On October 9–11, 2017, the 33rd Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity (Pac Rim) will bring together prominent leaders and advocates from civil society, indigenous backgrounds, academia, government, business, and other areas with the common goal of bolstering quality of life, dignity, and justice for people with diverse needs. Held at The Modern Honolulu and Hilton Hawaii Village Resorts, the conference is a presentation of the Center on Disability Studies in the UH Mānoa College of Education.
This year’s theme of “SustainAbility” encourages commitment to transformative steps needed to shift the world onto a resilient path in order to eliminate the poverty, oppression, and marginalization that disproportionately burden persons with disability who make up 15 percent of the population worldwide.
With more than 200 seminars, workshops, and special events, Pac Rim provides networking, professional development, cutting-edge research, and personal growth opportunities. Topics range from breaking stigma to K–12 education reform to new strides in assistive technology. From top neuroscientists and bestselling authors, like James Doty and MIT’s Emile Bruneau, to Hawai‛i DOE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and lead designer at Microsoft Kat Holmes, the conference aims to inspire, educate, and take action.
“Our greatest challenge of the 21st century is not merely to survive ever more acute challenges in a globalized world; rather, we must ensure that all peoples sustain in their totality, not only the powerful at the expense of the marginalized,” said Pac Rim Conference Co-chair, Charmaine Crockett.
Several features of the conference have been made more financially accessible to local audiences. A star-studded inaugural Pac Rim Book Pavilion, featuring Oscar-winning directors and best-selling authors, is among four events under $25 per day. There will also be a Pac Rim Mini-film Festival, showcasing acclaimed movies that spur discussion of new paradigms of diversity. In addition, there will be an Aging with Dignity forum, which will explore how to create viable communities for older adults.