Understanding Civic Power: Immigration in Hawai‘i

Understanding Civic Power: Immigration in Hawai‘i

Saturday, July 1, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.             
Location: Liljestrand House

What is Civic PowerHow can the concept of “civic power” help us examine Hawai‘i’s immigrant history? Can it help us understand the creation of immigration laws and policies in the past, and the current challenges to them? Can it inspire innovative educational and public programs?

On Saturday, July 1, 2017, Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities together with our presenting partners: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program; WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, National Park Service; and Liljestrand Foundation, presented Understanding Civic Power—Immigration in Hawai‘i. This small-group, facilitated program was open to the public and free with a limit of twenty participants which included lifelong learners, professionals, and students. They convened at Liljestrand House to discuss power structures, and how these structures played a role here in Hawai‘i’s immigration experience—historically and now.  

Presenters included:

Frank Middleton
education coordinator, WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, National Park Service
Before coming to Hawai‘i in 2010, he worked at the Boston African American National Historic Site, as the community and youth program coordinator, where he focused on improving access and employment opportunities for under-served communities in the National Park Service. Frank has worked for the National Park Service for over 20 years.

Kenneth “Mitch” Mitchell
education specialist, WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, National Park Service
In addition to his work with the National Park Service, he teaches history at James Campbell High School in ‘Ewa Beach. Mitch holds a M.Ed. from Hawai‘i Pacific University.

Kelli Nakamura
assistant professor of history, Kapi‘olani Community College
Kelli’s research interests focus upon Japanese and Japanese American history and she has published articles in the Journal of World History, Amerasia, the Historian, and also the Hawaiian Journal of History. She also teaches at the Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, and History Department at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa focusing on gender and race during World War II. Kelli received her Ph.D. in History from UH Mānoa.

Mateo Caballero
legal director, American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i
Mateo joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i in 2016 and has been working to defend and advance the civil rights and liberties of everyone in Hawaiʻi, but particularly those of prisoners, immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, the homeless, the disabled, and other disadvantaged minorities. He is admitted to practice law in Hawaiʻi, the District of Columbia, and New York. Mateo earned his degree from Harvard Law School.

 

Historian Kelli Nakamura speaking about Hawai‘i’s immigrant history, and she challenged participants to think about understanding their own personal history in regards to their family’s immigration to Hawai‘i and and their ethnic identities.

Kenneth “Mitch” Mitchell, education specialist, WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, explains their curriculum for teachers.


Mateo Caballero, legal director, ACLU Hawai‘i, discussed nuances of immigration laws and policies on federal and state levels, also citing how Korematsu v. U.S. to this day resonates regarding immigrants versus citizenship.

Participants taking time to network and enjoy the view high atop Tantalus.


During the luncheon, Bob Liljestrand presented a history of the house and the setting. Making special mention of how his father was a doctor in the plantation community on O‘ahu.

Participants gathered on the lawn of the Liljestrand house upon the conclusion of the program.

 

Sponsoring Partners
• Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities • WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument •

• UHM Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program • The Liljestrand Foundation •
• Hawai‘i Museums Association • National Endowment for the Humanities’ Legacy of Race Initiative •