Book cover: Coconut Ratz & Kung Fu Cowboys

Joakim “Jojo” Peter, who earned his PhD in Special Education, has co-authored a book with retired professor James Skouge. Coconut Ratz & Kung Fu Cowboys is an autobiography about Peter who is from the Mortlock Islands of Chuuk State in the Federated States of Micronesia.

“This book is autobiographical, which makes it a rarity among Micronesian storytellers. Dr. Peter vividly describes his childhood growing up on Ettal, an atoll in the outer island Mortlock chain. While in high school, he suffered a spinal cord injury which resulted in quadriplegia. His story is one of resilience, self-determination, optimism and appreciation. This book is appropriate for anyone who is interested in Pacific island cultures and ways of life, including the disability experience as described from an insider’s perspective.”  ~ Dr. James Skouge

Jojo with his mother and dissertation committee

Jojo with his mother and dissertation committee Rhonda Black, Mary Jo Noonan, Jim Skouge, Kavita Rao, Kathy Ratliffe

Joakim Peter, PhD, graduated from the University of Guam and the University of Hawai‘i. His graduate studies include two master’s degrees in history and Pacific Island Studies and a PhD in Exceptionalities from the University of Hawai‘i. For 15 years, Dr. Peter served as Cultural and Education Specialist and Director of the Chuuk campus, College of Micronesia – FSM, before returning to Hawai‘i in 2011 to pursue his doctoral studies.

From 2013 to 2017, Dr. Peter served as Outreach Liaison with Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i supporting Honolulu’s Micronesian diaspora communities and other homeless populations. In 2017, he became Hawai‘i’s first Micronesian commissioner, appointed by Governor David Ige to serve on the Hawai‘i State Civil Rights Commission. Currently, he serves as Senior Specialist for Community Engagement and Educational Equity with Pacific Resources in Education and Learning (PREL).

James Skouge, EdD, is a retired professor of disability studies and assistive technology from the University of Hawai‘i. Dr. Skouge promoted digital storytelling throughout the Pacific region, “giving voice” to Pacific Islanders with and without disabilities. He and his wife Sharon now enjoy their retirement careers in both Honolulu and Victoria, British Columbia.

Coconut Ratz & Kung Fu Cowboys is available on Amazon

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