Meiko Arai has been actively involved in the field of domestic violence over a decade,
as a longtime volunteer and a full-time domestic violence counselor at a shelter in
Wisconsin before moving to Hawai‘i, and now as a Ph.D. at the University of Hawai‘i at
Mānoa. She has continuously attended various domestic violence professional
trainings here in Hawaii to continue her involvement as an activist advocate. Meiko
also earned her M.A. in Sociology at the UHM, examining the nature, characteristics,
and prevalence of domestic violence among female Japanese international students at
the UHM in their intimate relationships with American men. Her Ph.D. dissertation
focused on how domestic violence is socially constructed in Japan by exploring the
domestic violence movement in Japan.

Throughout her graduate work at the UHM, Meiko has had teaching assistant positions
in Sociology, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Women’s Studies. During her tenure
in these departments, she closely worked for and with professors, taught labs, as well
as taught courses, such as introduction to women’s studies and gender violence. She
particularly enjoys teaching gender violence courses not only for opportunities to teach
young adults and raise awareness about issues, but also to potentially cultivate and
contribute to future activism to eradicate gender violence.

Among numerous community service works that Meiko has been actively involved in,
she feels particularly honored to be serving on the Commission on the Status of
Women at the UHM since 2008. Since Meiko moved to Hawai‘i for her graduate work,
she has been enjoying volunteering at an annual educational and cultural event for
local high school students that the Japan-America Society of Hawai‘i organizes. Also,
she has been helping the Habitat for Humanity headquarters in Washington D.C. for
over 5 years, collecting data weekly from a Japanese government site for their use.
Meiko is an avid surfer, who paddles out to catch waves every morning before dawn.

 Contact Meiko at