Pacific Northwest News
Washington State Bar Association Selects Native Hawaiian
By Roy Alameida
The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) recently selected Attorney Joslyn Donlin, former Hawai’i resident and Kamehameha graduate, to be its first diversity advocate. According to an article written by President Ron Ward of WSBA, “Diversity is a touchstone, a connection to let us know our possibilities…that we all have a say; that we are a community.” “The position,” said Ward, “has two primary functions: managing the WSBA’s diversity efforts and initiatives, and managing the new WSBA Leadership Institute.” The organization’s efforts include increase involvement by persons of diverse backgrounds within WSBA, and providing a proactive outreach to people from diverse backgrounds interested in entering the legal profession.
Joslyn brings a background of education and law to the position, as well as diversity training. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked for the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory in Portland, Oregon, the University of Washington School of Education and the Washington State Office of Education providing teacher training and education opportunities to bilingual and ESL programs. As an attorney, she has been a city prosecutor and has also been active with the WSBA Committee for Diversity in its efforts to “promote and increase diversity within the Bar.”
Joslyn will be working with minority bar associations and underrepresented groups in Washington State to increase diversity within the legal profession.
Out-of-State Hawaiians at The Kamehameha Schools
By Rochelle delaCruz
At the Founder’s Day Observance on January 16, 2005, alumni of the Kamehameha Schools learned that Hawaiian students from the continental United States are not only eligible to attend the school, but that there are currently twenty students enrolled from outside the state of Hawai`i. Many in the audience expressed surprise that there were students on campus from the continental U.S., and Kamehameha officials later confirmed that this number also includes a few military dependents whose parents are stationed outside the U.S.
The Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association – Northwest Region (KSAA-NWR) led by President Stan Dahlin, gathered in Federal Way, Washington to commemorate Founder’s Day, an annual event to honor Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the Hawaiian princess whose last will and testament in 1834 designated the establishment of the school for Hawaiian people. The main speaker for the event was Dee Jay Mailer, appointed CEO of the Kamehameha Schools a year ago and who is also a graduate. Following her speech, she answered questions which focused mostly on access to the various programs offered by the Kamehameha Schools.
One of the main concerns for Kamehameha graduates who left the Islands has been how their children and grandchildren can participate in the many educational opportunities available through the school. Pauahi’s Will states “I desire my trustees to provide first and chiefly a good education…to make good and industrious men and women…” and Kamehameha School’s mission statement promises “…to fulfill Pauahi’s desire to create educational opportunities in perpetuity to improve the capability and well-being of people of Hawaiian ancestry.” But many alumni thought the door to their alma mater was closed because they were no longer living in the islands. Yet, according to school officials, out-of-state applications have always been accepted and each year, a few students from the continent are admitted. But while there have always been only a handful of out-of-state students at Kamehameha, a new admissions policy was approved in 2004 that now allows a quota of 1% for out-of-state Hawaiians to attend one of the three campuses.
Kamehameha can currently serve only 7% of school-age Hawaiian children and competition to get accepted at the school has always been fierce. It is good news that Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians are one of the fastest growing groups in the U.S., according to the recent census, but this also means that getting into Kamehameha will be even more difficult in years to come.
Mailer confirmed that admission to Kamehameha is indeed competitive and students’ evaluations are based on such factors as report cards, teacher recommendations, test scores and work habits. Special consideration is given to applicants who are orphaned (one or both biological parents lost through death) or indigent (low-income.) Anyone else may apply and a preference is given to Hawaiians. With the new admissions policy, there are quotas for districts around the islands based on the native Hawaiian population. The continental United States, considered one district, now has an allotment of 1% for each of the three campuses whose current enrollments are: 720 students on Maui, 720 on Hawai`i island and 2,440 on O`ahu. Applicants must specify the campus for which they are applying. All out-of-state students enter as day students and must have a parent or legal guardian residing on the island. There are boarding facilities only at Kapālama (O`ahu) and students may board if room becomes available, but there is no guarantee from one year to the next regarding boarding availability.
In addition to attending the Kamehameha Schools full-time, students can go to various summer enrichment programs. Not only are students from the continent welcomed to attend, but a proposed change for summer 2005 (still pending) is that Kamehameha may subsidize airfare in the same amount given to a student from another island, a significant amount these days, as the cost of inter-island travel has skyrocketed.
CEO Mailer conceded that the Kamehameha scholarship program needs to be revisited because currently, an applicant must be a resident of Hawai`i, and accepted or attending a four-year accredited university. She wants to see scholarships made available to those attending two-year and vocational schools, as well as foreign colleges and universities. In addition, since the Kamehameha Schools can accept only a small percentage of students, it is looking for ways to help Hawaiians pay tuition at other private schools in Hawai`i and working with DOE to nurture those at public schools in a program called Kamehameha Scholars.
Regarding Kau Inoa, the registration of Native Hawaiians, the CEO cautioned that being on the Kamehameha Ho`oulu Registry does not mean registration in Kau Inoa. While the Kamehameha ancestry verification letter may be presented for Kau Inoa registration, the Kau Inoa registration form must still be completed. She urged every Hawaiian to register with Kau Inoa so that the federal government can have evidence that Hawaiians care about their future. (Kau Inoa registration was covered in the Northwest Hawai`i Times, November 2004 issue. See information on p.7 in this issue regarding 2005 Kau Inoa workshops in Oregon .)
