On February 28, 2022, Governor Ige signed a proclamation declaring February 28, 2022, Alice Ball Day. Formerly held on February 29th, Alice Ball Day was previously recognized every four years. To celebrate this year’s Alice Ball Day, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) Graduate Professional Access (GPA) program and The Sister Circle Mānoa hosted the inaugural Alice Ball Remembrance Walk.
This event was coordinated by COE Department of Educational Administration (EDEA) doctoral students Māhealani Quirk, who is the Director of the GPA program, and LaJoya Reed Shelly, who is a co-founder of the Sister Circle Mānoa; as well as EDEA master’s students Kikilia Lani, who is a graduate assistant for the GPA program, and Niya Denise McAdoo who is a co-founder of the Sister Circle Mānoa.
The purpose of this community event was to recognize the University of Hawaiʻi’s most distinguished African American alumna, Alice Ball, who was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Hawaiʻi in 1915 and to commemorate the lives of Black, Indigenous, and women of color whose lives have been lost due to various forms of violence. The executive director of the Pōpolo Project and UHM alumna, Dr. Akiemi Glenn, was the keynote speaker for this event.
During her moderated discussion, Dr. Glenn discussed the significance of remembering our ancestors, particularly Alice Ball, and the lives of BIPOC women and girls lost to violence as a culturally significant practice for Black and Indigenous communities. Additionally, Dr. Glenn discussed the importance of discussing these issues in Hawaiʻi. The event was well-attended by students, faculty, and community members, including members of the organization GirlTrek, which is an organization that focuses on walking for healing and liberation.
Sister Circle Mānoa, co-founded by Niya McAdoo and LaJoya Reed Shelly, is a space for Black women and femmes to build meaningful relationships, commiserate about our shared experiences with racialized and gendered microaggressions, and to center Black womenʻs unique experiences in higher education. To connect with the Sister Circle Mānoa, follow them on Instagram (@thesistercirclemanoa) or email them at email@example.com.
Graduate Professional Access (GPA) program, directed by Māhealani Quirk, aims to assist underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students and higher education professionals consider and subsequently navigate advanced degree admissions processes and degree completion through holistic, wraparound, co-curricular support that comprehensively integrates a place-based approach of providing student-centered support and advising. To connect with the Graduate Professional Access program, follow them on Instagram at (@uhmgpa) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.