September 2022: Piko O Wākea Reflections and Intentions

September 28, 2022
September 2022 Newsletter

Piko O Wākea Reflections and Intentions

In some traditions of Hawaiian knowledge and practice, the Equinox – Ka Piko O Wākea, referring to ka Lā crossing the celestial equator – is considered a transition and balance point between the energies of existence. With the Fall Equinox, or Ke Ala Maʻaweʻula a Kanaloa, we enter into the wet hoʻoilo season and a time of Kanaloa influence; the dry season of kau wela is ushered in with Ke Alaʻula a Kāne and a time of Kāne influence at the Spring Equinox. The Fall Equinox last week transitions us to a time of decreasing daylight, to a time of increased wetness and greenness, to a time of harvesting what was energized in the Summer.

We invite you to take this time to reflect on the season that has passed, to conceive of what could be harvested in the season to come, and welcome you to walk with us through the retelling of our summer journey and our visualization of what tomorrow might bring. We look forward to continuing to grow with you, in loving companionship, through the many seasons to come.

We Enjoyed Spending the Summer with our Dazzling Educator Crew!


Thank you to the 500+ AMAZING educators who spent time with us the past few months exploring and creating content for our Hawaiʻi Online Portal for Education (HOPE) initiative! Since the beginning of our HOPE journey, we have learned so much about just and equitable content creation, explored many topics and tools related to digital and technology-enhanced education, and worked with so many amazing educators and organizations interested in supporting our Hawaiʻi teachers in creating high quality, open education resources for other Hawaiʻi teachers. With topics ranging from project-based learning to formative assessment, from virtual field trips to ʻāina-based education, from voyaging as a science to navigation as mindset for living in harmony with the earth, from artists creating content with teachers to teachers creating computer science units, we loved seeing all the energized creativity and collaboration!

The portal public library and secure authorship zone will be available for use later this Fall; opportunities still exist to get involved in this work as a stipend contributor for a limited time, please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

SCHOOLS OF THE FUTURE EVENTS, October 19th and 22nd

New to HOPE?

If you are brand new to HOPE as a content creator, we invite you to join us on Saturday October 22nd at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center for our “HOPE Search Adapt Create” Workshop.  During the workshop, you will be supported in exploring HOPE, and beginning a content creation of your own.  Lunch, snacks, and parking will be provided for you, and you can earn $500 just for participating!

Returning to HOPE? 

If you have been in contact with our team as a HOPE Content Creator, we invite you to join us on Wednesday October 19th at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center for our “Priming the Portal” Workshop.  During the workshop, you will be supported in creating your authorship profile in the HOPE platform, and uploading your units and artifacts.  Lunch, snacks, and parking will be provided for you, and you can earn $500 for completing the portal process!

Exploring Decolonization, Indigeneity, and Allyship in Education with ALOHA

While HOPE pushed us to new levels of digital content creation and consideration of how to provide high quality resources for Hawaiʻi classrooms that is authentic and grounded in wisdom of place as well as wisdom of practice, our team also put a lot of energy into exploring the deeply rooted subjects of colonization, indigeneity, and allyship in a number of different programs and classes this summer.  What began as an experiment with Uncle Pono Shim and Oahu Economic Development Board to recast and reconsider study abroad programs as a form of regenerative tourism became a strand of our effort that now focuses on the journey that each of us as learners must take to uncover the forms of oppression we have internalized through our education and economic systems, to lean into allyship and indigeneity as tools of decolonization for all, and for many of us, what it means to be a settler and ally.  We are honored and humbled to have been on this journey with Dartmouth College, Swarthmore College, University of Wisconsin-Stout, the Graduate School of Education at High Tech High, the Center for Love & Justice at High Tech High, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, Aunty Manu Meyer’s class at the University of Hawaiʻi, and the many partners who encourage and sustain us through this work, including our ʻāina-based education collaborators and host sites: Hō Mai Ka Pono, Hoʻokuaʻāina, Hui o Waʻa Kaulua, Kanu Ka ʻIke, Kualoa Education Center, Living Life Source Foundation, Loko Iʻa Pāʻaiau, Mālama Learning Center, Mālama Maunalua, Mānoa Heritage Center, Pacific American Foundation, Paeloko, Paepae O Heʻeia, Papahana Kuaola, Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Join us for our next Foundations of ALOHA cohort


We invite you to join us for our next Foundations of ALOHA cohort (register at  FOA combines lessons and experiences that we have gathered as teachers, parents, entrepreneurs, and voyagers; our core teachings are guided by the wisdom of Aunty Pilahi Paki via our work with renowned storyteller Pono Shim.  Whether it is your 1st cohort with us or your 18th, if you join us every day or once a week – we hope you join us as we grow a collection foundation of ALOHA for all aspects of our lives and communities!

