Ruth Hashimoto was a founding member of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Sister Cities program, within the first 10 years of Sister Cities International’s founding at the national level. Ruth was born in Seattle in 1913 to Japanese immigrants and in 1942 was one of 120,000 Japanese Americans confined to internment camps by the U.S. Government, where she also met another good friend to Sister Cities – former Mayor, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Secretary, Norman Mineta. Ruth was quoted as admitting that the ordeal definitely impacted her, but that she was not embittered against her country – rather, bitter against war, because war causes things like this. Ruth instead focused her life with an attitude of gratefulness, and served the U.S. through Japanese language instruction at the U.S. Navy Intelligence Language School, and later through English language instruction to new Japanese immigrants. She was further inspired to volunteerism through her association with Eleanor Roosevelt and the United Nations Association.
According to Santa Fe Living Treasures, Ruth “worked for world peace for more than 50 years.” She had a lifetime of dedication to peace, ensuring that all her work revolved around morals and missions very close to Sister Cities International – peace and understanding.
Ruth Hashimoto Award
The “Ruth Hashimoto Award” was instituted by the Sisters Cities International Honorary Board Alumni in 2007. It was created prior to Ruth’s passing in early 2010 to recognize an Honorary Board member who symbolizes the quality of service, inspired by Ruth, and desired by Sister Cities International. This award is a recognition of the kinds of contributions and active involvement over the years that continue to be valued and appreciated by Sister Cities International. An award recipient exemplifies our work to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time.” SCI recognizes that this is a lifetime activity, and thus the “Ruth Hashimoto Award” honors lifetime achievement.