15 Jul 2009

Togiola to launch Hawaii campaign to boost Samoans' image

9:23 pm on 15 July 2009

Concerned about the negative image of Samoans in Hawaii, the American Samoan governor, Togiola Tulafono, has decided to celebrate the first week in August as Samoan Heritage Week in Honolulu.

Togiola is seeking 200,000 US dollars to help pay for the celebration.

The governor said that while attending a meeting in Hawaii recently, Samoans were headlined in the newspapers the a week for shootings, drugs, violence and other negative stories.

He consulted the Mayor of Honolulu, Muliufi Hannemann, who has agreed to the idea of highlighting Samoan success stories in Hawaii to counter the negative image of Samoans that now exists through the media.

Those profiled will include people of Samoan ancestry who have made their mark in Hawaii such as professors, business owners, politicians like the Honolulu mayor and the conductor of the Honolulu symphony orchestra.