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This message was shared with University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa students, faculty and staff on January 12, 2024.

Aloha UH Mānoa ʻOhana,

As we begin 2024 and the spring semester, we want to take a moment to recognize all the complicated and complex ways we are entering the new year.

On the one hand, we are starting with the excitement of new classes, new opportunities, and for some, the anticipation of graduation in a few short months.

On the other hand, we are facing extreme climate, social, religious, and political turmoil; from Maui to Israel and Gaza, these challenges are real.

And yet, we can’t help but continue to be grateful that we get to live in Hawaiʻi, a place that has so much wisdom to offer us about how to take care of one another and our island home. Of course, Hawaiʻi is also complicated and there is much for us to learn, heal from, and overcome together. The marking of the 131st year since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom next week on January 17, two days after Martin Luther King Jr Day, is but one reminder.

So how do we do just that? How do we cultivate a community that treats one another with aloha during challenging times, especially when we don’t necessarily even agree on what that means? How might that which is deeply rooted in Hawaiʻi teach us how to live together and take care of one another even through conflict and difference?

To kick off the semester, we’d like to invite you to join us at the Hawaiʻi Kuʻu Home Aloha Summit happening next week Tuesday–Thursday (January 16–18) here at the UH Mānoa campus. We want to extend a special invitation to those of you who are feeling isolated, worried, or somehow challenged by current events. Come to the summit where all are welcome to connect with ourselves, with others, and with this ʻāina.

We are committed to supporting each and every one of you through these challenging times. The Hawaiʻi Kuʻu Home Aloha Summit is just the first activity in what will be continuing programming that will drill down into more specific issues to help us to continue to build our beloved Mānoa community together.

Please join us next week and stay tuned for announcements of additional activities and initiatives in the weeks to come.

President David Lassner and Provost Michael Bruno

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