Kaiwipunikauikawekiu Lipe's profile photo

Kaiwipunikauikawekiu Lipe

Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

Kaiwipunikauikawekiu Lipe's profile photo
Location: Kaneohe, HI
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building


First and foremost, Kaiwipunikauikawekiu Lipe is a mother, daughter, sister, aunty, and wife. And while all of her grandparents are now deceased, she is a granddaughter, nonetheless of Hawai‘i and of her many human ancestors. In particular, her mother’s family comes from Hawai‘i, China, and Europe. Her father’s family comes from India via Fiji. Kaiwipunikauikawekiu is also the daughter of other genealogies, including that of her traditional hula school, and that of mentors including but not limited to educators and community leaders from South Texas at the Llano Grande Center; Cleveland, Ohio, at the National Rites of Passage Institute; and MA‘O Organic Farms in Wai‘anae, Hawai‘i.

Kaiwipunikauikawekiu’s familial roles in each of these genealogies guide her commitments everyday. In terms of titles, she is the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s inaugural Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer as well as the director of its Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center. She is also a 2019–2020 Obama Leader with the Obama Foundation’s Asia-Pacific Leaders Program. She holds a Bachelor’s in Hawaiian Studies, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, and a PhD in Education Administration.

Future Focus

Using a Native Hawaiian grounded approach, Kaiwipunikauikawekiu is excited about guiding her university campus through a process that will prepare them to make unit-specific plans that advance truth, racial healing, and transformation within and across each discipline. This is especially important to her and her team given that their campus is the flagship of the only public university system in the state of Hawai‘i. She and her team take that role seriously and believe that the internal TRHT work for the campus is critical and interconnected with necessary TRHT work throughout Hawai‘i’s communities.

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Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program