Celebrate Hawaiian History Month: The Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition Presents Five Weeks of Virtual Events
The Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition is excited to launch a five-week series of virtual events celebrating Hawaiian History Month.
The month-long program kicks off on September 2, 2020 with an observation of the 182nd birthday of Hawaiʻi’s last reigning monarch Queen Liliʻuokalani. The virtual celebration will be live-streamed on hawaiianhistorymonth.org and facebook.com/hawaiiponoi beginning at 8:45am HST.
Reflecting Queen Liliʻuokalaniʻs remarkable life and legacy as a woman of many talents, a skilled musician, an educated royal, and staunch leader for peace and social justice, the birthday event will serve as a forum of education and cultural awareness celebrated through music, poetry, theatre, film, and educational panel discussions. In addition, an interfaith service will commemorate the Queen’s great wisdom of tolerance for all spiritual traditions that have found a footing in Hawai’i since her time.
Whereas Prince Kūhiō Day and Kamehameha Day are official state holidays honoring Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and King Kamehameha I, respectively, there is no Hawaiʻi state observance or holiday recognizing Queen Liliʻuokalani. Designating September as Hawaiian History Month is an appropriate way to honor Hawaiʻi’s Queen and also recognize the many and numerous contributions of the Native Hawaiian community.
“A resolution was adopted by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (AHCC) at its 2019 annual Convention urging the Declaration of Establishing September as Hawaiian History Month,” said Soulee Stroud, advocate, community organizer, and President of the Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition. A concurrent resolution that would have designated September as Hawaiian History Month was also introduced into the state legislature. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a hearing for the resolution was postponed.
Nevertheless, Hawaiian History Month will be celebrated collectively in 2020 to honor the Queen and to share Hawaiʻi’s true history along with the contributions of the Native Hawaiian community.
“We have a legitimate reason to focus on the month of September as Hawaiian History Month because in addition to celebrating Liliʻu’s birthday, the International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21st,” said Meleanna Meyer, artist, educator, filmmaker, community activist and one of the original founding members of the Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition. “Our Queen Lili’uokalani has always been a woman of peace, as she strived for justice and pono – righteous action. She is our Gandhi, our Mandela, having devoted her life to her Nation and its return, to the land, and to her beloved Lāhui – to her people.”
Each week of Hawaiian History Month will focus on different themes:
- Hauʻoli Lā Hānau e Liliʻuokalani
- Haʻi Moʻolelo: From Page to Stage
- Mele Lāhui
- Aloha ʻĀina: From Voice to Action
For more information about Hawaiian History Month, including an updated list of events, visit: http://hawaiianhistorymonth.org
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