ROOTED in Culture
Our mission at UTOPIA is to provide sacred and safe spaces to strengthen the minds and bodies of our QTPI’s/Queer & Trans Pacific Islanders. We look to do so, by Reviving Our Original Ties and Empowering Diaspora in Culture. ROOTED in Culture is a program designed for underserved youth specifically Queer and Trans Pacific Islander youth ages 6-28. Through this program participants are encouraged to celebrate the pride and passion of Tagata Pasifika heritage through cultural song, dance, and art.
We recognize that the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander youth in diaspora in Washington are culturally disconnected; therefore, it is our goal as an organization to reconnect our youth to the lands of their origin by bridging these cultural gaps and having our youth stay ROOTED.
The vision for this program is simply in our “ROOTS.”
R Revitalization- This program provides the opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in language revitalization. This will allow youth to have a deeper understanding of their native tongue, participating in storytelling projects through traditional songs and dances.
O Obtain- Our goal as an organization is for the future leaders of tomorrow to obtain the skills that will not only build upon their capacity for leadership, but also shape their character.
O Opportunity – UTOPIA continues to provide opportunities in which Pasifika youth can excel in their education, career pathways and cultural activities. We will provide tutoring services and learning materials to assist youth with their personal and academic growth.
T Train- we look to fortify the character and leadership of our Pasifika youth by offering training and by teaching youth the importance of our cultural values and principles.
S Succeed- Because we recognize the need to create a safe space for our Pasifika Youth to obtain the skill sets to build leadership and shape character, there will be opportunities to engage in tutoring services and training workshops to ensure that the program and its participants succeed. By creating a space where we can foster and cater to the needs of each participant, we envision the success of everyone.
Back To Basics
We strive to build the confidence of Queer and Trans pacific islander youth in their heritage as Tagata Pasifika and trusting the validity of their existence. We often see diasporic QTPIʻs question the authenticity of their cultural identity because of the disconnect from their place of origin and the inadequacies felt due to the lack of language and knowledge of cultural practices. It is our goal to be able to assist this underrepresented community by reinforcing the fundamental tools in culture. Encouraging youth to embrace their cultural identity by building their character with the basics. Samoan culture says it is through the way one walks, stands, and speaks that the world will be able to know they are Samoan
E iloa oe I lou savali, o lou tu ma lou tautala.
Which means it starts with your character and that is the exact place we will begin! The foundational Principles of culture.