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TMT’s New Vision and Approach to Educational Outreach and Community Engagement in Hawaiʻi

Presentation #104A.02 in the session Plenary Session: Status of Maunakea.

Published onJul 01, 2023
TMT’s New Vision and Approach to Educational Outreach and Community Engagement in Hawaiʻi

TMT’s attempt to exercise its legal right to construct on Maunakea led to massive protests, the arrest of kupuna (honored elders), and division in the community. The subsequent pandemic paused everything and gave TMT an opportunity to critically examine what went wrong and what are the pono (right) things to do to build genuine, respectful, and long-term relationship with Native Hawaiian communities.

With a new Project Manager moving to Hawaii Island in June 2021, new Executive Director with new vision, and new Hilo-based community engagement team, TMT is committed to listening to and learning from theentire community and investing in a future together, especially with the local Native Hawaiian communities. This presentation describes TMT’s new vision and approach to educational outreach and community engagement in Hawaii. We focus on creating genuine long-term partnerships with local communities based on respect, trust, and the protection of nature and heritage.

TMT's programs were co-created with community members to meet the unique needs of our Hawaii community, in partnership with local schools and organizations. The programs encompass four categories: 1. Education and Workforce Development, 2. Culture-based Learning, 3. Environment Protection and Conservation, and 4. Community-led Reviews. Derived from the community, executed together, and ultimately reviewed and adjusted by the community, our theme is “Community Partnership.” TMT is committed to broadening learning opportunities for all keiki (children) and assisting all career paths. TMT’s new approach is in line with the NSF 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, follows recommendations outlined in Astro2020, and leverages the National Science Board’s Vision 2030.

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