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Pacific Islanders

Mikaele Oloa who creates popular TikTok videos
PACIFIC ISLANDS — More than 58,000 TikTok users have watched Mikaele Oloa slice a banana leaf to make an ula laufa'i, a traditional Samoan necklace. The 29-year-old has also filmed himself performing a fire knife dance called the siva afi, inspiring some of his followers to try out the Samoan...
Headrick Hunkin during a zoom town hall video grab
Honolulu, Hawaii — Leaders of a Pacific Islander advocacy group desperate for help fighting the virus joined Lieutenant Governor Josh Green for a Zoom town hall meeting Thursday. The group, made up of Micronesians, Samoans, and Tongans have been hardest hit and say they’ve been ignored. The...
Coronavirus logo
Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA — COVID-19 has taken an especially steep toll on communities of color. In LA County, the vast majority of cases and deaths are among Latinos. However, the highest rate of infection among any racial or ethnic group is taking place among LA’s Pacific Islander community. They’...
 Salt Lake City, Utah skyline with mountains in the background
Salt Lake City, UTAH — There has been an upswing in Covid-19 infections among Pacific Islanders in the American state of Utah. The state is home to the largest Pacific Island community on the United States mainland - it is made up mostly of Polynesians but also includes a significant number of...
Joseph Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula
Honolulu, HAWAII — About two weeks ago, an Arkansas resident who worked at a Tyson Foods factory died of COVID-19. The death was one of tens of thousands across the nation due to the coronavirus pandemic. But to Melisa Laelan, the loss was especially worrisome. That’s because the person who died...
Pastor Pausa Thompson
Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA — No other group in California is dying from the coronavirus at a higher rate than Pacific Islanders — a painful statistic that's shaking up tight-knit communities of Samoans, Tongans and Native Hawaiians up and down the state.  And no other hub has been worse-hit than Los...
Oregon Health Authority Coronavirus update logo
Salem, OREGON — Pacific Islanders in Oregon are being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to new data released this week. This week’s data report from the Oregon Health Authority found that Pacific Islanders have 13.1 cases per 10,000 residents, a much higher rate...
Man speaking
San Mateo, CALIFORNIA — Tauanu’u Ve’e, of the Regional Pacific Islander Task Force, stressed that it’s important for their communities that people specify their island of origin when filling out the 2020 census questionnaire. Despite mounting worries over the CORVID-19 pandemic, more than a dozen...
Three members of the Samoan Community Development Center Choir
Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) share a common bond and heritage. But whether they live in Hawaii, on another island or on the mainland of the United States, the NHPI community is also connected through its traditional music. For the last few months, a groundbreaking music video...
Mary Moeono-Kolio marching for the climate
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND — Mary Moeono-Kolio was up past midnight on Thursday, painting banners and stapling flags to poles. Writing chants and rallying her community. For two years now, she's been the coordinator of the Wellington branch of a group that call themselves the Pacific Climate Warriors...

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