On behalf of the Pacific Islander Student Alliance (PISA),
We thank everybody who contributed their time and mana (energy) to support and attend PISACON20. This year, the planning team of PISACON20 made a transition from professional staff/faculty-led to student-led. Our hope with this transition of leadership was for student attendees to feel inspired in finding strength in their own form of leadership and to take that mana back to their campuses when talking about their own identities and the impacts of climate change in Oceania.
Considering the timeline we worked with, PISACON20 was a success, including the amount of community support we received. The commitment from our student leads, Kevin Aipopo and Ruta Faifaiese, the planning committee, and our sponsors was a testament to the lives that were impacted in the two days we gathered together. As we are continuing to grow as an organization, our hope is that PISACON20 was a space where you felt supported and you felt it was a home away from home.
We engaged in talanoa (dialogue) around ways in which toxic masculinity shows up in our community, the impacts of colonization on mental health and how we identify, along with anti-Blackness that exists in our community. We engaged in talanoa around using art as a form of activism and reclaiming our land and our voice, then using that power to stand up against injustice, such as environmental racism, towards our community (and this is to just name a few things that we covered in the two days).
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the knowledge, research, and experience from our workshop presenters and keynote speakers, and most importantly YOU. Thank you to all the schools who came out for the conference. Thank you for sharing your story, whether it was with another peer you came with and/or met, or through your art on our collective art piece, or simply by showing up. We thank you.
We express thanks and gratitude to all of those who were our sponsors for this year’s conference. We understand that funding for the conference, from food to venue spaces to swag took a lot of time, preparation, and money, so we thank every sponsor for supporting our organization, relieving us of expenses.
Thank you to our sponsors:
Oregon State University
- Diversity & Cultural Engagement
- Asian & Pacific Cultural Center
- Native American Longhouse Eena Haws
- Pacific Islander Club (SORCE)
- Office of Institutional Diversity
- University Housing & Dining Services
- Pepsi Grant
- Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
- Samoan Pacific Development Corporation (FB: @spdc.pdx)
- United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (FB: @utopiaportland)
- Federated States of Micronesia
- 350 PDX
Thank you to our clothing partners:
Level Headed Press (FB: @levelheadedpress)
Without everybody’s contributions, from our planning committee to keynote speakers to workshop presenters to students, this conference wouldn’t have been possible. We send yall off with our mana in hopes of continuing the work on your campuses and always remember that as we continue building relationships with each other, we are ocean.
Kevin Aipopo, PISACON 2020 Student Co-Coordinator
Ruta Faifaiese, PISACON 2020 Student Co-Coordinator