Journey with ʻōiwi leaders as they share their stories and mana‘o on what drives them to create a better Hawai‘i and a better world. Right to left: ‘Iolani Palace Executive Director Paula Akana KSK’80, Entrepreneur Keanuenue Kekaula, KS Kapālama haumana Aubree K-Aloha and community activist Keli‘i William Ioane Jr.
As one of the state’s largest Hawaiian organizations, Kamehameha Schools (KS) is in a unique position to nurture ‘ōiwi (native) leaders and to support other organizations to do the same. With Native Hawaiians underrepresented in positions of leadership in Hawai‘i, more ‘ōiwi leaders means greater systemic change throughout Hawaiʻi’s industries and governments that will strengthen the Hawaiian community and Hawaiʻi at-large.
A new Kamehameha Schools website celebrates Hawaiian leaders past and present who were guided by Hawaiian values like aloha, mālama (to care for) and kuleana (responsibility). The site offers multiple avenues to unlock inspirational stories and learning opportunities.
The website amplifies all forms of ‘ōiwi leadership both on KS campuses and in the community. Among those featured is ‘Iolani Palace Executive Director and former TV journalist Paula Akana, a 1980 KS Kapālama graduate, who shares how being Hawaiian affected her perspective as a reporter.
“I think my Hawaiian identity has helped me immensely in covering the stories of our lāhui and in helping others in our newsroom to understand our culture and who we are as a people,” said Akana.
“When I look at aliʻi as leaders, I think it’s exciting to share that our aliʻi were different from any other leaders around the world. Our aliʻi were amazing leaders because they were servant leaders.
“As long as future generations don’t forget who we are and where we came from – I think that’s the most important thing that we know – where we came from and where we can go.”
In addition to providing strong examples for aspiring leaders the website includes articles, podcasts and even a quiz that determines what kind of ‘ōiwi leader you are.
Visit www.ksbe.edu/oiwi_leaders to learn more and to bring out the Hawaiian leader in you.
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