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Spotlighting AANHPI Voices and Stories

September 18, 2023 Carina Chernisky
An illustration of three women

The Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) program was established by Congress on September 27, 2007 to improve access to high-quality postsecondary education programs that support low-income, first-generation Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students. AANAPISI Week (9/25-10/1/2023) provides an opportunity to celebrate the educational support for and achievements of AANHPI students.  In honor of AANAPISI Week, the Library has teamed up with our friends over at ʻUluʻulu to bring you a curated list of books and videos that may be of interest to you. We hope you enjoy!

Library Resources

There are many resources related to AANHPI stories and issues. The titles listed below were selected to show you snippets of that wide spectrum. For additional suggestions, please email us at uhwolib@hawaii.edu.

  • Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (ebook – view)
  • And the View from the Shore: Literary Traditions of Hawai’i (ebook – view)
  • Beyond the Icon : Asian American Graphic Narratives (ebook – view)
  • Drawing New Color Lines : Transnational Asian American Graphic Narratives (ebook – view online)
  • From a native daughter : colonialism and sovereignty in Hawaiʻi (e/book – view)
  • Great lives from history : Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (ebook – view)
  • Hawaiian voices : bridging past to present (DVD – place a request)
  • Indigenous Pacific Islander Eco-Literatures (e/book – view)
  • Island Poets. Juliet Kono. (streaming video – view online)
  • Korean and Korean American Life Writing in Hawai’i: From the Land of the Morning Calm to Hawai’i Nei (ebook – view)
  • Making waves : an anthology of writings by and about Asian American women (book – place a request)
  • Pidgin : the voice of Hawaiʻi (DVD – request it)
  • Reading the Literatures of Asian America (ebook – view online)
  • Relative Histories : Mediating History in Asian American Family Memoirs (ebook – view online)
  • Restoried Selves: Autobiographies of Queer Asian / Pacific American Activists (ebook – view)
  • The Ocean in the School: Pacific Islander Students Transforming Their University (ebook – view)
  • The Power of the Steel-tipped Pen: Reconstructing Native Hawaiian Intellectual History (ebook – view)

ʻUluʻulu Resources

Most of what is available through ʻUluʻulu relates to AANHPI stories. ʻUluʻulu is a Hawaiian word meaning collections, assembly, or gathering. Their archive is not just a collection of moving image items, but also an assembly of voices, communities, and stories; a gathering place for people to share Hawaiʻi’s culture, traditions, and collective memory. The following clips were selected due to their historical value and/or celebration of culture. Please note that to access the full video, you’ll need to contact the ʻUluʻulu team (Tip: be sure to include the item’s “Title Number”!).

Celebrating Hawaiʻi’s cultures
This collective title contains the production related materials for Celebrating Hawaiʻi’s Cultures, a half-hour program documenting Hawaiʻi’s participation in the 1989 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Features the music, dance, folklore, crafts, foods, storytelling, of all of Hawaiʻi’s ethnic communities.

Celebrating the Pacific
This collective title contains the production related material for two programs. Celebrating the Pacific – The Sixth Festival of Pacific Arts is a half-hour program written and produced by Katrina Souza and Vince Lucero of Kamehameha Schools. The program highlights the events and themes of the 6th Festival of Arts in Rarotonga. Pacific Island Perspectives – Issues of the 90s is a half-hour program written and produced by Chantelle Soto and Jessica Kim of Kamehameha Schools. The program presents the leading cultural, political, and economic issues in the Pacific in the ’90s. Both programs were part of a teenage video initiative created by Juniroa Productions. 

Last Pāhala Bon Dance, 1999

Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife in Washington D.C.

From Lahaina Waves of Change

  • Scenic footage and interview with Reverend Tatsunori Fujii recorded at the Lāhainā Hongwanji on July 21, 2000 for the documentary “Lahaina: Waves of Change.” Scenic footage includes shots around the Hongwanji. In the interview, Reverend Fujii explains what the Obon season is and its meaning. Reverend Fujii also explains that at the time of this recording it was the 95th anniversary in Lāhainā and an over 2,500-year tradition in Japan. Also included is footage of men setting up the grounds and others in the kitchen cooking chow fun noodles for the festival.
  • Obon dance at the Lāhainā Hongwanji recorded on July 21, 2000. Footage includes drumming, dance, and music at the Obon dance

The Varsity Victory Volunteers
Varsity Victory Volunteers were Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa who formed a regiment and later joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. After the Pearl Harbor attack they were assigned to Schofield Barracks under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Later in 1942 they joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This subcollection includes interviews with some of the volunteers conducted with the Rice & Roses production team and Franklin Odo for his book “No Sword to Bury: Japanese Americans in Hawaii during World War II.” Offered in collaboration with CLEAR.

Closing Note

The 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC) will be held in Hawai’i for the first time ever next year. FestPAC provides space for Oceania artists to converge and for cultural exchanges to occur. The theme for the upcoming event will be Ho‘oulu Lāhui: Regenerating Oceania. For more information about this event, please see:

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