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Recognizing Hawai`i Allies!

Allies are priceless for LGBTQ students as individuals who actively combat anti-LGBTQ bullying and harassment.  During Ally Week, October 21-25, 18 Allies from Hawai`i public schools, private schools, and non-profit agencies were recognized by those they impact most.

The following are some of those nominated, as well as some of what their nominator had to say... 

Jackie Pang - Teacher, Pearl City High School Jackie Pang, PCHS teacher
Nominated by a student
"Mrs. Pang is an excellent ally to the LGBTA community and provides help for our school's GSA.  She has brought food and provided her room for GSA meetings."

Slagels, Kamehameha Schools teachersJim & Kim Slagel - Teachers, Kamehameha Schools Kapalama
Nominated by a teacher 
"Jim and Kim Slagel have been sporting their signature tie-dye as LGBTQ allies at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama (KSK) for 25 years...[recently] the Headmaster issued a statement clarifying the school's position as non-judgmental and supportive of all students, the first of its kind issued from the Headmaster's office, marking a shift in the school's official position with regard to its LGBTQ students...due in no small part to the persistent and courageous support of the Slagels."

Jose Silva - Mid-Pacific Institute  Jose Silva, MPI
Nominated by a teacher
"Jose advises our Gay/Straight Alliance...He embraces all students, provides an inclusive environment and encourages teachers, students, and admin to be accepting of all community members.  His GSA club is one of the largest on campus, which is evidence of his enthusiasm and determination to create equality for all."  

Sarah Hammond - Counselor, Punahou School
Nominated by a student
"She makes a safe space by always being open to other people.  She's always ready to listen and is really kind and respectful."

Gina Tanaka - Counselor, Pearl City High School
Nominated by a student
"Ms. Tanaka is incredibly understanding and supportive of the LGBT community.  She is there when we need her and she provides as much help as she can."

Cherie Ann Park - Hale Kipa
"She is accepting and understanding of anyone that is LGBTQ or in need of counseling.  I REALLY APPRECIATE HER!"

Kiri Allen - Baldwin High School
Nominated by a Maui Youth & Family Services staff member
"Kiri is the president of the GSA in her school, the club name is Rainbow Warriors, was established this school year, and has 30 members...Kiri is very eager to get involved with this upcoming project as well as getting her club involved in PSA's with our local television network."

Thomas McManus - Principal, Mid-Pacific Institute
Nominated by a student
"Mr. McManus has always been supportive of the Gay-Straight Alliance at MPI.  He has given many speeches at Chapel urging the students to see each other as equal.  He hopes to unite the school and rid it of prejudice and bullying."

Cyd Hoffeld - Bay Clinic Family Health Centers
Nominated by a Mental Health America - Hawai`i staff member
"Cyd has done amazing work to support the LGBTQ community, including helping to organize the Hilo Pride Parade, and tirelessly advocating for the needs and rights of LGBTQ youth!"

Eight other Allies were nominated by students or staff they work with for reasons such as:  

  • "She goes out of her way to create safe spaces and support the LGBTQ community"
  • "He has accepted everyone--butchy, lez, tranz.  If you are respectful, he is in return!"
  • "One of the safest places I've ever been has been in her office with her."

All those nominated were sent a letter of gratitude and recognition from the GLSEN Hawai`i co-chairs, a certificate of recognition, and a copy of what their nominator shared.  Additionally, their efforts to create safe spaces for all students were praised in a letter to their administration.  

Thank you to those who took time to nominate someone, as well as to those Allies who stand up daily for all of our Hawai`i students!