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Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Pacific-Islander Club spreads culture awareness

Courtesy of Ta’ala Tofaeono
Students from Pacific-Islander Club gather in the DEI office for a selfie.

The Pacific-Islander club meets once a month to bring awareness of the Polynesian culture and to plan activities that welcome everyone from any ethnicity.

An addition to the Diversity Equity and Inclusion program, the club was created this year by Kevin Keanaaina (25’), Ta’ala Tofaeono (26’), and Makena Boynay (26’).

“The main reason why we created this club is because we wanted to share the culture of the Pacific-Islanders and bring awareness to it with the rest of the school,” Boynay stated. “I realized that the school didn’t have a Pacific-Islander or Polynesian club, and that encouraged me to make the club and get Kevin and Ta’ala involved in it too.”

The leaders hope the club continues to grow in the near future.

“A long term goal for the club would be to get others or find people that would be able to lead the club once we all graduate. The main part of it is to also just get more active members involved in the club for the future,” Tofaeono said.

Although the club only meets once a month, each meeting provides many different activities. These include arts, and even the popular Polynesian sport of Rugby. Food is shared in some meetings, allowing club participants to try different kinds of Polynesian snacks. The group tries to come up with different themes and activities for the Club every month.

“We like to do a variety of different activities because the culture is so vast and there are so many things we can do. We try to also make the activities diverse and inclusive for everyone,” Keanaaina said.

“It’s also a very social club. So if you’re trying to hang out with your friends, listen to music, eat some food, there’s no huge commitment. The community of the group is what builds the atmosphere of the club,” Tofaeono added.

One of the main goals of the club is to change people’s perceptions because many people see their culture in a stereotypical way, grouping all the Islands and cultures together as one.

“There are many general stereotypes of trying to classify different Polynesian cultures and where they do and don’t belong, like the Melanesians and Micronesians for example. We just want to make sure that there isn’t any sort of misinformation being spread encompassing this idea,” Keanaaina said.

The creation of the club has become a huge success, with about thirty students signing up during the club fair, and especially getting recognized at the MLK assembly. The three leaders are excited to get the club involved in Social Justice Week, and contribute to cultural dances and activities held at Jesuit.

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About the Contributor
Noveen Eshraghi
Noveen Eshraghi, Staff Writer
Noveen Eshraghi is a junior at Jesuit High School who is excited to expand his knowledge of media studies. His interest in journalism, particularly sports media, stems from watching many professional athletic newscasts and interviews throughout his childhood. JCTV, as well as the opportunity to learn about other paths in journalism, add to Noveen’s enthusiasm for being a part of the Media course. He is also interested in writing about the school environment, and what’s best for the students and staff. Outside of school, Noveen practices three instruments, enjoys playing Basketball, and actively follows a range of professional sports including Major League Baseball and Soccer. He loves to spend time with his family and friends and be outdoors. Noveen can’t wait to contribute this year to the Jesuit Media Program.