My name is Leilani Maxera, and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I use she/they pronouns. I am a daughter of the Hawaiian diaspora. I was raised in Martinez, California, by the Carquinez Strait and in the shadow of Mount Diablo. I grew up in the homeland of the Karkin and Muwekma Ohlone Tribes and was called home to Hawai’i in my early 30s. I currently live in Mānoa Valley by the Mānoa stream, at the base of Pu’upia of the Koʻolau Range.
I have a Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis in Aging from the University of California – Berkeley and a Master of Social Work degree from Hawaiʻi Pacific University, where I wrote my thesis on home funerals and their effects on grief. I worked and volunteered in harm reduction for 14 years, including managing a syringe exchange and an overdose prevention program where I conducted training and education with other social service organizations to teach about overdose prevention and response and to reduce stigma around drug use.