Hawai`i would like to have Hawaiians come home, but finding a job and an affordable place to live are major hurdles. The Kamehameha Schools is working with its Distance Learning component to help Hawaiian applicants qualify for job openings in the islands by offering training. They are also trying to subsidize housing for a year or two to help people with the high cost of living when they return to Hawai`i. CEO Mailer also promised the return of `Ike Pono, a popular Hawaiian culture educational program presented in the Pacific Northwest for the past two years.
Kamehameha alumni and others in Federal Way for Founder’s Day 2005 have good reason to hope that Hawaiians everywhere including those no longer in Hawai`i, still have access to the Kamehameha Schools programs. CEO Dee Jay Mailer’s previous experience in health care helps her speak convincingly of mālama (caring for one another,) kōkua (helping each other) and kuleana (responsibilities that accompany good fortune) which are in the Kamehameha Schools’ Values Statement. Her main challenge will be to steer the ship in the direction that Pauahi intended.
By Rochelle delaCruz
(I attended the Kamehameha Schools Founder’s Day Celebration on January 16 th in Federal Way and then sat down to wala`au with Dee Jay Mailer. Below are my impressions. – RdC)
Before Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Miller began speaking to the Alumni Association here in the Northwest, she asked if it was OK for her to get comfortable and take off her shoes. Then she told the story how she left Geneva , Switzerland where she had been the head of a UN-sponsored health trust for eighteen months. Right before she and her husband flew home to Hawai`i to start her new job as head of the largest independent school in the U.S. , there had been an ice storm and the sidewalks and roads were dangerously slippery. So she took the last of her Hawaiian salt, sprinkled it on the walkway and the driveway, and they left Switzerland without a slip or a slide.
As I listened to her begin her talk this way, I thought: akamai (smart.) Shoes off, Hawaiian salt… That’s a good way to introduce yourself to a tough crowd of alumni who care deeply about the school they know so well. Dee Jay Mailer then began talking about the legacy that Pauahi left, not only in the trust set up by her Will, but in her values that permeate the Kamehameha Schools mission. And even though I knew about Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s relationship with the Kamehameha Schools, this was the first time I was hearing about who she was as a person, and I thought it fitting to be learning about the Princess from the first woman CEO of the Kamehameha Schools.
Later, when I asked Dee Jay about that honor, she demurred, pointing out that Pauahi was the first and foremost leader. Then she praised Aunty Gladys Brandt and Aunty Nona Beamer and promised to put me in touch with people on her campus who can tell some stories about earlier women leaders of the Kamehameha Schools. I liked this reminder that we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before.
I said to her that one of the things I’ve noticed about Kamehameha graduates is the way they work together to share culture at events like `Ike Pono and Lōkahi. I think about the difficulty in getting graduates of my alma mater Hilo High to even show up at a class reunion every five years! But it seems different with Kamehameha School alumni and when I asked Dee Jay why this is, she replied without hesitation: Tradition. Going to Kamehameha is a source of pride to Hawaiians and they feel privileged to attend. But, she went on, Pauahi teaches that with pride comes humility, and graduates are reminded about ha`aheo (pride) and ha`aha`a (humility.) Dee Jay Mailer embodies those two values. She’s clearly proud to be leading the Kamehameha Schools, but made the crowd at Founder’s Day feel like they are important too, by answering their questions without ducking the difficult issues. They called the question and answer session talk story and throughout, there was no air of high muckamuck. Alumni noted that Dee Jay’s willingness to come to the Northwest to meet with them, speaks volumes.
I was surprised at the religion integrated in the Founder’s Day’s events until I remembered that the Princess was a fervent Protestant and insisted, in her Will, that trustees and teachers be of the Protestant faith. Kamehameha Schools’ Values Statement says that it “…is grounded in the Christian and Hawaiian values embraced by Ke Ali`i Pauahi…” And what I heard from the CEO was about what is pono (righteous) as well as prayer. This was reassuring, given the turmoil in recent years brought on by former trustees who appeared to have forgotten the mission of the Kamehameha Schools and by lawsuits against the school’s Hawaiian-only policy. (More about this in a later issue of Northwest Hawai`i Times, pending the outcome of the most recent challenge, Doe v Kamehameha Schools.)
Finally, I was pleased to learn about Dee Jay’s Big Island connection where her father still resides part-time at Volcano. Her grandfather was James Beatty, plantation manager at Nā`ālehu, in Ka`ū where she visited in the summer and remembers playing in a big white house. On her mother’s side, she is related to the Holt and Namahoe families. One of my favorite things to do when I go home to Hilo is to drive through the Ka`ū desert to Nā`ālehu, Wai`ōhinu, and on to Ka Lae, and I was glad that the CEO of the Kamehameha Schools spent part of her childhood in that chicken-skin place where you can still see the wind.
When I asked Dee Jay what she would like to have accomplished when her time at Kamehameha is over, she said that when she leaves, she wants to know that Hawaiian students everywhere are being greatly impacted by Pauahi’s legacy. Her assignment, as she sees it, is to figure out how to get Pauahi’s gift to Hawaiian students in order for them to access a fine education, whether they attend the Kamehameha Schools or not. And if she can do that, she’ll be happy.
We wish Dee Jay Mailer success in accomplishing her goals, especially in this time of diminishing resources and demands from non-Hawaiians for access to funds generated by Pauahi’s trust. It is our hope that the courts will do what is pono.
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