Many who are not from Hawai’i think of the Lilo and Stitch quote “‘Ohana means family, family means noone gets left behind.” The Hawaiian word ‘Ohana does mean family, but a family can be both biological and cultural. For the members of the ‘Ohana Club at Mills college, the ‘Ohana consists of anyone familiar with, or interested in becoming familiar with Hawai’i and is currently at Mills College to work, as a student or as an alumni. The ‘Ohana club at Mills College meets every Thursday afternoon at 6pm in the Mills Tea Shop. The club attracts mostly Mills students who come to Oakland from Hawai’i. We are the students who wake up at 5 am the day after our last final and stuff four people into one cab to fly back to our islands. The Mills College ‘Ohana club is significant to the students and faculty of Mills College because it provides a place for this community, many of whom have very recently relocated to Oakland, to connect on their shared knowledge and appreciation of Hawai’i.
The ‘Ohana club has been making its mark on the Mills community. In April of this year, the ‘Ohana club hosted its very first Lu’ua, featuring Hawaiian food and a performance by hula dancer Alana Pollack. Additionally, the ‘Ohana Club is a part of a collection of student and faculty organizations called SAMEAPI (South Asian, Middle Eastern, Asian Pacific Islander) which holds cultural events annually.