Dozens of Pacific Islander students plan to join a virtual commencement ceremony next week honoring graduates from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
Ian Tapu, a law student at the University of Hawaii, said he organized the first-of-its-kind event on May 29 in partnership with nonprofits in Hawaii, California, Washington and Washington D.C. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused schools nationwide to cancel in-person graduation ceremonies.
Tapu noted that graduation rates for students who identify as Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander lag behind their white counterparts.
“Because our islands and our people are all connected, this event is not just limited to Hawaii,” he wrote in an email. “In the week that we have opened our registration, we have 70 students registered ranging from students who started the Pacific Islander Club at the University of Montana to high school students here on island.”
Any Pasifika student in high school, college or graduate school can register to participate by Friday, May 22. The event will take place on Zoom and be live-streamed on Facebook with the hashtag #honorpasifika. It will feature several Pacific Islander leaders and musical artists.
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
Before you go . . .
During a crisis like this, it’s more important than ever to dig beyond the news, to figure out what government policies mean for ordinary citizens and how those policies were put together.
For the first time, Civil Beat has become a seven-days-per-week news operation, publishing new stories and a new edition each Saturday and Sunday as well as weekdays.
This is perhaps the biggest, most consequential story our reporters will ever cover. And at no other time in Civil Beat’s history have we relied on your support more. Please consider supporting Civil Beat by making a tax-deductible gift.