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Honolulu | Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What Can Hawaii Teach America About Race?

Moderated by Leslie Wilcox, Long Story Short host, PBS Hawaii

In America, the possibility that ethnic minorities may soon constitute a majority has caused considerable panic in some quarters, contributing to political polarization and gridlock. In Hawaii, however, the notion of a majority-minority state is old hat. Indeed, Hawaii is America’s most diverse state. And its approach to race has been very different; the mixing of races is central to the state’s conception of itself (Hawaii gave America its first mixed-race president), in a way that can feel foreign in the rest of America, where labeling people by one race and dividing them up is the norm. What’s Hawaii’s secret? Why is intermarriage so much more common here than in the rest of the country? And what mistakes has Hawaii made in matters of identity and race that the U.S. should avoid? Marketing executive Guy Kawasaki, Maya Soetoro-Ng of the University of Hawaii College of Education, vice president at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Corbett Kalama, and actor and director Daniel Dae Kim discuss what Hawaii has done right on race and how the U.S. might benefit from this example.