Sakaria Laisene Auelua-Toomey, Faculty, Department of Psychology, UH Mānoa

Sakaria Laisene Auelua-Toomey

Assistant Professor
Duties begin on 8/1/2024

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I was born and raised here in Hawaiʻi, where my interest in psychology began at the Honolulu Community College. Here, I developed the psychological vocabulary to reflect on many of my racialized experiences that would serve as the driving force throughout my studies and research at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Stanford University. I am always excited to learn about research that is informed by one's lived experiences, especially when such perspectives are underrepresented. As a mentor and educator, I am passionate about supporting research programs and curriculums that sustain the cultural values of students' communities while also offering access to knowledge about dominant cultural values.


  • PhD, Psychology, Stanford University, 2024
  • BA, Psychology and Communicology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 2016
  • AA, Liberal Arts, Honolulu Community College, 2013


  • PSY 250: Social Psychology


I examine racism as a system of advantage based on race that is maintained and reinforced by an interplay between psychological processes and our social contexts. By employing diverse methods (e.g., surveys, field experiments, archival analyses, natural language processing) and including diverse perspectives, I highlight how our social contexts elicit both psychological expressions of and reactions to racism. More importantly, I emphasize the importance of interventions that focus on changing our social contexts (i.e., structural focused interventions) to mitigate the expressions of and reactions to racism, thereby dismantling some of these systems of advantage based on race.