Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Message for Kamehameha Schools: Social Injustices Impacting Local, National & Global Communities

Below is a transcript of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's message for Kamehameha High School Hawaii's 9th Grade Class Project on "Social Injustices Impacting Local, National & Global Communities"

Aloha kakou. Mahalo for inviting me to participate in your project exploring solutions to social injustice here in Hawaiʻi, around the world. Often times, people say they feel they can’t solve all the world’s problems, that there is too much injustice in our world, and because it’s so big and because they can’t solve it all, they throw up their hands and give up. But we can't afford to do that. We know that change is possible even through the actions of just one person.

There are many forms of injustice right here in our own communities—people wronged by other people, people who have worked hard their entire lives and still struggle to put food on the table and make ends meet, people who experience discrimination or hatred because of the color of their skin, or their religion, or gender, or anything else. As you consider the injustice around you, I encourage you to find your own way, large or small, to be a part of the solution.  Every single day, each of us has an opportunity to choose to take action, to be of service to our fellow citizens and our planet and to fight against injustice. 

Hawaiʻi has a long history of being a leader in fighting for justice. Senator Daniel Akaka, someone that I worked for in Washington and is a mentor of mine, worked hard throughout his life to fight injustice faced by our Native Hawaiian community. He worked to break down barriers in healthcare, education, military service, housing, and so much more. Congresswoman Patsy Mink, who once held the same Congressional seat I serve in today, championed and passed the landmark Title IX bill that paved the path of equal opportunity for women and girls across the country.

But you don’t need to be a Senator or a Member of Congress or a CEO of a big company to fight injustice. No matter what you study, where you work, and what do with your life, know that just about everything can be dovetailed in the service of others to make that positive impact. That you can be a servant-leader in just about any field. If you're interested in starting a business, then go for it, and find a way to do something positive with your earnings. If you're going into tech, use that knowledge and innovation to solve challenges and problems that we are facing in society. If you're going into healthcare or education or law enforcement or the military, treat your work with the awesome responsibility it carries—truly providing care, knowledge, healing, and protection to others. Whatever you decide to do, do it with aloha always. Treat people with respect, kindness, and love, and find strength every day in living aloha.

I wish you all the best with your project and the upcoming school year. Mahalo nui loa, and aloha.

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