The Hawaii State Teachers Association's Human and Civil Rights Committee works to support and nurture diversity and equity in our multifaceted community, encourage member engagement in racial and social justice issues to promote non-discriminatory spaces for educators and learners, and support members’ ability to stand up for and speak out on behalf of students and their community.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, Jan. 20, 2020

On this day, HSTA participates in annual parades on Oahu and Maui to reflect upon the principles of interracial cooperation, equality, and social change through nonviolent resolution of conflict, dedication to global peace, social justice, economic security, and the eradication of poverty. | More

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Honolulu Pride Parade and Festival

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019

HSTA is proud to celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community and the cultural diversity of our island home. Each year the committee encourages HSTA members, staff, and public school students to walk in the Honolulu Pride Parade from Magic Island to Kapiolani Park. | More

HSTA members and supporters also wrote messages of support for Hawaii's LGBTQIA+ students and/or messages that promote inclusive schools and classrooms. View the gallery.


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Social Justice Summit

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Every year, HSTA hosts a Social Justice Summit on Oahu to empower educators to address issues in their communities, such as LGBTQ, homelessness, abuse, and suicide prevention. This event is free and open to the public. | More


The Human and Civil Rights Committee oversees the following awards:

Pono Award

The Pono Award recognizes an exceptional HSTA member who advocates on social justice issues that impact the lives of students, fellow educators, and the community. Nominees must be principal organizers of campaigns or actions to address social justice issues such as, but not limited to: immigration reform, school-to-prison pipeline, equity in education, LGBTQ bias and issues, English-language learner advocacy, racial profiling, voter suppression and/or rights, and bullying.

The recipient of this award will be submitted as HSTA's nominee to the National Education Association Social Justice Activist of the Year Award. This award recognizes an NEA member who demonstrates the ability to lead, organize and engage educators, parents, and the community to advocate on social justice issues that impact the lives of students, fellow educators and the communities they serve. It is presented during NEA’s Conference on Racial and Social Justice in July.

Past winner: Laverne Moore (2016).

Friend of Youth Award

The Friend of Youth Award recognizes an outstanding individual who works to support Hawaii's youth. Nominees must be involved in a youth-oriented activity outside of his or her professional duties, dedicate time and service to this cause, and demonstrate significant impact on youth.

Past winners: Jason Routon (2018), Faye Like Wallace (2017), Ted Takamiya (2016), Virginia Brautigan Aste (2015), Robin Hermance (2014), Rose Atsuko Ah Sing Yamada (2013), Mervin Dudoit (2012), Penny Martin (2011), Alice Hewett (2010), Peter Rayno Jr. (2009), Alice Ransil (2008), Derek Kurisu (2007), Shiro Takata (2006), Randall Ng (2005), Duke Sevilla (2004), Clara and Joe Mishima (1999), Lyman Medeiros (1998), Marilyn Pollock (1997), Kiyoko Nishikawa and Bert Kakugawa (1996), Takeshi Fujita (1995), Zoreh Furatado and Mary Gomez (1994), Neal and Nadine Morimoto (1993), Frank DeLima (1992), Ted Kimura (1991), Earl Eckart (1990), Ellen Kusano (1989), Kayo Chung and Earl Miyao (1987), Carol Kimura and Robert Lani (1986), Steven Frias (1985).


School breakfast programs

HSTA is assisting in efforts to increase the number of schools that participate in Breakfast After the Bell and similar school breakfast programs. | More

Join us

What social justice issues are you passionate about? What would you like to see HCR do over the next year? Would you like to get involved? Please fill out our survey here.

For more information, you can also contact HCR Chair Jodi Kunimitsu at jodikunimitsu@gmail.com, or reach out to your chapter representative: Kaleo Ramos (Honolulu), Roy Hannu (Central), Alika Masei (Leeward), Kit Brizuela Absalon (Windward), Kawaileleohiilawe (Hilo), Karina Hernandez (Kona), Amber Fontes (Kohala), Melissa Turner (Hamakua), Dana Gorelangton Turnbull (Maui), Luz Larotta (Lanai), Emilio Macalalad (Molokai), and Cynthia McClung (Kauai).