Sivai Bennett Oral History Interview

Sivai Bennett Oral History Interview
LC Subject
Asian Americans Community organization Immigrants
Bennett, Sivai
Fernández, Natalia, 1985-
Sivai Bennett was born in 1960 in American Samoa. She lived there until she moved to La Grande, Oregon, at age 18 to attend Eastern Oregon University and study political science. After two years, Bennett transferred to the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, where she continued her studies to become a lawyer even though she aspired to become a teacher. There she met her husband. She moved with him to La Grande and began her studies to become an elementary school teacher. In 1984, Bennett, her husband, and her daughter moved back to American Samoa where she taught high school. They then relocated to El Centro, California, in 1988 where they lived for 10 years. Eventually they moved to Portland, Oregon, where Bennett received her Masters of Arts in Teaching in 2003 at the University of Portland. Currently, she is a teacher at Harold Oliver Elementary in Portland. She also serves as a volunteer advisory board member of IRCO's Asian Family Center where her role is to advise the directors, help fundraise, and connect IRCO to her community. Bennett also serves as the secretary for the board of directors at the Samoa Pacific Development Corporation where she has previously held the positions of president, vice-president, and treasurer. The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) was established in 1976 to serve immigrants and refugees in Portland, Oregon. IRCO's mission is to promote the integration of refugees, immigrants, and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy, and inclusive multiethnic society. Through its five primary locations – IRCO Main, Africa House/Skill Center, Asian Family Center, Senior Services Center, and the International Language Bank – the organization provides programs and services related to training and employment, health and aging, English language learning, naturalization and social adjustment, community development, early childhood, parenting and youth development, education and interpretation and translation.
Work Type
Portland >> Multnomah County >> Oregon >> West >> United States
In Copyright
Local Collection Name
Asian Family Center Oral History Collection, 2014-2016 (OH 30)
OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center Oregon Multicultural Archives
Primary Set
Oregon Multicultural Archives
Oregon State University