By Charles Sasaki, Dean of Arts & Sciences, University of Hawai‘i – Kapi‘olani Community College

A recent study published by the Pew Charitable Trusts tells us that AAPIs, on the whole, are well-educated, rich, and happy. The thing is that the Pew report hides the sad truth that while some in our community are faring quite well, many are not. Aggregated data pits AAPI groups against one another and the sheer size of the largest AAPI communities obscures the daily realities of smaller, vibrant but struggling ethnic groups. Even here in my home state of Hawai‘i, indigenous Hawaiians, Filipinos, and Pacific Islanders have to work really hard to gain access to the basic resources needed to even begin to approach equity. We may be a happy bunch, but not everyone looks like the AAPIs in the Pew report.

We’re counting on our APIASF and GMS Scholars to get out there and educate America about our communities. I have great faith in this next generation of AAPI leaders!

Charles Sasaki is the Dean of Arts & Sciences at the University of Hawai‘i – Kapi‘olani Community College. He has helped select GMS Scholars by serving as a GMS Reader since 2004.