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Pacific & Asian Affairs Council Global Vision Summit 2022
Elizabeth McDonnell

On Saturday, March 5, members of The Prioryʻs PAAC (Pacific and Asian Affairs Council) club participated in the 2022 PAAC Global Vision Summit. These students are taking classes such as Global Girls and planning to graduate with the Global Leadership Distinction. The international students in the group who are, attend The Priory for a semester through the International Hospitality Center took part in the summit to help make their experience as exchange students in Hawaiʻi as global as can be. 

This year’s theme was “Water is Life, Ka Wai Ola.” Participants were blessed with wonderful lecturers. Dr. E. Allen focused on the U.S. Pacific and Micronesia and the actions taken locally to facilitate access to freshwater. Dr. M. Hixon gave us a crash course on what we can do, individually and collectively, to save our corals, these remarkable undersea gardens. Mr. W. Tanaka, director of the Sierra Club, reminded us that water will be the primary medium through which we will feel the effects of climate change and what work should be done to connect all communities affected now or later by water challenges. We also learned about the last royal fishpond in Kalauao, Oahu, a site currently restored by the community, and were invited to get involved in these efforts. 

As always, PAAC made sure that participants had time to connect with each other and to get into hands-on and reflective activities. To understand better the challenges of wastewater treatment in Hawaiʻi and around the world, students built a mini bioreactor garden! They also created a personal visual statement using “wai” (water) symbolism as a means to share thoughts about this critical topic. Finally, some of our students participated in a friendly contest testing their knowledge of global issues.