Pasifika PRIDE Summit 2017


Neo Veavea,

KEYNOTE: "Pacific Islander LGBTQIA Community Past, Present & Future" - Neo Vea’vea, Co-Founder of U.T.O.P.I.A. San Francisco, the first Polynesian LGBT support group in San Francisco





Fa’afafine: Identity, Influences & Culture
Jaiyah Saelua, American Samoa National Football Team
Taffy Maene, UTOPIA Seattle

Panelists will share the history and evolution of fa’afafine, Samoa’s third gender, and discuss the intersections of family, culture, and faith. Through this discussion, Jaiyah Saelua, the first transgender player to compete in a men’s FIFA World Cup qualifier, and Taffy Lee Maene, founder of UTOPIA Seattle, hope to encourage effective ally behavior.

In(Visible): Our Story, Our Life, Our Future
Christopher V. Pangelina, M.A., Residential Education Coordinator, University of California, Davis
This workshop will provide an inclusive and brave space for participants to discuss the intersecting identities that influence their lives. What challenges have you faced or do you anticipate facing inside and outside of your Oceanic community? Participants will learn about LGBTQ identity development, gain a better understanding of where they are in their journey, reflect on where their journey began, and envision where their journey will go.

Game-Changers: Advancements in HIV Education, Treatment, Prevention, and Access
Marc McMillin, Getting to Zero Long Beach
Joseph Leahy, Janssen Therapeutics
Martin Waltsak, Molina Healthcare

HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and education have made life-changing strides since the first reports of what became known as AIDS in the 1980s. This panel discussion will explore the history of HIV/AIDS, HIV education essentials, and most at-risk populations. We will also take an in-depth look at the "game-changing" treatments, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and how they are saving lives every day.


Conceptualizing Pacific Islander Masculinity as People of the Ocean
Tone Va’i, ASW, Mental Health Specialist
Traditional masculinity requires men to uphold characteristics such as dominance, aggression, sexual aggression, and a lack of emotional availability. How does this shape the way we define Pacific Islander masculinity? What impact does this have on women and queer Pacific Islanders? Historically, as Pacific Islanders, the ocean has always been a sacred space and source of connection. This workshop will explore a redefining of PI masculinity that enables us to maintain our sacred connections to each other.

Many Drops Make an Ocean: Pacific Islander LGBTQIA Allies & Advocacy
Moderator: ‘Alisi Tulua
Neo Vea’vea, UTOPIA San Francisco
Tanya Edmilao, API Equality
Calvin Chang, EPIC (Empowering Pacific Islander Communities)
Porter Gilberg, The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach

Advocacy comes in all shapes and sizes, each as essential and influential as the next. Community organizers and activists Neo Vea’vea, Tanya Edmilao, Calvin Chang, and Porter Gilberg will share how each of their agencies contributes to the LGBTQIA movement through inclusive platforms and inventive programming.

FREELOVE: A Reading & Discussion with Novelist Sia Figiel
Sia Figiel, Award-Winning Author
Sia Figiel is a poet, painter and an internationally acclaimed award-winning writer from Samoa. She has published four novels and a collection of prose-poetry. Sia will be reading from her recent novel, Freelove, a coming of age story. Book signing and Freelove-inspired artwork available.

Praise For Freelove From Across Oceania
"Warn the Prime Minister and the Governor that a Samoan Tidal Wave is coming." Alan Duff, author of Once Were Warriors. Aotearoa/New Zealand.

"Powerful. Sagacious. Hypnotic. A masterpiece!" Chantal T. Spitz, author of Island of Shattered Dreams. Tahiti.

"A tour de force of passion, intelligence and wonder! Refreshing and exhilarating! Kalani Young, Activist, Scholar. Hawaii.

"Sexy, hot, romantic, sensual, funny and above all, a novel of ideas, in a new tradition to indigenous Pacific Islander writing. Dan Taulapapa McMullin, author of Coconut Milk. Amerika Samoa/USA



a screening of “Next Goal Wins” & Discussion

with an introduction by Jaiyah Saelua, American Samoan international soccer player and the first transgender player to compete in a men's FIFA World Cup qualifier



KEYNOTE: "Hoʻi Hou i ka ʻiwi Kuamoʻo (Return to the Backbone)" - Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, Kanaka Maoli Wahine Poet, Activist & Scholar





Intersecting Identities: Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA, and Gender Fluid in the Post-Obama Era
Manumalo Ala’ilima, Pacific Islander LGBTQIA Community Leader
Defining identity for yourself can be one of the most empowering steps toward finding your spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and political strength. This interactive workshop will help you define what it means to be Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA, and gender fluid, and discover how your identity can help strengthen your ties to your family and community.

Thriving Together: Faith & Families in the Pacific Islander LGBTQIA Community
Moderator: Val LiHang Jacobo
Pastor Paul O’toko, Indigenous Stewards International
Laura Ava Tesimale, One Global Family Foundation
Tanu Ah You, Project Alofa
Laura Mataafa, Student Activist
Ava-Tesimale, Scanlan, Vea’vea Families

In the first hour, this panel will bring together LGBTQIA-affirming faith leaders in a conversation about spirituality, acceptance, inclusion and advancing the dignity of LGBTQIA people in faith communities. In the second hour, we will hear stories from indigenous Pasifika families on the intersections of faith and culture in seeking loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, and gentle ways of living. We will explore how parents and children of LGBTQIA family members deal with non-affirming relationships within the confines of family dynamics, school, work and the effects of social norms.

Embrace, Empower, & Educate: Youth Dialogue
Moderator: Moni Pili
AJ Bartley and Sarai McKenzie, Student Activists
This workshop is about the voyage of our Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA+ youth finding their voices within their communities. We will ground ourselves in the past, present, and future of storytelling and its importance within our cultures and society. This workshop works toward transforming our silences and our truths into personal stories and effective tools for change through journaling and dialogue.


A Community Approach to HIV/AIDS Prevention
Carolyn Melenani Kuali’i, Kua’aina Associates
Henry Ocampo, Office of Minority Health

In 1993 Carolyn Kuali’i developed one of the first Native HIV case management programs under the Ryan White CARE Act, Special Projects of National Significance. Her involvement provided her an opportunity to be a voice for the community as she served as a member on the State of Hawaii’s Community Care Planning Group, a board member for the State of Hawaii’s Community Health Outreach Work to Prevent AIDS (CHOW Project), and more. During this workshop, Carolyn will share lessons learned and lead a proactive discussion of next steps in Pacific Islander community outreach.

Poetry, (Re)membering and Reclaiming Our Bodies
Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osoriao, Kanaka Maoli Wahine Poet, Activist & Scholar
During this workshop we will imagine and discuss relationally beyond the heteropatriarchal structures we’ve been offered. We will write and put to practice our desires for love, accountability and pleasure. We will write and imagine as decedents and ancestors. We will love, laugh, cry and be queer AF!

Creative Movement / Body Story-Teller / Healing Circle Workshop
Spulu, Interdisciplinary Performing Artist
This interactive workshop works toward reviving and evaluating Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander cultures in the US and Pan-Pacific regions through both non-traditional and traditional storytelling and the art of dance. We will use various dance vocabularies to explore the shift in body awareness when listening to scores that may evoke emotions or experiences, sensitive or traumatic. We’ll also use solo and contact improvisation during personal storytelling in order to find artistic support as we explore the questions that drive individual stories and deepen our understanding of dance as activism.


Find out about our Mission, Vision
and Steering Committee participants.

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