"Invisible Yet Branded By Society": Tongans in California

"Invisible Yet Branded By Society": Tongans in California

Malo e lelei!

* During Spring 2014, the famili Soakai and a group of Tongan community leaders from Ontario in Southern California designed a community survey in collaboration with Dr. K. Yep of Pitzer College.

*The survey explored profiling of NHPI inside and outside sport.

* We were moved and inspired by the stories in the surveys. From the stories, Eleni Soakai came up with the project title: "Invisible yet branded by society." Veiongo Soakai is one of the lead community researchers.


WHO RESPONDED TO THE SURVEY:
More than 200 people started the survey. They tended to be 18 - 29 years old, first generation born in the U.S., from California, high school educated, and Tongan. There was an even number of women and men who started the survey.

WHAT WE HEARD/LEARNED:

1) Majority of respondents felt strongly there was nothing "bad" about sport. Instead, many suggested that sport may be a good gateway to provide other services that would help the community. These included fostering community leadership, job skills, financial literacy, parenting skills for young parents, mediation and conflict resolution skills, and academic skills.

2) Profiling of NHPI inside and outside sport were similar. A majority of Tongan and NHPI respondents were profiled as "good" at sport and as "violent." The majority of Tongan and NHPI respondents reported that profiling most often happened on the street and then in school second.

3) A majority of Tongan and NHPI respondents had been profiled more than 10 times in their lives.

4) A majority of Tongan and NHPI respondents were worried about their future. Jobs, health, and education were top issues listed.

5) Despite many challenges facing their communities, the Tongan and NHPI survey respondents were hopeful and visionary. The most common wishes by Tongan and NHPI survey respondents for their communities were unity, culturally relevant programs, and dreaming bigger.


THE GOALS OF THIS GROUP ARE:
- draw from community knowledges
- develop community leadership
- empower communities with mutual helpfulness and respect

PLEASE SHARE RESOURCES ON THIS PAGE ABOUT:
1) Profiling
2) Racism, patriarchy, colonization, and/or homophobia
3) Community empowerment
4)Resources for jobs, health care, education, childcare, leadership development, etc.

Malo! ʻOfa atu!