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Asian Pacific Islander Issues Conference Hosted in Hawaii

NEA leaders had a chance to hear firsthand from members of the Asian Pacific Islander community about education issues that directly affect them. 

NEA’s Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus and the California Teachers Association’s Pacific Asian American Caucus hosted their annual Issues Conference in Hawaii April 17–19. 

The conference offered an opportunity to highlight NEA, affiliate and caucus education efforts; address community concerns and get ideas on how to close the achievement gaps; improvecultural competence; foster diversity; and better engage the API community.

Pictured from left to right:  Keolani Noa, conference co-chair Leimomi Stender-Jenkins, NEA New Products and Program Department Director Bouy Te, NEA API Caucus Chair Laverne Moore, CTA IPD Manager Justo Robles, NEA Human and Civil Rights Department Director Sheila Simmons, NEA Executive Committee member Christy Levings, NEA Executive Director John Wilson, NEA API Caucus Secretary Dixie Johansen, Hawaii State Teacher’s Association President Roger Takabayashi, and NEA API Caucus Vice President Richard Lum.   Photo Courtesy:  Matt Finucane


Executive Director John Wilson and Executive Committee member Christy Levings participated in a forum discussion, following a welcome by APIC Chair Laverne Moore, with community members and leaders from the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the California Teachers Association. 

Wilson also gave the keynote speech and called for broad education changes to improve education for Asian and Pacific Islander students and all students. 

API organizations and community members provided their input during the community hearing.  Various workshops, some led by NEA staff, offered participants tools and strategies to take home. Topics included English Language Learners in the API community and No Child Left Behind and how it affects the API community. 

Presenters also held sessions on unconscious bias, the Japanese Internment and the importance of using media to advance API education initiatives.

Attendees also toured a Hawaiian language immersion public school.


  • anc_dyn_linksTeaching Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage
  • anc_dyn_linksAsians/Pacific Islanders: Education Issues