INDIANAPOLIS—Lumina Foundation has named Hawaiʻi the sixth Talent, Innovation, Equity (TIE) state, awarding a $575,000 grant to support efforts to create a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Hawaiʻi was the first state to set an ambitious goal for educating its residents beyond high school. The state joins Colorado, Tennessee, Oregon, Virginia, and Massachusetts in exploring new approaches that support more Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Filipino learners to build workforce-relevant knowledge and skills.

As part of an equity-first orientation, Lumina has worked with states to identify specific goals for ensuring racial equity, meaning having a college degree or other quality credential beyond a high school diploma can no longer be predicted by a person’s race or ethnicity.

For several years, Lumina has supported policy and programmatic work focused on achieving racial equity with the University of Hawaiʻi.

“In our years of partnership, the Hawaiʻi team demonstrated it is well equipped to reduce disparities in educational outcomes among Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Filipino students,” said Amanda DeLaRosa, a Lumina strategy officer for state policy.

The university will use its grant to work toward increasing the share of working-age state residents with college degrees or other credentials of value by 5 percentage points among specific ethnic populations during the next four years. Meeting this commitment would result in a post-high school educational attainment rate of 27.8 percent among Native Hawaiians. This rate would be 27.4 percent when combined with other Pacific Islanders’ outcomes and 38.7 percent among Filipino residents.

Lumina established the Talent, Innovation, and Equity Partnership to give states an array of funding, research, and related support for achieving targeted improvements in higher education. Hawaiʻi will improve in four areas: educating a higher percentage of the state’s people, creating a learning community among faculty members to support racially and ethnically diverse student groups, developing pathways to success for more students, and reviewing state policies to ensure they are designed to support students of color.

“We are grateful to Lumina Foundation for this timely and remarkable opportunity to strengthen our work to increase education equity in Hawaiʻi through a greater data-informed focus on populations that have historically been marginalized and boosting the associated educational outcomes,” said UH President David Lassner. “Lumina’s invitation to the university to lead this work for Hawaiʻi provides even more national affirmation of our efforts on educational attainment and equity, including with other national partners who have recognized our successes.”

“Lumina Foundation’s support marks a milestone in the state’s educational ecosystem,” said Stephen Schatz, the Hawaiʻi P-20 Council’s executive director. “The Hawai‘i P-20 Partnership and the University System will be able to align their strategic priorities to eliminate disparities in educational attainment among Native Hawaiians, Pacific islanders, and Filipinos building a strong workforce pipeline to family-sustaining jobs for Hawai‘i’s residents.”

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