Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and Social Work

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Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and Social Work

Dancing to the Beat of a Different Drum

By: Meripa Taiai Godinet, PhD, Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi, PhD

Publication date: 2014
ISBN: 978-0-87101-474-0
Categories: Diversity, Profession

Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and Social Work: Dancing to the Beat of a Different Drum, edited by Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi and Meripa Taiai Godinet, serves as a voice for Pacific Islander American communities that have long been subdued in the hope that it will assist in dispelling misunderstandings, misconceptions, and misrepresentation of Pacific Islander Americans. This book covers immigrant groups in the Pacific Islands that are invisible and yet growing exponentially in the United States and provides practitioners with information on the historical background, cultural knowledge, and practices of various Pacific Islander groups that will help improve services for these populations.

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Title information

Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and Social Work: Dancing to the Beat of a Different Drum, edited by Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi and Meripa Taiai Godinet, serves as a voice for Pacific Islander American communities that have long been subdued in the hope that it will assist in dispelling misunderstandings, misconceptions, and misrepresentation of Pacific Islander Americans.

A first of its kind, this book attempts to bring Pacific Islander Americans to the forefront of transnational conversations, particularly in the profession of social work. It contains accounts of real-life experiences of transnational Pacific Islander Americans and issues such as colonization, immigration, and dual/multiple identities.

To highlight both the unique and shared experiences, editors invited native authors from several Pacific Island groups to tell their stories. Included are authors from groups with the highest density in the United States, such as Native Hawaiians, Samoans, and Chamorros, and native authors about whom little information is available, such as Chuukese and Yapese.

Transnational Pacific Islander Americans and Social Work specifically covers immigrant groups in the Pacific Islands that are invisible and yet growing exponentially in the United States. More and more Pacific Islander Americans, due to adjustment difficulties, are faced with challenges that bring them to the attention of social and health services. This book fills gaps in the literature by providing practitioners with information on the historical background, cultural knowledge, and practices of various Pacific Islander groups that will help improve services for these populations.

Pages: 184
Language: English
Publisher: NASW PRESS
Edition: 1
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Meripa Taiai Godinet, PhD

Meripa Taiai Godinet, PhD, is an associate professor with the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawai’i. She has been a principal investigator of numerous research projects that focus on the impact of various systems and institutions on Pacific Islander adolescents and their families. Her scholarship includes issues of disproportionality and overrepresentation of Pacific Islanders in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems; risk and protective factors involving juvenile delinquency among Pacific Islander adolescents; and contributions to the advancement of cross-cultural resonance in social work practice.

Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi, PhD

Halaevalu F. Ofahengaue Vakalahi, PhD, is the daughter of Moana and Faleola Ofahengaue, immigrants from the island Kingdom of Tonga. She was born in Tonga and raised on the Northshore of ‘Oahu, Hawai’i in a large family support system that included people from across Oceania. Currently, she is an associate professor and associate dean in the School of Social Work at Morgan State University, Baltimore. Her areas of teaching interests include social policy, human behavior and the social work environment, cultural diversity, and organizational leadership. Her research interests are in Pacific American communities and cultures, and women of color in academia. She has published extensively in her areas of research interests. She earned a BS in business management from BYU-Hawai’i, an MSW from the University of Hawai’i-Manoa, and an MEd and a PhD from the University of Utah.