The Honors Program, University of Hawai`i, Mānoa
Leadership: Possibilities & Pitfalls
This Junior Seminar crosses several borders to explore different kinds of leadership. The quality of leadership in our local communities—school, faith organizations, each island–and in the highest rungs of government, and the power of leadership through solidarity help determine whether we have clean water coming out of our taps, roads that aren’t riddled with potholes, and good public education. It determines whether we can afford to provide for our families, and whether we can respond adequately to climate change, pandemics and more. Leadership can emerge from grassroots organizing or from the arrival of a strong “savior.” Students hear from different kinds of leaders. They study the work of nonprofits, advocates and leaders on issues such as prison reform, healthcare, public education, environmental protection, water rights, a living wage, affordable housing and more. They learn how to testify in person, or submit written testimony before the state legislature on issues such as these. They are coached on how to write Letters to the editor and OpEds. They are assisted in pitching to editors.
Civic Engagement and Issue Advocacy
This course builds understanding of issue advocacy and what it calls for in terms of an ethical commitment; develops the writing and presentation skills needed for effective advocacy; helps students learn and experience how to build coalitions and address obstacles; explores the evolution of traditional and online media platforms; examines how issue advocacy connects to aloha.
Introduction to Research and Creative Work
This course aims to give students a sense of how they and their studies are connected to the community, to the issues of the day and to their important role as learners in a learning and research environment. Students learn how to tap into and draw from the expertise and resources that are around them to explore areas of interest, get different perspectives, examine them critically, and work their way to their own conclusions in a disciplined way. They learn how to give and get peer review and how to collaborate and provide critical feedback.
I work with clients to develop clear, prompt and honest communications with the media and the general public.
I educate on the perils of spin and the importance of transparency and ethics in how corporate actions are presented to the public.
I train corporate executives in crisis communications and best practices on camera and in conversation with the media and the community.
Nonprofit/Aspiring Political Candidate Training
As a member of conference panels or as a standalone speaker or workshop facilitator, I train nonprofits and those wishing to enter public service to build discipline and purpose in their communications. They learn through examples and practice how to better communicate the story of their mission to the media, to the general public, to funders, and to those they serve.This is critical to the challenges they face, whether it is getting elected, building capacity or raising funds.