Pacific Islander Kie Association (PIKA)
Community support for Pacific Islanders in Oakland
PIKA is a grassroots volunteer organization that advocates and promotes the empowerment of Pacific Islander families and youth through community organizing, education, youth leadership projects, and cultural and contemporary arts. PIKA members include Pan-Pacific parents, educators, artists and community organizers.
Healthy Heart Healthy Mind Program
Funded by the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, the HHHM Program is based on the need to improve academic outcomes and health education specifically in Oakland's Pacific Islander community.
Healthy Heart Healthy Mind serves 30 PI high school students and provides them with an integrated school year and summer program including:
- Academic counseling
- Tutoring and basic skill development
- Health and nutrition education through monthly workshops
- Urban gardening
- Cooking instruction on how to prepare fresh produce (from the urban garden and from local farmers' markets) for consumption
- Dance for physical fitness, in cultural and traditional styles infused with contemporary dance
- Field trips and college tours
HHHM participants serve as role models for other PI youth and the larger PI community. Other events include:
- Health and Wellness Fairs: Bi-annual health fairs for the PI community in Oakland include free doctor’s counsel and testing for diabetes, high blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, and stroke awareness. The Health Fairs are designed predominantly for the adult community to address their immediate health issues and emergency care information.
- Educational Conference: A day-long conference in the spring for 10th-12th grade PI students, focusing on college counseling, career opportunities, and cultural identity. The conference is open to any PI high school student in Oakland and organized by youth interns and adult community members.
- Poly Club workshops and community events: Bringing together PI student leaders from various Oakland high schools to discuss social justice, cultural identity, and political awareness as well as social gatherings such as sports games, picnics or field trips.
High school students involved with HHHM attend:
- Castlemont High School
- Fremont High School
- Oakland High School
- Oakland Tech High School
- Skyline High School
Pacific Islanders face pervasive poverty, health problems, obesity, poor academic performance, incarceration, and cultural oppression within the "Asian-Pacific Islander" demographic as well as in the larger community. Pacific Islander youth are a small, poorly understood, and highly underserved part of Oakland's youth population.
Meaning ‘fine mat’ in Tongan (or ‘ie’ in Samoan), the word ‘kie’ has extraordinary artistic, cultural, spiritual and monetary significance. PIKA chose ‘kie’ as its cultural symbol to represent the importance of weaving and uniting diverse Pacific cultures, traditions, and values, without losing one’s own identity. Like the kie, PIKA strives to become a strong foundation for Pacific Islanders in Oakland, where it can create lasting social change for its communities.
PIKA’s youth development programs are powerful vehicles for educating and empowering youth within the context of their own interests, experiences and communities. PIKA incorporates the principles of cultural and self-awareness, articulating one’s own voice, listening actively and respectfully to others, critical thinking, leadership development, social skills development, continuing education, career exploration, community service, and social action.