Kumu Hina

"Staff Picks: What We're Watching" - Teaching Tolerance

Dim the lights and get ready to learn with these TT-approved films!

A Place in the Middle: The True Meaning of Aloha, a documentary short by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, tells the story of a school in Honolulu, Hawaii, that is demonstrating respect for and inclusion of gender-fluid students. The film centers on 11-year-old Ho’onani, who embodies māhū, a Hawaiian term that refers to people who embrace feminine and masculine spirits. Ho’onani occupies “a place in the middle” on the gender spectrum and leads her school’s hula troupe, typically for boys only. Ho’onani’s teacher Kumu Hina—a transgender woman—tells the troupe, “I want every student to know that if you are my student, you have a place to be—in the middle.” A Place in the Middle documents some of the positive outcomes that can occur when schools welcome students with love, harmony and respect (the deeper meaning of aloha). The film also makes the point that this welcome should not be extended despite students’ gender identity or expression, but precisely because of who they are. (25 min.)*


Additional films in this collection include "Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot" - "Documented" - and "The Homestretch"

See more HERE.

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