Book Nook: The School-Prison Trus


As part of our FOA journey, we also host a monthly conversation around a selected book for anyone interested. This month, we will be reading The School-Prison Trust by Sabina Vaught, Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy, and Jeremiah Chin, which considers the relationship between colonization, school and prison, paying particular attention to Native communities and youth.  The book is available to read free via Manifold, an amazing platform created by the University of Minnesota Press to publish and read open-access online books.  We are loosely structured in our reading; we share an asynchronous doc to keep track of thoughts, inspirations, and quotes we find memorable as we read on our own throughout the month. Please feel free to join us wherever you might be in your process of exploring this book on Tuesday, October 25th from 12pm – 1pm for our Zoom debrief and discussion.

ICYMI – It’s Not Too Late!

Register today for the 11th Annual Hoʻoikaika Conference, “Holomua Ike Kūpuna, Going Forward in the Wisdom of Our Ancestors.” This free-of-charge, virtual conference takes place on Thursday September 29 from 8:30am – 3:30pm, and focuses on educating providers and the wider community about protective factors and trauma-informed approaches, integrating Hawaiian knowledge and honoring the diverse cultures of Maui Nui.   We will be offering two workshops on Building Foundations of ALOHA in personal and professional practice sharing the wisdom of Uncle Pono Shim, alongside many wonderful sessions and presenters we are excited to learn from. 

Join us for our next Foundations of ALOHA cohort


Live ALOHA ART Contest

Our friends at Live Aloha are hosting the first annual Expressions of Aloha Art Contest, inviting Hawaiʻi students from preschool to high school to create art that shares how they feel aloha in their lives today.  Submissions are due in a few short days – check out the info at the link for postcard specifications and how to submit your entry through their online form.

Grade division winners will be awarded a $150 cash prize and selected designs will be printed as official Live Aloha postcards. All entries will be featured on the live aloha website.

Wahine Forum
It’s time once again for the annual Wahine Forum, this year back as a face-to-face event!  The Wahine Forum by Hawaiʻi Business Magazine is known to be Hawaiʻi’s largest women-focused leadership and professional development conference.   Our CEO Miki will be a panelist this year, amongst many other Hawaiʻi female entrepreneurs, business leaders, change agents, and innovators.  We hope to see you there!

Schools of the Future

Join us at the 14th annual Schools of the Future Conference, also resuming face-to-face for the first time since 2019!  Our team from EI will be there representing our work with the Hawaiʻi Online Portal for Education (HOPE) as well as Polynesian Voyaging Society’s education initiatives and upcoming voyages.   For those educators who have worked with us through HOPE in the past year, or would like to explore HOPE as a new participant, we have information about stipend and discount registration rates we can share with you.  Contact [email protected] for more information about these HOPE-related opportunities; you can also register directly with Schools of the Future at this link.

The Voyage Ahead

As we consider the infinite possibilities that lie ahead, we want to express our gratitude and appreciation for the partners who have invited us to be with them on their journey through the upcoming 2022-23 school year.  We know that with ALOHA as our foundation and our compass in this work, we will continue to strengthen our existing connections and relationships, and form new ones along the way.  Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo.  We look forward to the adventures to come with partners like you. 

Boys & Girls Club of Hawaiʻi, City & County of Honolulu, Compassionate Koʻolaupoko, Graduate School of Education at High Tech High, Hawaiʻi Department of Education, Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival, Halau O Huluena, Kāneʻohe Elementary School, Liliʻuokalani Trust, Munekiyo Hiraga, ʻOhana Waʻa, Polynesian Voyaging Society, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, Waiʻanae High School, Waimea High School, Wayfinder, and WorkHawaii Youth Program.


Shining the Light Softly…


We want to share with our EI ʻohana that your love and energy has supported Miki in having confidence to accept the following appointment:

Miki is one of the thirteen Founding Directors of the NOAA Marine Debris Foundation, which was established with the passage of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act of 2020 to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association in its efforts to address and mitigate marine debris pollution.  This newly appointed Board begins its work this Fall of 2022, and we are excited to see what positive change the Foundation might bring in support of a healthy ocean and healthy Oceania.