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UH Hilo to host diversity symposium

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Date: Friday, April 1, 2005
Contact: Pat Williams-Clayburn, 974-7389

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaii at Hilo will host the third annual diversity symposium entitled “Sharing Research, Promoting Understanding, Discussing Issues,” on Wednesday, April 6, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Campus Center Rooms 301 and 318. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

The main goal of the symposium is to provide a forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges that diversity brings. Representatives from Hawai`i County organizations, schools and community members are also invited to attend.

The symposium will feature presentations by UH Hilo faculty members, students and guest speaker Lynette Ka'opuiki Paglinawan, executive director of the Native Hawaiian Culture and the Arts Program at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

Paglinawan will present a session on Ho‘oponopono, the Hawaiian method of mediation and crisis resolution. She describes the value base of Ho’oponopono as three dimensional and interconnected between the spiritual level, environment and woman/mankind.

“Although these are universal values, these values are not expressed in the same way and have different consequences,” Paglinawan said. “I believe Ho’oponopono works well with families who have lived a Hawaiian value base. Others who are not Hawaiian, through their jobs, may work with Hawaiian families and will find that some of the ideas are still very useful today.”

Dr. Shepherd Bliss, Lecturer in Communication, will recite poetry accompanied by music, along with students from his Oral Interpretation of Literature class. Recitations will include works from the Hawaiian, Native Alaskan, Latin, North American, Japanese and Persian cultures.

Dr. Manu Aluli Meyer, associate professor of education at UH Hilo, will speak on “Original and Indigenous Ideas on Diversity.” Meyer, whose doctoral dissertation at Harvard University was a groundbreaking tome on Hawaiian epistemology, is an authority on educational methodologies of indigenous cultures who believes that Hawaiian culture, even in Hawai‘i, has been viewed largely through the prism of European and American colonialism.

Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Yoshitaka Miike and student communication majors will present a panel on “Commonality and Diversity in Asian Cultures and Communication.” The presentation will highlight the similarities and diversities of Asian cultures, especially regarding communication-related behaviors.

Assistant Professor of Japanese Dr. Yumiko Ohara and student panelists from her Semantics and Pragmatics class will discuss “Linguistic Diversity from a Cross-Cultural Perspective.” The panel will focus on diversity concerning world views which are reflected in different languages and cultures.

Dr. Candace Rosovsky, director of the UH Hilo Women’s Center, will moderate a panel of students on the topic “When You Look in the Mirror, What Do You See?” The discussion will focus on the intersections of race and gender, the challenges women of color face in forming authentic alliances with white women, and the role the University Women Center can play in generating systemic change.

Liberal Studies student, Amy Hoff, will give a presentation entitled “Warrior Poets: Scottish Exiles in Hawai`i.” She will share her personal, family experiences, and discuss Scottish influences in Hawai`i.

Student members of the UH Hilo Gay and Lesbian ‘Ohana will conduct a panel focusing on their perspectives of what it means to be a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex person in Hawai`i. The panel will also share information about Hawai`i’s historical background in the area of homosexuality.

The symposium concludes with an open dialogue on diversity facilitated by Dr. Ron Gordon, professor of Communication and Garrette Ramos, president of the Communication Honor Society.

For more information about the event, please contact Pat Williams-Clayburn at 974-7389. Questions about parking may be directed to the UH Hilo Parking Office at 974-7784. For special accommodations, please call 933-0816.


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