A new five-year lecture series sponsored by the Library of Congress and organized by the Daniel K. Inouye Institute and College of Social Sciences on campus aims to show the influence of Daniel K. Inouye’s legacy in Hawai‘i.
“We want the lectures to look at Daniel Inouye’s legacy throughout the entirety of Hawai‘i’s political history, from territory to statehood and beyond,” Dean of the College of Social Sciences Denise Konan said. ”We also want to look at his leadership style based on his principles of honor for country, civic engagement, and crossing of political lines.”
The lecture series discusses leadership, civil engagement and bipartisanship. ABC White House correspondent Ann Compton moderated the two speakers, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (D) and former Secretary of State Colin Powell (R).
The event took place at the John W. Kluge Center in Washington, D.C. It will be archived and edited for educators’ use.
“Hawai‘i has the lowest young voter turnout below 30 in the nation,” Konan said. “We want to engage youth not only in college, but high school as well. We want them to understand democracy, and that with freedom comes a lot of responsibility.”
Streaming across the nation
The Library of Congress streamed the event on its YouTube channel. The broadcast was shown at UH Mānoa’s Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) where more than 50 VIPs were present. Among those in attendance were Superintendent of Education Kathryn Matayoshi, UH Mānoa Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman, Hawai‘i Community Foundation President and CEO Kelvin Taketa and Governor Ige’s wife, First Lady of Hawai‘i Dawn Amano-Ige.
The Daniel K. Inouye Leaders in Action club at UH Mānoa sponsored another event at Campus Center.
“DKI Leaders in Action aims to provide a forum for awareness, student engagement, discussions, and leadership events encompassing issues of democracy, public service, civic engagement, government affairs and U.S. and Hawai‘i’s political issues,” board member Kelly Sun Young Park said.
Established in the Spring 2015 semester, DKI Leaders in Action hopes to separate itself from other clubs on campus.
“I think our club is unique because we’re able to build from scratch and addresses relevant issues. We’re not tied to any specific mission when compared to other organizations, like ASUH or GSO, and are able to bring relevant issue into the spotlight,” she said.
Organizing the event
Konan originally wanted former Secretary of the State Condoleezza Rice to speak, but she wasn’t available.
“We originally started with Condoleezza Rice as a speaker and always intended the [Washington] D.C. stream to show national ties with Hawai‘i at highest level of the decision making process at the [nation’s] capital,” Konan said.
The lecture was originally planned for the Spring 2015 semester, but wasn’t an option due to schedule conflicts.
“We originally wanted to schedule the event in May, but our speakers, Powell and Albright, weren’t available on the same day,” Konan said. “They were doing their commencement circuit speeches around the nation. Finding a day for either one of [them] individually wouldn’t have been hard, but finding a day that worked for both of them was a challenge.”
Senator Daniel Inouye’s impact
Along with the lecture series, the College of Social Science has secured papers the senator created and used throughout his career.
“We’ll need to go through the documents and make sure that they don’t contain any sensitive information, considering the events that the senator was involved with during his career: the Iran-Contra affair, Watergate scandal and being on the committee of Indian Affairs,” Konan said.
Powell shared an anecdote about Inouye.
“When he was chairman of the defense subcommittee and was my man for money,” Powell said. “I would pick up the phone, and I would say ‘Get the good senator for me’ and when Dan would get on the phone I would say ‘It’s Colin.’ He would say ‘What do you need?’”
“I really got a problem, this is a — no kidding — problem, I really need this money’
“That was it. It was over, no further discussion. I didn’t do it too often, but I did it often enough to get what I needed. And that’s the kind of leader he was,” Powell said.
The lecture is available on the Library of Congress’ and Daniel K. Inouye Institute’s websites.