Discovering Tomorrow: Unveiling Our Spring Lecturers

As we enter the new year, the Better Tomorrow Speaker Series welcomes a fresh start with a lineup of dynamic speakers in 2024. From renowned scholars, a passionate marine activist,  bestselling authors, and a visionary filmmaker, our roster includes individuals of national acclaim who have embarked on diverse endeavors.

The possibilities are endless, and the journey toward a great year begins with the impactful stories shared by these influential personalities.



For Our Grandchildren: Healing. Restoring. Imagining.

Thursday, January 18, 2024, 6:30 PM

John F. Kennedy Theatre

UH Mānoa Campus

Dr. Gail Christopher is renowned for her over 30-year career in health policy and well-being advocacy. Formerly Senior Advisor and Vice President at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, she played a key role in initiatives like America Healing and Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation. Her extensive contributions include roles at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution, and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, showcasing her commitment to holistic health, diversity, and social determinants of health in public policy discourse.

Kekuhi Kanae Kanahele Keali‘ikanaka‘oleoHaililani is the executive director of the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation, a coordinator for the federally funded educational program I Ola Haloa, Title III, and an instructor in the Hawaiian Lifestyles Program at Hawai‘i Community College. Kekuhi holds a B.A. in Hawaiian Studies, an M.Ed. from Heritage University, and is a doctoral student at Union Institute and University.



A Towering Task (2019) Film Screening

Friday, February 9, 2024, 6:00 PM

Doris Duke Theatre
Honolulu Museum of Art

Alana DeJoseph, born in Munich, Germany, has been immersed in film and video production since the age of 10, contributing her voice to various film and TV productions. Her notable work includes global documentary productions, and her commitment to transformative storytelling is evident in collaborations with the Center for Humans and Nature, where she records and edits impactful talks, presentations, and interviews. Through her work, Alana aims to inspire positive change in the world.


Dismantling the Carceral Web: The Urgency of Justice Innovations

Friday, February 16, 2024, 6:30 PM

Campus Center Ballroom
UH Mānoa Campus

Penn legal scholar Dorothy Roberts will discuss the importance of finding non-prison solutions for the country’s most challenging social problems.

Dorothy Roberts, an endowed professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and the founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society, specializes in the intersection of gender, race, and class in legal issues related to reproduction, bioethics, and child welfare. With over 100 articles and five books, including her latest work “Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families–and How Abolition Can Build a Safer World,” she is a distinguished member of the American Philosophical Society, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine.


No Democracy Left Behind: On Novels, Nation, and Resistance

Thursday, February 22, 2024, 6:30 PM

Art Auditorium
UH Mānoa Campus

Internationally acclaimed writer Gina Apostol, holding the Inouye chair, will deliver a speech emphasizing the significance of political novels in sustaining democracy.

Gina Apostol, author of five novels, including “Insurrecto,” was recognized as one of the Ten Best Books of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, and her latest release, “La Tercera,” launched in May this year. Her literary achievements include the Rome Prize, the PEN/Open Book Award, and two Philippine National Book Awards. 



Tuesday, March 12th, 2024, TBD

Columbia anthropologist Paige West will engage in a conversation with Papua New Guinea activist John Aini, exploring the Indigenous perspective on the future of conservation. 

West, an anthropologist at Barnard College and Columbia University since 2001, specializes in the relationship between societies and environments. She’s received numerous awards, including the Anthropology and Environment Junior Scholar award. Beyond academia, West co-founded the PNG Institute of Biological Research and the Roviana Solwara Skul, emphasizing research and education in Papua New Guinea.


John Aini, born and raised in the coastal community of Lavongai, New Hanover, has dedicated his life to marine conservation in Papua New Guinea (PNG). After studying tropical fisheries at the National Fisheries College in Kavieng and working as an assistant technician for the Department of Primary Industries, now the National Fisheries Authority, Aini collaborated with Paul Lokani to run awareness campaigns on marine conservation in the coastal communities of New Ireland. Aini’s career showcases his commitment to sustainable practices and community engagement in safeguarding PNG’s marine ecosystems.




Thursday, April 18th, 2024, TBD

Joanne Lipman, a best-selling author and former USA Today editor, will speak on the elements of innovation, exploring the social, cultural, and psychological factors.

Lipman is a bestselling author known for books like “NEXT! The Power of Reinvention in Life and Work” and “That’s What She Said.” A pioneering journalist, she has held editorial roles at USA Today, Conde Nast Portfolio, and The Wall Street Journal, earning six Pulitzer Prizes. Lipman, dubbed a “star editor” by CNN, served as the first Chief Content Officer of Gannett, overseeing USA Today and 109 metro newspapers, leading the organization to three Pulitzer Prizes. She is also a frequent television commentator and a journalism lecturer at Yale University.


Thursday, May 16th, 2024, TBD

In an upcoming book talk, Henry Grabar, a Harvard fellow and Slate journalist, will discuss the detrimental impacts of parking development.

Grabar, a Slate staff writer, covers housing, transportation, and urban policy, contributing to publications like The Atlantic, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. Recognized for his work, he received the Richard Rogers Fellowship from Harvard and was a Livingston Award finalist for excellence in national reporting by journalists under thirty-five.