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Thursday, December 12, 2019

HSTA members attend NEA Minority Leadership, Women's Leadership Training

Emerging HSTA leaders learn how to be powerful advocates for their students and profession

From left: Jodi Kunimitsu, HCR Committee state chair; Hope McKeen, Government Relations Committee state chair; Stacey Chang, Charter, Bylaws and Resolutions Committee state chair; Karina Hernandez, HCR Committee member; Princess Moss, NEA Secretary-Treasurer; Kari Handley, Elections Committee state chair; Lily Eskelsen Garcia, NEA President; Becky Pringle, NEA Vice President; Emilio Macalalad, HCR Committee member.

Several HSTA members traveled to Los Angeles this past weekend to learn how to be powerful advocates for their students, profession, and union.

Six emerging HSTA leaders—which included state committee chairs and committee members—attended the NEA's Minority Leadership & Women's Leadership Training Seminar Dec. 6–8.

The seminar's hands-on training curriculum is designed to teach participants foundational leadership skills, the logistics of running for elected office, and how to advocate for student-centered policies and social justice issues.

Jodi Kunimitsu, Human and Civil Rights Committee state chair, said, "What I appreciate most about the conference is that it addresses some of the more difficult topics we must talk about, such as racism, white supremacy, and white fragility. We know these are not easy conversations to have, but giving participants a deeper understanding about the topics helps them learn how to address related issues in their schools and communities.

"I would like to use what I have learned to address some of the racial justice issues in Hawaii, especially as it relates to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. Some Hawaii participants also networked with participants from Alaska, so we could look at working together to address issues in indigenous communities," Kunimitsu added.

A highlight for Kari Handley, Elections Committee state chair, was a mock election that involved campaigns for a candidate or social justice issue. "We had less than 24 hours to plan and execute a campaign with no budget, minimal supplies, and really just our own moxie. In my role as Elections chair, I don't get to participate in campaigns, so it was interesting to see some of the things candidates, supporters, and the opposition go through in this process. Even though it was pretend, it was so cutthroat!"

Seminar participants are chosen by HSTA's president with the intent of developing and inspiring new leaders within the association.

From left: Stacey Chang, Charter, Bylaws and Resolutions Committee state chair; Jodi Kunimitsu, HCR Committee state chair; Kari Handley, Elections Committee state chair; Cliff Fukuda, NEA Director; Hope McKeen, Government Relations Committee state chair; Karina Hernandez, HCR Committee member; Emilio Macalalad, HCR Committee member.
 

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