Contributions of Transnational Pacific Islander Americans are Vital in DEI Efforts

NASW Press

Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and Social Work: Dancing to the Beat of a Different Drum
Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi and Meripa Taiai Godinet, Editors

The NASW Press book “Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and Social Work: Dancing to the Beat of a Different Drum” aims to dispel misunderstandings, misconceptions and misrepresentation of Pacific Islander Americans.

The text brings this population to the forefront of transnational conversations, particularly in the social work profession. It highlights real-life experiences of transnational Pacific Islander Americans and issues such as colonization, immigration, and dual/multiple identities.

The book’s editors are Meripa Taiai Godinet, PhD, professor with the Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health at the University of Hawai’i; and Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi, PhD, dean and professor at Hawai’i Pacific University.

Ofahengaue says the book was produced as “our way of highlighting both the strengths of diversity and what the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities can bring to the table as well as acknowledging their continued struggles as underrepresented and underserved communities.”

Educators across the lifespan, policymakers and decision-makers who engage in diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA) efforts, and practitioners across disciplines will benefit from the book, Ofahengaue said.

The significant contributions of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are vital in DEIA programs, she says, adding that social work has a duty to respond in responsible and respectful ways to the call to action of DEIA efforts.

The book fills gaps in the literature by providing practitioners with information on the historical background, cultural knowledge, and practices of various Pacific Islander groups that will help improve services for these populations.

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