Let's Stand Against Injustice

June 2, 2020

Dear Hon CC Faculty and Staff:

Live Aloha.

This was a mantra and campaign from years ago that birthed signs and bumper stickers to remind each other of why we live where we do and how we live to help each other. Our beautiful state boasts a community that celebrates racial and ethnic diversity while honoring the rich blend of cultures and traditions that permeate our land. And we try to celebrate with Aloha.

The recent (and honestly, not so recent) and blatantly racial attacks on people of color on the continent - particularly those of the African American community - have been senseless and brutal, and we in Hawaii are not immune to racism either. We cannot ignore the events that have occurred since they impact each one of us whether personally or collectively, and I believe this is a time for us to self-reflect and this is a time for us to act.

Each one of us needs to take a moment to pause and reflect on our own biases, stereotypes, and labels that we so easily place on our neighbors based on their appearance and color. And, we need to actively stand together against racism and discrimination on our campus - whether in the classroom, on the mall, in the cafeteria or elsewhere - and in our communities. As an institution of higher education, we promote access and equity for our students, and we need to do this relentlessly and courageously on every level so that we can combat institutional and individual injustices.

Let us be persistent in extending Aloha, grace and respect to one another. But let us also speak out and stand against discrimination that has been going on way too long. I hope we can continue to work together to build our Hon CC community where we all feel safe and valued.

Mahalo for your contributions to our campus!

Karen C. Lee, Interim Chancellor