Social justice in education initiative

Hanahauʻoli School Professional Development Center in Partnership with the UH Mānoa College of Education Receives Funding for Social Justice in Education

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The Hanahauʻoli School Professional Development Center (PDC), in partnership with UH Mānoa College of Education (UHM COE), is launching a new joint initiative to advance social justice education. A collaboration with the nationally renowned Teaching Tolerance program, this three-year $100,000 Social Justice in Education project is aimed at growing local educators’ capacity for educating children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy. Made possible by the generosity and forward thinking of longtime Teaching Tolerance supporters, Jana and Howard Wolff, the ambitious initiative supports the Hanahauʻoli School PDC’s public mission by building upon the school’s rich progressive education tradition.

Under the direction of UHM COE professors Dr. Amber Strong Makaiau and Dr. Patricia Halagao, the Social Justice in Education project will offer PDC coursework to both public and private school educators from across the state, and carry out the college’s mission of preparing educators and professionals at all levels to contribute to a just, diverse, and democratic society while developing a sense of purpose and sense of place. Using Teaching Tolerance materials, participating teachers will explore the theory and research around specific practices and make connections to local social justice organizations. They will create a social justice curriculum that utilizes local resources and reflects Hawaii’s diverse population, including multicultural, indigenous, Asian and Pacific-Island perspectives.

Additionally, the project will provide professional development workshops focused on early childhood and social justice education. The Hanahauʻoli PDC will collaborate with the UHM COE and enlist local organizations to host guest scholars to examine critical contemporary issues. These visiting scholars speak to a wide cross-section of the community in Hawai‘i through workshops, speaking engagements in PreK-12 schools, and public lectures and projects at the University of Hawai‘i. A UHM COE Graduate Assistant will be hired to help facilitate all of the events.

A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the critically acclaimed Teaching Tolerance program provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use the materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants. The program emphasizes social justice education and encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives. The Hanahauʻoli PDC and UH Mānoa College of Education are honored to help grow the use of these resources in Hawai‘i.


Learn more about the first scheduled program in this initiative, A Commitment to Equity: Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, taking place on September 26 and 27, 2019, in the Hanahau‘oli School PDC. Register today as space is limited!