Who we are

Watch this Pride At Work Hawai'i interview on Equally Speaking 

We are the state-wide chapter of Pride At Work (a constituency group of the national AFL-CIO) and an affiliate of the Hawai‘i State AFL-CIO. We mobilize support between the labor movement and the LGBT communities to build full equality, greater inclusiveness and dignity for all workers.  Our membership is open to lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, intersex, and queer workers and allies who  support our goals!

Pride At Work Hawai'i has played a key role in building labor support for important LGBT-related legislation, including civil unions and the ban on workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.  We continue the fight to make schools safer for all students, remove barriers to full inclusiveness for transgender people, support workers' rights, increase the minimum wage, and build a more just Hawai'i.

Pride At Work Hawai‘i has focused on building labor leadership around LGBT issues through a series of labor-focused programs addressing LGBT workplace issues including: 
  • an intensive workshop for staff, officers and negotiators for seven local unions that provided specific tools for LGBT-inclusive contract bargaining and representation; 
  • labor leadership trainings for LGBT workers and allies on both O‘ahu and Kaua‘i;
  • union-based trainings on LGBT issues for staff and member leaders for local unions; and
  • leading presentations and workshops for the broader community on LGBT workplace issues.
P@WHI also presents community forums to promote discussion of issues impacting LGBT working people. Recent events, presented in collaboration with local unions and community groups, include "No Red-Baiting, Race-Baiting, or Queer-Baiting: the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union," “Being out at work in Hawai‘i: a workers coming out day event,” and "Celebrating Bayard Rustin," with 50-60 attendees at each event.

P@WHI continues to play an important role in the worker-led response to national and local attacks on workers’ rights, encouraging local LGBT organizations to endorse national and local campaigns, helping organize the 2011 We Are One Hawai‘i event, and supporting workers' struggles at Pacific Beach Hotel and Hawaiian Telcom.  In 2012, P@WHI brought together a coalition of local LGBT organizations to support the boycott of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, including an action at the hotel's short-lived monthly LGBT club night, and delegating Hyatt management with a community statement endorsing the boycott.  

As Martin Luther King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere;" P@WHI will continue to support working peoples' struggles however we can. 

Anyone who supports the rights of workers and opposes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression is welcome to join us.

Our Board (2013 - 2015):

  • Tod Robertson (President), Hawai'i Government Employees Association (AFSCME Local 152), is the Statewide Home Visiting Network Coordinator for Hawaii's Department of Health.  Tod has had a 25+ year career in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention.  A resident of Hawai'i for 22 years, he now lives in Waikiki.  His hobbies include reading, music, theater and cinema
  • Jamilyn Makaehu (Vice President), serves as a Business Agent for the United Public Workers (AFSCME Local 646).  Prior to working at UPW, Jami was employed with the Department of Public Safety.  Jami enjoys volunteering in her community, singing karaoke and spending time with her partner Heide and their fur babies.
  • Aaron Miller (At-Large), Hawaiʻi Government Employees Association (AFSCME Local 152), is International Programs Coordinator for the College of Social Sciences Dean's Office at UH Mānoa, where he recently graduated with a masterʻs degree in Korean Language. He also serves as Assistant Secretary of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi GLBT Caucus. Aaron is from Aptos, California (Santa Cruz County). Before coming to Hawaiʻi, he worked for four years as Program Director of the Center for Korean Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also participated in the organizing campaign for APT employees of the University of California under University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE), Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 9119. Aaron is also a classical pianist who has studied music for 27 years. He was orchestral pianist for the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony in 2010-2011 and recently appeared as a soloist with the Santa Cruz County Symphony.
  • Pat Koge (Treasurer), United Steel Workers Local 12-591, has spent 23 years at Tesoro’s Hawaii refinery as an operator, where she currently serves as Unit Chair.  Pat is also a part-time student at UH West O'ahu, majoring in Political Science.  Raised in Nanakuli, Pat now lives in Mililani.  An interesting fact about Pat: she doesn't eat tuna fish sandwiches (or tuna mixed with mayonnaise)!
  • Steve Dinion (At-Large), Musicians' Association of Hawai'i, Local 677 AFM, is a professional orchestral musician and music teacher.  He serves as Secretary-Treasurer of his local and is a chapter representative on P@W's National Executive Board.  Steve was a founding member of Hawai'i Labor Against the War, and serves as Recording Clerk for the local non-profit Hawai'i Peace and Justice.  Raised in Virginia, Steve is happy to now call Makiki - where he lives with his partner, their two cats, and way too many books - home.  
  • Morgan Evans (At-Large), UNITE HERE! Local 5 Organizer and UH Richardson Law student, is a graduate of the University of Georgia. Morgan spent 15 years in the service industry, starting at McDonald's, then later as a waitress, cashier, and bartender in non-Union restaurants.  Originally from a small town in Georgia, Morgan has lived on Oahu for 7 years,  currently in the Date/ Kapahulu area.  Morgan's hobbies include karaoke, dancing, anything at the beach, hiking, running, and yoga
  • Jessie Faige (At-Large), Hawaii Government Employees Association (AFSCME Local 152), works for the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, an agency within the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, investigating employment discrimination cases.  As a union-side labor attorney, Jessie previously worked for UNITE HERE! Local 5, representing Hawaii workers in the hotel and healthcare industries, and for New York City-based building service union SEIU Local 32BJ.  Jessie and her partner of eight years moved to Honolulu several years ago from New York City and take advantage of the island's great weather by competing in triathlons.  Jessie is also a board member of the Hawaii LGBT Legal Association. 
  • Leotele "Leo" Togafau (At-Large) is a native of Tutuila (American Samoa) and has lived on O'ahu for nearly 8 years.  She was a former Union Organizer with UNITE HERE! Local 5 and is currently a law student at the University of Hawai'i's William S. Richardson School of Law. She is the mother of the recently adopted "Mellow" (Marshmallow), an eleven year young corgi/terrier mix who absolutely loves car rides. In her spare time, Leo enjoys hiking and attempting to become the next Iron Chef of her own kitchen.
  • James Urbaniak (At-Large) is a UniServ Director with the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) representing public school teachers on the Leeward Coast of Oahu.   Originally from New Jersey, James moved to Hawaii in 2007 to work as an English teacher with the Hawaii Department of Education before accepting his current position with the HSTA.  In his spare time, James enjoys frequenting Genki Sushi with his partner Brian and spending quality time with their two fur children, Benny & Britney.
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Pride At Work Hawai'i Out and Organizing!