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October 24, 2016
  • Verizon Stands Strong Against Violence
  • Hawai‘i, Verizon
Photo Captions: 
Joe Anastacio, Student (Computer Science Major) Andrew N. Polloi, Faculty Advisor for Men of Strength William Karino, Alumnus

L-R: Bill Hozey, Managing Partner – Business Sales, Verizon; Dr. Sulma Gandhi, Director for UH Hilo Student Health  & Wellness Programs and Ian Yahya, Vice President – Hawai‘i, Verizon

College students experience dating violence at staggering rates and face unique obstacles in accessing services to escape an abusive relationship. Men of Strength (MOS), a campus organization at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Student Health and Wellness Programs, is dedicated to ending violence on campus and in the community, especially violence toward girls and women. The group is gaining positive momentum thanks to a $10,000 grant from Verizon Foundation.

The gift from Verizon will be used to support Student Health and Wellness Program's ongoing efforts to provide learning opportunities and discussion for students. In addition, Lumos Media, a Hawai‘i based media company, focused on social issue documentary and short film production, will be collaborating with the program to create an educational short film that addresses dating violence.

“Domestic violence is unacceptable—especially here in the islands, where the values of respect, dignity and compassion are so important to all of us,” said Ian Yahya, vice president of Verizon in Hawai‘i. “We are deeply committed to strengthening our community, and are honored to have this chance to support the solutions that Men of Strength brings to the table.”

Through public education and outreach, this determined group comprised of male students, faculty and staff, is making great strides in fighting domestic violence.

Building a violence-free campus and community

In 2015 the group brought nationally acclaimed Dr. Rachel Griffin and in 2014 Dr. Jackson Katz to the Hilo campus. While here these reknown educators and social activists engaged student athletes, coaches and the campus community in discussions about men’s roles in creating a campus free from violence, especially violence against women.

Building on the success of the eye-opening dialogues led by visiting speakers, Dr. Sulma Gandhi regularly speaks to sport teams, residence advisors and students about bystander skills, resources and campus policies.

To learn more, please contact Dr. Sulma Gandhi, Director for UH Hilo Student Health & Wellness Programs at

More About MOS

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.