Neil Mellen, Grassroot Institute Scholar, presented his report, “Returning Power to Micronesians in Hawaii.” Neil was a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia (Yap, 2002-05). He leads Habele, an all-volunteer nonprofit based in Columbia, S.C., serving low-income and rural K-12 students within Micronesia.
Neil Mellen discussed the reasons so many Micronesians choose to migrate to Hawaii. Mr. Mellen also showed why politics in the Pacific has taken power away from Micronesians, and how Micronesians can get their power back. In the report, Neil Mellen details how political intervention has caused problems in the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. Because of this, there is limited access to healthcare, education and employment. This has prompted many Micronesians to migrate to Hawaii to seek a better life.
Officials attended and spoke during the events, including Consul General Mr. Kandhi A. Elieisar and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.
Neil delivered his presentation on Oahu and Maui. Both presentations are available below: