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“We sweat & cry saltwater, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood”
Pacific Islander Diasporas and the Environment
April 8, 2021
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
You will be able to access all or any one of the April Pacific Islands Studies Symposium panels by registering.
What does it mean to teach Pacific Studies in the current moment? What are the pedagogies, both old and new, that Pacific Islander scholars, activists, teachers, and performers are drawing on to educate and foster knowledge relevant to Pacific Islander people? Deepen our conversations about Pacific Islander diasporas and pedagogies in relation to the environment.
This event is part of the Pacific Islands Studies Symposium.
The symposium is intended to support efforts to expand the course offerings associated with the newly launched undergraduate Certificate in Pacific Islands Studies and to contribute to the field of Pacific Studies by converting the panels into an iBook for the Teaching Oceania Series. The symposium is supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation and the University of Utah’s Global Learning Across the Disciplines.
Leilani Chan is Founding Artistic Director of TeAda Productions (teada.org); a nomadic theater of color based in Los Angeles. Chan is currently the Co-Chair of the National Asian American Theater Conference and Festival (#HICONFEST CAATA.net) to be held in Hawai’i in May 2022. TeAda’s Masters of the Currents, premiered in 2017 at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth and toured to Maui Arts and Cultural Center, University of Hawai’i – Hilo, Brava Theater Center and Pangea World Theater. The 2019/20 Santa Monica Artist Fellowship and Awards include: NEFA’s National Theater Project, MAPFUND, NEA, NET, 4 NPN Creation Funds & 2019/20 Santa Monica Artist Fellowship. Chan’s devised ensemble plays include: Global Taxi Driver, Refugee Nation.
Innocenta Sound-Kikku is a community leader in Hawai’i originally from the beautiful island of Lukunor in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. With 10 years of law enforcement as her background, she is an active advocate, storyteller, interpreter, teacher, and cultural navigator with a particular passion for women and children. Innocenta is founder of the intergenerational youth program “Pacific Voices” at Kokua Kalihi Valley (KKV), and Vice-Chair of the Micronesian Health Advisory Coalition. She plays a key role in connecting her community to resources and cultural support and advocates for their rights to health and culture.
University of the South Pacific
Tammy Tabe is a Pacific Islands anthropologist who has worked widely in the Pacific Islands, specifically in Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tuvalu and Kiribati on marine protected areas, ecosystem based adaptation, and gender inequality, historical relocations of Pacific Islands people, identity and diaspora, and climate change induced migration and displacement. She received her Master’s Degree in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawaii, Manoa (2011) and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Anthropology from the University of Bergen (2016). She currently works as a Lecturer at the Pacific Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, at the University of the South Pacific, in Fiji. Her current research interests focus on historical relocations of Pacific Islands populations and how these cases can inform decisions and policies for future migration of Pacific Islands due to climate change; the notion of migration as an adaptation strategy to climate change and migration as displacement of Pacific Islanders; and the role of social capital in affecting the re-establishment and continuity of Pacific Islands communities who are likely to be displaced by climate change in the future.
UC San Diego
Dr. Olivia Quintanilla recently defended her dissertation entitled, “Inafa’ maolek: Restoring Balance through Resilience, Resistance, and Coral Reefs: A Study of Pacific Island Climate Justice and the Right to Nature,” in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego. Olivia’s family is from Guahan and she’s used her academic opportunities as a Chamoru scholar to research the unique histories and futures of Pacific island life. She is interested in climate justice, marine justice, Pacific underwater ecology, and coral reef activism. She serves on the board of directors for Chamorro Hands in Education Links Unity (CHE’LU), teaches Chicanx history at Mesa Community College, and teaches environmental racism at UC San Diego.
University of Utah
Makaio worked for the Ministry of Primary Industries in Aotearoa as an Intelligence agent during the Bonamia Ostrea parasite outbreak in 2017. He then graduated from Utah State University in 2018 with his BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Science. He then completed a graduate degree in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in 2019 and then he was accepted into the Environmental Humanities program at the University of Utah. His thesis focuses on looking at environmental injustices through the lens of the Pacific. His special talent is that he can eat 15 musubi’s in one sitting.