Fond 'Aloha' to Karen Umemoto
This year DURP also say a sad 'Aloha' to Karen Umemoto, who has led DURP as Department Chair from 2015-2017, as she joins the faculty of UCLA Urban Planning and Asian American Studies. Karen Umemoto has been a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa since 1996. During that time, she taught courses in Public Policy and Planning Theory, Community Planning, Community-based Economic Development, Diversity and Multiculturalism in Planning, Qualitative Methods, and Evaluation. She has produced research focused in planning and governance in multicultural societies, race and ethnic relations, youth and urban violence, and community building. She recently published Jacked Up and Unjust, a book that looks at violent behavior among urban and rural girls and boys in Hawai‘i that features their voices and perspectives in the face racism, sexism, poverty, and political neglect.
Among her achievements was the creation of the Hawaii Youth Services Directory (HYSD) — an online and searchable database of over 900 programs and services in Hawai‘i for keiki, youth, and young adults aged 0-21. The HYSD has served as a first of its kind resource for youth-serving professionals in Hawaii, whilst providing employment opportunities for DURP students, who help to sustain the directory.
Under her leadership, the Roots and Leaves event was held, serving as a rare networking opportunity for the Hawai‘i planning community, and signaling the formation of the DURP ‘Ohana.