Author Bio

Michiko M. Kealoha directs the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development at Cañada College, a community college in the heart of Silicon Valley, California. She is also an Instructor of Leadership Studies in the institution’s Education and Human Development Department. She received a Master of Arts in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Leadership and Student Affairs from University of the Pacific, and is currently a doctoral student at the University of San Francisco, studying International and Multicultural Education with an emphasis in Human Rights. Her research interests include human rights education, counter-narratives and storytelling through the arts, and social movements.


When was the first time you discovered our stories together are important?

This notes from the field article documents the author’s journey to discovering collaborative auto-ethnographic poetry as a powerful pedagogical tool to decolonizing peace education and human rights education. With the ability to disrupt colonized academic knowledge through counter-narratives and ancestral practices, collaborative auto-ethnographic poetry can be practiced as therapy, inquiry, liberation, and validation that strengthens voices in an authentic way—equipping people with the ability to promote peace and social justice. What started as a class icebreaker grew into a project that brought communities together on the international stage. Through the process of multiple collaborative auto-ethnographic poetry projects, students at a community college came together to jointly construct knowledge, research, write, share, and perform together—leading to a process of healing, connection, trust, and action. This article includes the experiences and benefits of collaborative auto-ethnographic poetry, how writing and performing opportunities were implemented, implications for future practice, and a support guide on beginning a collaborative auto-ethnographic poetry performance group.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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