Kaha Nui Summit 2019

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About the Speaker

Jacob Fitisemanu, Jr. was born in Wellington, New Zealand to Karen Dang (Kaimuki, O'ahu, Hawai'i) and Jacob Fitisemanu Sr. (Falefa, 'Upolu, Samoa). Jake was raised in Hawai’i and Utah with a love of his vibrant Samoan, Chinese and Korean American heritage. He graduated with honors in Social Science from Westminster College, where he also obtained a Master's degree in Public Health. Jake co-founded the Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition and has chaired the annual statewide Pacific Islander Health Week since 2012. He currently serves on the US Census National Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and the West Valley City Council. In 2015, Jake was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and he has served as a board member of the Mana Academy Charter School and the University of Utah Pacific Islands Studies Initiative. Jake is the director of the Health Clinics of Utah program and lives in West Valley City, Utah with his wife Lucia and their two daughters.  

Click here to view a Fox13 News segment featuring West Valley Councilman Fitisemanu regarding Minorities in West Valley City.

Vision of the Summit

What Is the Kaha Nui Summit?

The Kaha Nui Summit, faciliated through Graduate Studies, is a diversity initiative that originated with the McKay School of Education and has evolved into an annual educational outreach and graduate recruitment event for some of our currently enrolled underrepresented students.  The Summit features a graduate school fair, formal dinner with table discussions amongst current graduate students, faculty, and recruiters, culminating with a keynote address in an effort to pursuade them to pursue their higher education goals.  

The Purpose 

The purpose of the Kaha Nui Summit is to help inspire students to learn, connect, and prepare for post-baccalaureate graduate work. Student participants are encouraged to network and meet with various university departments including graduate recruiters. The founders of the Summit identified a need to help promote greater student retention and success amongst several underrepresented student groups here at Brigham Young University and it is hoped that this event will help inspire students to not only graduate but to consider further studies.  It is also hoped that this and similar events will promote more diversity initiatives across campus.  In light of past successes, this years Summit has been expanded to include current BYU students who identify as Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, Native American, and African American/Black.  

The Theme

This years theme is based on the Samoan proverb “ E lele le toloa ‘ae ma’au i le vai,” which translates to "the gray duck will fly where it does, but always returns home" which implies that we may all travel down different paths but we should always remember our origins and give back when we can.  

Date and Location

The 2019 Kaha Nui Summit
Wednesday September 18, 2019
BYU Hinckley Center
6:00 p.m. Check-In
Business attire

Campus Map and Directions

Click here for directions.


6:00 p.m.—Check-In, Booth Visits with Recruiters (3rd Floor Assembly Area) 
6:45 p.m.—Welcome and dinner (1st Floor Assembly Hall) 
7:15 p.m.—Keynote Address 
7:55 p.m.—Closing Prayer
8:00 p.m. – Networking
9:00 p.m. – End  

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