Monday, December 05, 2011

Pacific Islander America: Utah

For the past few weeks, we've been catching up on our coverage of news and current events within the Pacific Islander American community.

How does this relate to the P.I.A. project's mission of expanding higher education opportunities for Pacific Islanders, and our lead project to end Pacific Islander exclusion from academic programs for underrepresented minorities? It all falls under the larger need to raise awareness about America's Pacific Islander community. After all, if these academic programs were familiar with Pacific Islanders, they'd know that Pacific Islanders should be allowed to apply alongside other underrepresented minorities.

Our series on California's Pacific Islander population is wrapped up, but the tour continues.

Next stop? Utah.

Utah has been a home for Pacific Islander Americans since the mid-to-late-19th Century. (A short article on the history of Pacific Islanders in Utah, dating as far back at the 1870s, authored by Carol Edison and housed on the University of Utah's website and available here: LINK)

Utah has a strong Pacific Islander population, and includes a mix of multi-generational residents and first-generation arrivals, and a variety of Pacific Islander groups. Despite challenges like those mentioned in this 20-year-old Associated Press article on Utah PIs, it is clear that there are also stories of success, from the small business owners who make up the Salt Lake City-based Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce, to the members of the University of Utah's Pacific Islander Student Association, who are working towards their degrees.

This fall one of Utah's online news outlets also shared stories about the achievements of Pacific Islander individuals, who also shared their advice:
Another Utah story that caught my attention this fall was the Pacific Islander youth education conference that the state's community conceived, planned, and executed this September. Here are some articles on that:

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