Get on the HYPE!!!

In the past weeks I have received many email inquiries about the HYPE MOVEMENT!

Instead of responding to everyone separately, I am going to attempt to answer your questions via this blog entry.

What is the HYPE MOVEMENT?
Please click here to learn what the HYPE MOVEMENT is all about…

How can we help further the cause of the HYPE MOVEMENT?
First of all I want to thank everyone who has helped in so many different ways, whether it’s by reppin’ the HYPE wristbands, telling your friends about the movement, taking pictures for our photo gallery , or just sending me emails of support! All your support (in all its different forms) means so much to me and is greatly appreciated.

At this time, we are currently in the first phase of the HYPE MOVEMENT, which is focused on saturating our community with the HYPE wristbands and making sure that everyone knows what it stands for and understands that living the HYPE begins with you! We can only reach out to help others, if we are currently pursuing our dreams, living to our fullest potential, and breaking down the stereotypes that often seek to confine our imaginations.

The 2nd and 3rd phase of the HYPE MOVEMENT will include programming, school assemblies, film documentaries, youth conferences, etc., but for right now, we want to focus on just getting the word out and making sure that every young person we come across knows what HYPE is about and are reppin’ the wristbands.

We are always in need of more people to get the word out to our communities, if you are interested in spreading the good word about the HYPE MOVEMENT, please email me at

What are you going to do about some of the youth who rep the bracelets but aren’t living the HYPE?
I want to be clear that the HYPE MOVEMENT is not about policing young people’s behaviors; it’s about changing their consciousness so that they can expand their thinking and live their dreams. It is our hope that in the process of changing one’s consciousness that we also begin to change our lives to be reflective of our beliefs and outlook on life.

It is inevitable that there will be some young people who rep the wristbands but are still struggling with their own challenges, this is the case for everyone, which is why this movement is so needed. It serves as a constant reminder that even in our weakest moments, we can still rise above! In fact, there would be no need for this movement if everyone was perfect! The HYPE MOVEMENT is not about perfection, it’s about imperfect people learning from their mistakes and still reaching to achieve their greatest potential.

Is the HYPE MOVEMENT a response to violence?
Folola Takapu, who is the young Tongan student, who coined the phrase HYPE and what it stands for, created this movement as a response to the current realities of many of our young people, who have suffered from gang violence, discrimination, negative stereotypes, internalized racism, etc. When she approached me this past summer to help in organizing the movement, I saw this movement as much more than just a reaction to the harsh realities that many of our young people face on a daily basis, but rather that it is also a reclaiming of who we are as Pacific Islanders.

We are descendants of the most amazing voyagers and navigators in the history of this world! Our ancestors sailed the Pacific Ocean for thousands of years using only the stars, the wind, and the natural elements of the earth. Therefore, I absolutely refuse to listen to anyone who says we should settle for being average! Average is not even part of our DNA! The HYPE MOVEMENT is about reclaiming that legacy that has always been part of who we are! In other words, our ancestors were livin’ the HYPE even back then! Yes…they were down with the HYPE MOVEMENT, I know they were!!! Hahaha!

Is the HYPE MOVEMENT the same as the American Dream?
Aside from the fact that one is a movement and the other is an ideology, there are some similarities between the two as they both are about working hard and becoming whatever you want to be in this life. However, there are some drastic differences between the two concepts. The American Dream is grounded on the idea of meritocracy, which focuses only on hard work, but FAILS to take into account the structural inequities and institutional racism that unfortunately is part of the world we currently live in.

The HYPE MOVEMENT on the other hand acknowledges that these structural inequities are real, that institutional racism is alive, that classism, sexism, and racism impacts our daily lives, however, we are consciously choosing to move forward, not with a blind eye to the reality of our circumstances but being clearly aware of it while seeking to change that reality, to shape it, to deconstruct it, and to make sure that in the 21st century we are not just spectators in the game of life, but that we are engaged in the process and making the decisions that determine the outcome of our lives!

Forget the American Dream this is about YOUR dream so live it!!!

Final Thoughts…
Don’t sit around and hope something changes someday! Don’t let someone else determine your future! Don’t accept mediocrity! Don’t get caught up in hoping that someday when you become rich and famous you will do something positive! Don’t wait for someone close to you to die, drop out of school, be in rehab, etc. etc. before you decide to stand up and do something about it! This is the time for you to take a stand!!! STAND UP and GET ON THE HYPE!!!!

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise! (Maya Angelou)
Rise up Pacific People…It’s Our Time!!!

Check out the HYPE photos at

For more information on how to GET ON THE HYPE email ‘Anapesi Ka’ili

Monday, December 15, 2008