Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, defined by his name as a “royal chief without measure,” created a legacy for Hawaiʻi that is renowned, remembered and revered today.
In his lifetime, Kūhiō was a royal protégé, a prisoner, a politician, a musician, and most importantly, a prince of the people. His many achievements include establishing the county government system still in place today, and advocating for the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. Kūhiō was also the founder of the Hawaiian Civic Club movement.
Kūhiō formed the first Hawaiian Civic Club to mobilize his Native Hawaiian constituency. He wanted to organize a group of Hawaiians who would dedicate themselves to help elevate and promote the social, economic, civic and intellectual status of Native Hawaiians, and become outstanding citizens and leaders in their communities.
This movement started in 1918 and has evolved into the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (AHCC), an organization that continues to actively advocate around political issues that impact the Hawaiian community and now boasts over 60 distinct organizations across Hawaiʻi and the United States.
In November of 2020, the AHCC held its first virtual annual convention in its more than 100-year history with hundreds of attendees participating from across the United States.
At the convention, AHCC proudly recognized its Outstanding Young Hawaiian Civic Club Member of the Year, Shauna Honuʻāina Nichols. As a member of the Pearl Harbor Hawaiian Civic Club and the student body president at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama her senior year, Honu has demonstrated an ability to effect change through action by organizing an event for students on campus that included coordinating participation with dozens of local nonprofits who shared about climate change impacts and community service volunteer opportunities.
As a passionate volunteer leader at Mālama Loko Ea Foundation, Honu has been a part of the ongoing preservation of this 400-year-old traditional fishpond. Since childhood, Honu has participated in cultural events like the annual Prince Kūhiō Festival and the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade to ensure that these legacies live on for future generations. Honu truly exemplifies the ideals and examples set forth by Prince Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole.
The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs is a nonprofit organization and the oldest Hawaiian community-based advocacy movement. Our organization is a federation of individual Hawaiian Civic Clubs located across Hawaiʻi and across the continental United States, organized into five councils: Moku o Keawe (Hawaiʻi Council), Nā Hono Aʻo Piʻilani (Maui Council), Ke One o Kākuhihewa (Oʻahu Council), Moku o Manokalanipō (Kauaʻi Council), and Nā Lei Makalapua (Mainland Council). We are governed by an 18-member volunteer board of directors, and we advocate for the improved welfare of Native Hawaiians in culture, health, economic development, education, social welfare, and nationhood, and the perpetuation and preservation of our language, history, music, dance and other cultural traditions.