In this edition of Long Story Short, Leslie Wilcox introduces us to Amy Agbayani, who oversees the University of Hawaii’s diversity programs. Dr. Agbayani came to Hawaii from her native Philippines to study at the East-West Center in the turbulent 1960’s. The antiwar protests of the era helped set the stage for Agbayani’s lifetime fight for civil rights and social justice.
Agbayani first found her calling helping her fellow Filipino immigrants adjust to life in Hawaii through a group called Operation Manong, which she co-founded 40 years ago. She soon broadened her efforts on behalf of other immigrants, women, and almost anyone needing a voice, becoming the first chair of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission.
Over the years, Agbayani’s office at UH has expanded into one of the most comprehensive university diversity programs in the nation. She now oversees more than 20 programs to recruit and assist students who are diverse in terms of culture, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation.
As a 16-year-old, Minnijean Brown faced segregation and white supremacy. So when she and eight other students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957, they changed everything for African-Americans across the country. The Little Rock Nine, as they became known, were escorted into the school by U.S. Army troops sent in by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.And for months, they faced discrimination, taunting and even death threats on a daily basis.
Although one of the nine would graduate that year, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in attendance, Minnijean would be expelled for facing up to her aggressors.
For the past fifty years, Minnijean Brown Trickey has continued to crusade for civil rights.And she shares stories with Leslie Wilcox in Part 2 of an engaging, two-part conversation.
In 1957, Minnijean Brown was a 16-year-old high school student in Little Rock, Arkansas – a young African-American growing up in the segregated South.She was one of nine students who enrolled in Little Rock Central High School, desegregating that school and all schools across America.
When the Little Rock Nine, as they would become known, entered the previously all-White school, they stepped over the threshold of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Fifty years later, Minnijean Brown Trickey continues to crusade for civil rights and she continues to educate people everywhere she meets.
Meet this fascinating and determined woman as she shares stories with Leslie Wilcox in Part 1 of a two-part conversation on Long Story Short.
Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is a production of PBS Hawaii.