Featured Social Change Ambassador: Autumn-Raine Kahōkū Hesia

One of Autumn-Raine Kahōkū Hesia’s biggest takeaways from AAUW’s Social Change Ambassador Certification program was the importance of viewing our workplaces through an intersectional lens. 

“The Social Ambassador Program has taught me to advocate for marginalized groups while also being overly conscious of gender, race, class, etc. within the workplace,” she said. 

Autumn is currently a graduate student at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, in her final year of the Master’s in Education Administration program. She is also a College Planning Advisor for TRiO Educational Talent Search at Windward Community College.

As a woman of color, Autumn chose to participate in the program because she recognized the importance of uplifting marginalized voices in the workplace. 

“I knew the Social Ambassador Program would provide strategies that would challenge traditional workplace environments, and I wanted to learn how to incorporate those strategies in my own professional spaces,” she said.

Through the program, Autumn learned how to have effective conversations that address issues such as race, gender, and sexuality when they arise in workplace settings. She plans to use the strategies taught in the workshops to ensure she is hyper-aware of her own biases.

“Being extra cautious of bias will help me to better understand my work environment and the community involved in the work,” she said. “Allowing myself to be hyper aware of bias will also empower me to become more empathetic to those whose identities aren’t always represented and/or acknowledged in the labor force.”

  1. I am a graduate student in the last year of the Masters in Education Administration Program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. I am a current College Planning Advisor for TRiO Educational Talent Search (ETS) at Windward Community College.
  2. I chose to participate in the Social Ambassador Program because as a woman of color, I understand the importance of including marginalized voices in the workplace. I knew the Social Ambassador Program would provide strategies that would challenge traditional workplace environments, and I wanted to learn how to incorporate those strategies in my own professional spaces.  
  3. One of the biggest takeaways I received from the training was to always look at our workplace through an intersectional lens. The Social Ambassador Program has taught me to advocate for marginalized groups while also being overly conscious of gender, race, class, etc within the workplace. In addition, I learned how to have effective conversations that address race, gender, sexual identity. etc. 
  4. Based on what I have learned in the Social Ambassador Program, I plan to use the strategies provided in the workshops to ensure I am hyper aware of any bias I may carry in the workplace. Being extra cautious of bias will help me to better understand my work environment and the community involved in the work. Allowing myself to be hyper aware of bias will also empower me to become more empathetic to those whose identities arenʻt always represented and/or acknowledged in the labor force.