr. Laura Ishiguro. Her Masters’ thesis explored the dispossession of Nikkei daffodil farmers in the 1940s within the longer context of settler colonialism in the Fraser Valley. Her current research continues to examine settler colonialism by interrogating how the histories of non-Indigenous people of colour relate to the historical and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous communities in Canada. Nicole has worked as a research assistant for the Landscapes of Injustice project where she received the Hide Hyodo Shimizu Scholarship in 2016. She continues to work as a researcher for Dr. Laura Madokoro (Carleton University), Cited Podcast (UBC), and other projects at UBC. As a yonsei settler, she grew up on the unceded and occupied territory of the Stó:lō and currently resides on the unceded and occupied territories of the  xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.

Lenita Wong is a life-long Vancouverite. She first volunteered for Powell Street festival in 2009 by accident. She meant to volunteer for a walking tour held during the Powell Street Festival but for another organization.  She has been involved with Powell Street Festival society since.  Lenita holds a degree in Business Administration and has over a decade of experience in business analysis and technological projects. She has worked in the First Nations Health society, public education and public transportation sectors.