Race, Labor, & Indigeneity: An Online Exhibit and Discussion

By Ellen-Rae Cachola, Evening Supervisor and Archives Manager

Race, Labor, & Indigeneity flyer

Race, Labor & Indigeneity: An Online Exhibit and Discussion
Wed. Sept. 2, 2020 @ 3-5pm HST
Register for the webinar: https://bit.ly/0902hilabor

The UH Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law Library Archives is working with the UH West O’ahu Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR), UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences Ethnic Studies Center for Oral History (COHES), UH Mānoa SEED, and the Hawaii State AFL-CIO to present an onlline exhibit and webinar discussion on Hawaiʻi’s labor history.  

The online exhibit will feature archival exhibits from the CLEAR, COHES and the Law Library that speak to the social histories of Hawaiʻi’s labor movement and the impact it had on our economy, laws, and government.  But the economic challenges brought about by COVID-19 also bring urgency to these reflections.  What are the lessons that we can learn from Hawaiʻiʻs labor movements as they pushed for political-economic change? How can the ideas and experiences of Hawaiʻi’s indigenous and immigrant communities inform ideas for our current political-economic direction?

The webinar discussion will feature community organizers and scholars. The panelists include Kealani Cook, Assistant Professor of History at UH West-Oʻahu, author of Return to Kahiki: Native Hawaiians in Oceania; Jonathan Okamura, Professor of Ethnic Studies, author of Ethnicity and Inequality in Hawaiʻi and co-editor of Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to Everyday Life in Hawaiʻi; Adolph Reed, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, author of Class Notes: Posing As Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene; ʻIlima Long, PhD Student at UH Mānoa Political Science Department, organizer for Academic Labor United, and kiʻai for Mauna Kea; Nandita Sharma, Professor of Sociology at UH Manoa, author Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants.  The webinar will be moderated by Ikaika Hussey, organizer with UNITE HERE, Local 5. 

The flyer states: 

“Race, class, and labor shaped Hawaiʻi’s multicultural society.  Hawaiʻi has the highest labor union density in the United States and has a labor history which includes poignant events when plantation workers rejected the racial divisions imposed by their employers.  Workers united across ethnic & class lines for better wages, health care, and an improved standard of living.  

But how does Indigeneity, Hawaiian Nationalism, and settler colonialism transform our reflections on Hawaiʻi’s multicultural labor history?  Are there inequalities and segregations within and across indigenous, local, and immigrant communities that challenge the type of unity building employed during Hawaiʻi’s historic labor movements?  Should there be new frameworks for unity?

ʻIlima Long, Kealani Cook, Adolph Reed, Jon Okamura & Nandita Sharma will speak to the current political inequalities in the theoretical distinctions of racial equality, social equality, & decolonial relationality.  This discussion will be moderated by Ikaika Hussey.”
We hope you will join us for this event.  Please register at https://bit.ly/0902hilabor.

This event is part of a series of Labor Day Events.  Also check out: 

  1. 9/4 SAFE TRAVEL[ERS] = SAFE HAWAII |  Why do you celebrate Labor Day? Actions for worker rights and protections are not things of the past. Today, many hard earned worker protections are eroding under unfriendly labor laws that hide in plain sight. This Labor Day let’s bring attention to the safety and health of workers through the example of Hawaii’s transportation workers. The University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu Center for Labor Education and Research (CLEAR), LaborFest Hawaii, and the Hawaii State AFL-CIO welcome the Hawaii Airport Coalition and guest speaker, Sara Nelson, President, AFA-CWA to speak on the issues. Register at https://bit.ly/0904hilabor
  2. 9/7 LABOR DAY CARAVAN | Join the Hawaii Airport Coalition for a caravan to the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Labor Day from 10AM–11:30AM. Staging will occur nearby at 9:30AM. Traffic and safety protocols will follow along with social distancing guidelines to be observed. The state fed has a limited number of cloth face masks logoed “Union Workers are Essential Workers” to be given to the first bazillion (or 100) affiliate members who join in. Indicate your interest in the action at http://bit.ly/joinhilabor
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