In honor of the 182nd birthday of Hawaiʻi’s last reigning monarch, Queen Liliʻuokalani, on September 2nd, the 14th annual ʻOnipaʻa Celebration, organized by the Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Foundation/Coalition, is launching a five-week series of virtual events to celebrate Hawaiian History Month. (For more info visit: hawaiianhistorymonth.org)
We invite our global virtual community to join us online for a rich variety of LIVE programs that will commemorate Queen Liliʻuokalani’s September 2nd birthday as well as Hawaiian History Month. It will serve as a forum for 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.
Hawaiʻi’s last sovereign, Queen Liliʻuokalani was a woman of many talents: a skilled musician, an educated royal, and a leader for peace and social justice. Thus, designating September as Hawaiian History Month would be an appropriate way to honor Hawaiʻi’s Queen and also recognize the many and numerous contributions of the native Hawaiian community.
Advocate, community organizer, and President of the Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Foundation Soulee Stroud explained, “A resolution was adopted by the AHCC at their 2019 annual Convention ʻUrging the Declaration of Establishing September as Hawaiian History Month.’ Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 55 was also considered by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature designating September as Hawaiian History Month, but the hearing was postponed due to COVID-19. 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. 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.
Artist, educator, filmmaker, community activist and one of the original founding members of the Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition Meleanna Meyer stated, “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. Our Queen Liliʻuokalani 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.”
Hawaiian History Month will focus on five main themes including:
- Hauʻoli Lā Hānau e Liliʻuokalani
- Haʻi Moʻolelo: From Page to Stage
- Mele Lāhui, and
- Aloha ʻĀina: From Voice to Action
For more information visit: hawaiianhistorymonth.org and follow us on our social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @hawaiiponoi #hawaiianhistorymonth