Ka Leo O Kalani

Filed under Arts + Culture

Activist Rallies Local Women

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Best known for her work on pesticide reform in Hawaii, Ashley Lukens is an activist and the director of the Hawaii Center for Food Safety. In the past, she has been pushing for a GMO ban in the islands. Now she is starting a new project regarding women’s rights in the workplace.

Lukens is working on creating a podcast called “Dear Boss Babe.” She wants it to function as a platform where women who live in Hawaii can tell their stories about the everyday challenges they face at work.

“What I like about her is that she speaks her mind… And she doesn’t care what other people think about it.””

— Marcela “Pali” Montalto

She got the idea for her podcast from Karen Kelsky, the creator of a nationwide online survey about sexual harassment incidents in higher education.  

“No one is blowing the whistle in Hawaii,” Lukens says. “I want to know why there is a culture of silence in Hawaii, and how we can make [workplaces] safer for women.”

She believes that the Me Too movement has had more noticeable effects on the mainland, and doesn’t know why women in Hawaii have been more reticent.

“I think it’s important to have a powerful voice speaking on behalf of women in small states like Hawaii,” incoming professor of History at the University of Hawaii Frank Zelko comments.

Regarding the Me Too movement in general, Lukens is optimistic.

“As an activist, I have to believe that there’s something worth fighting for,” she says.

She believes that present-day feminist movements will have an effect on the future, and aren’t just little bursts of hope.

“The world that my daughter is being raised in is better for [women],” she says. “She is being raised equally to men.”

Lukens explains that she has grown up privileged in almost every aspect. She’s white, upper middle class, and well educated. Compared to some people, she has plenty of opportunities. But she still has difficulties in her career due to the fact that she is a woman. To her, feminism means standing up for yourself.

“You just have to be able to say, ‘Hey, my male coworker is being paid more than me. That’s not fair,’” she says. “Or, ‘What you just said to me wasn’t appropriate.’”

Robert Perkinson, a University of Hawaii professor, runs a speaker series that brings influential people to Hawaii. The latest person he brought was Kelsky, who inspired Lukens’ podcast. He is also friends with Lukens.

“Ashley is a force of nature,” he says. “She’s smart, strategic, relentless, and indefatigable. She changed the conversation on GMOs in Hawaii. She could do that with sexual harassment too.”

Ashley’s friends Samantha Ruiz and Marcela “Pali” Montalto describe her as fun, opinionated, and driven.

“What I like about her is that she speaks her mind,” Montalto says. “And she doesn’t care what other people think about it.”

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Arts + Culture

    Sociopaths and Psychopaths

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Arts + Culture

    Do Millennials care about politics?

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Arts + Culture

    DIY Halloween!

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Arts + Culture

    Murals reduce graffiti in Kaimuki

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Arts + Culture

    Graffiti: Art or Not?

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Kalani Electives

    German offers unique opportunities for Hawaii students

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Kalani Electives

    Health & Nutrition teaches skills for life

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Kalani Electives

    Business creates well-rounded students

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Entertainment

    On the Waterfront: Less is More

  • Activist Rallies Local Women

    Kalani Electives

    Unlock your creativity through photography

Navigate Right
The student news site of Kalani High School
Activist Rallies Local Women