Culture and Diversity

The Innovation Center strives to honor Hawaiʻi’s indigenous culture and build awareness around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion issues through programs like Kawaimanomano and the NCBI Diversity training.


Kawaimanomano has been featured in the Community College Journal and has won the Wo Community Building Award (2nd Place). The program has most recently been named a top 10 finalist for the 2024 notable Bellwether Award. Written endorsements from Cohort members available for viewing.

In Spring 2019, the ICTL invited 10 Leeward CC kumu to dream together and co-create a semester-long, ʻāina-based, and collaborative Native Hawaiian Professional Development program for all Leeward employees. Nā kumu willingly volunteered their time, manaʻo, and mana for a year to collaborate, conceptualize, and create Kawaimanomano “The Many Waters” (Leewardʻs Native Hawaiian Professional Development Program).

Kawaimanomano’s schedule is typically a 12-week program during the Spring semester. Cohort members meet for two hours on Fridays where Kumu present on various topics that are their areas of expertise. View sample schedule:

Keep your Student record updated

Meet with my academic advisor

  • Make sure you’re going to meet all of your degree requirements.

Keep your student record updated.

Kawaimanomano Schedule
  • Welina Mai/Orientation (why we do this and community building)
  • ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi
  • Oli Hālau Puʻuloa
  • Hawaiian Values
  • Hawaiian History and Governance
  • Hawaiian Language Revitalization and Normalization
  • Hawaiian Culture and Impacts on Student Success
  • Hoʻomāhū: Rethinking Gender
  • Hawaiʻi Resources and Research
  • Waiʻanae Wahi Pana (Huakaʻi) or Puʻuloa Wahi Pana (Huakaʻi)

Participants also have access to videos, readings, presentations, and other resources via their Laulima Kawaimanomano course tab. In the last class session, cohort members participate in Hōʻike (to show, exhibit, report), the culminating activity of the program where they share what they learned and are asked to answer this one question: 

“How will I use what I learned in Kawaimanomano to impact my contribution to the college?”

Since 2020, the Innovation Center has coordinated four cohorts and graduated 80 Leeward employees representing all divisions and employee groups. Recruitment for the program happens in December via campus email and Leeward Bulletin. Keep a lookout and join us for our next cohort!

E Naue Mai!

Kawaimanomano Recruitment Video
Testimonials from Kawaimanomano Graduates
Pūpū Aʻo ʻEwa mele recording
Hālau Puʻuloa Oli recording

Social Justice League

In summer 2020, the Innovation Center for Teaching and Learning offered the “What’s Goin’ On? Candid Discourse in Recent Racist Events” workshop series that provided a safe space for Leeward employees to learn, share, and reflect on the troubling state of our world, especially in light of the George Floyd tragedy. From there, a group of dedicated and passionate employees formed a campus-wide committee focused on promoting Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) awareness, initiatives, meaningful dialogue, and professional development opportunities at Leeward.

The mission of the Social Justice League is to build awareness, create opportunities for meaningful dialogue, and engage diverse perspectives and voices in a safe, respectful, and supportive environment.

Grounded in the values of Social Responsibility, Humility and Empathy, Respect, and Dignity and Growth, the Social Justice League coordinates film screenings, expert panels, and workshops; provides curricular samples and suggestions from JEDI perspectives; and offers JEDI awareness and communications trainings.

For more information and access to archives and newsletters, visit the Social Justice League website.

National Coalition Building Institute Diversity Training

Leeward is committed to efforts and initiatives that support Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) within our campus community. We strive to create safe, supportive working and learning spaces for our faculty, staff, and students.

One of the ways Leeward demonstrates this commitment is by being a partner in National Coalition Building Institute. In Fall 2022, NCBI certified a team of Leeward CC employees to facilitate Leadership in Diversity trainings that promote the awareness, understanding and celebration of our unique backgrounds and experiences.

To learn more about the Leadership in Diversity training sessions, contact co-campus lead trainers Lexer Chou and Erin Thompson.