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(file photo, from left) Francisco Acoba, service-learning faculty lead; Denise Pierson, outreach coordinator; Louise Pagotto, chancellor; Atina Pascua, Hawaiʻi-Pacific Islands Campus Compact; Bob Franco, Campus Compact senior faculty fellow

Students, faculty and staff from all 10 University of Hawaiʻi campuses are invited to register at no cost for a regional conference on racial and environmental justice. Colleges from 15 western states, Oceania and Asia will be participating in the virtual 2021 Campus Compact Western Region Continuums of Service Conference (COS) on March 17, 2021.

The one-day virtual re-envision conference focuses on resilience and responsibility for racial and environmental justice, described as, “the two components of systemic injustice that result in the unkept promise of full and equitable participation in education, employment, healthcare and environmental quality.” Kapiʻolani Community College and UH Mānoa are co-hosting the conference along with the Hawaiʻi Pacific Island Campus Compact, and the Campus Compact offices from California, Oregon, Washington and Montana.

“When we started the planning for COS in February–March 2020, we were confronted by the COVID pandemic, and soon thereafter, The Black Lives Matter Movement. We transitioned quickly to a virtual civic engagement conference so we could advance western regional momentum and unity in tackling the even more severe racial and environmental inequities that both the pandemic and Black Lives Matter exposed,” said Bob Franco, director of Kapiʻolani CC’s Office for Institutional Effectiveness, who is also a Campus Compact senior faculty fellow. “As our program developed we have honed in on inequities confronting Latinx and indigenous peoples in the west, aware that there are important similarities and differences in the Black Lives lived across America.”

Jon Osorio, dean of Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH Mānoa will provide welcoming remarks and a brief context of Hawaiʻi for the conference.

The Western Region Continuums of Service Conference is part of a two-part series of virtual conferences, the second of which will be the Midwest Campus Compact Conference on May 25.

One of the goals of Campus Compact is to share tactics and strategies for building intra-and-inter-campus relationships and practices for individual and community resilience. Another goal is to demonstrate and strengthen the connection between community engagement and grassroots action. To these ends, Kapiʻolani CC is recognized for its sustained high-quality commitment to service learning, civic and community engagement.

The college’s service-learning program enjoined campus sustainability and climate action initiatives and the program was renamed Service and Sustainability Learning (SSL). SSL, through the alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, empowers students, faculty, and community and civic partners to tackle the social, economic, health and environmental challenges of climate change.

Learn more about the conference and its speakers.

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