Healing Lessons from the Pacific Islander Community

June 4, 2021

“Every month is PI Heritage Month for me. Colonization meant the banning and suppression of our cultures, so to claim and study it now feels revolutionary.” – Tavae Samuelu

In this episode with Tavae Samuelu, she shares healing lessons from the Pacific Islander community from historical trauma and toxic stress rooted in the dehumanization of people of color. Although AAPI Heritage Month is celebrated nationally in May, we should uplift Asian and Pacific Islander peoples, cultures, and heritages all year round.

Tavae Samuelu (she/her) is the daughter of a pastor from Leulumoega and a nurse from Saleimoa. As the Executive Director of Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), she’s a passionate advocate for Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders and is committed to liberation for all. Tavae was born and raised on Tongva land and credits her time on unceded Ohlone territory for her political identity and consciousness. Before joining EPIC, she served as the Development Director for the RYSE Center in Richmond and has since become a member of RYSE’s Board of Directors. Tavae is also the Vice President of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and an alumna of the Forward Promise Fellowship for Leaders. The pandemic has taught her that her most important title is Aunty Vae.

Episode Mentions & Resources:

lep Jaltok: Poems From A Marshallese Daughter
Remember We Have Choir Practice
Polynesian Panthers
Samoan Queer Lives
Tales of the Tikongs
Night Is A Sharkskin Drum
From A Native Daughter
Decolonizing Methodologies
Check out this IG account for more recommendations.

For My Father’s Kingdom
A Place in the Middle
Leitis in Waiting
The Rogers
Power Meri
Island Soldier
Check out more at PIC’s website.