A Message of Aloha this Piko o Wākea 🌞 – Mahalo & A Hui Hou !

Mōhala ka pua, ua wehe kaiao.
The blossoms are opening, for dawn is breaking.
-ʻŌlelo Noʻeau 2179

Aloha ʻohana and hoa aloha,

Last week, KUA staff gathered in person and on Zoom at a place in Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu dear to our new Limu Hui Coordinator. In observance of Piko o Wākea – Ke Alaʻula a Kāne, we were led in ceremony by our newly married Lohe Pono Fellow. We learned new oli together, we shared personal and professional goals, and reflected on this season of transition. 

It is in this spirit of the vernal equinox that I write to you all with the news that my time at KUA has come to an end.

As with many, the last few seasons have brought about many changes for my ‘ohana—a new baby, family health issues, preschool expenses and home ownership, to name a few. In an attempt to adapt to these changing times, I have accepted a new position with the ACLU of Hawai’i and will be transitioning out of my role as KUA’s Communications Coordinator at the end of this month.

While this move is bittersweet, I am heartened by the prospect of new work on issues of importance to our lāhui (houselessness, criminal justice and police reform). I also know that endings make way for new beginnings, new people, new energetics, new ceremonies and new moʻolelo.

KUA is a beautiful organization that has played a monumental role in the story of my beloved community. From the first strategic planning retreat I photographed 9 years ago (shared here again), documenting the work of the kuaʻāina networks we serve has been the greatest gift of my career as a photographer.

Being a part of the KUA ʻohana and working beside beloved hoa – old and new – on staff has been the most rewarding work of my life.

I have learned so much about myself and my place in the world, as kanaka maoli, as a parent, a woman, and as a professional, from my time at KUA. I credit each and everyone I’ve come across in this work with bringing me to this place in my life and career and I cherish the relationships and pilina I have built with all the good people connected to our networks.

I am proud of the stories I have helped elevate and the communications practice I have shaped and championed since joining the staff 6 years ago. Rooted in values we hold so dear in our work – integrity, equity, transparency – this practice stands out as a touchstone for what is pono in working with indigenous and other marginalized folks and I will carry it with me in this next endeavor.

While my time as a staff member has come to an end, my commitment to the movement we have helped build and KUA’s mission to work toward a shared vision of ʻāina momona continues. Social and environmental justice, equity work and values rooted in mālama for that which feeds our communities will always be at the center for me, and I will continue to manifest that vision of abundance in my own life, for the KUA ʻohana, for our lāhui and for all Hawai’i peoples and places.

I look forward to transitioning into new and familiar roles as a network member, a representative of Pā’aiau, Kalauao and ‘Ewa Moku, and as a steadfast ally, kāko’o, and champion of the work we are in together to make the world a more just, equitable and abundant place for our children and the generations to follow. Mahalo from the bottom of my heart. Me ke aloha.  Me ka haʻahaʻa,  Kimmy

“There are no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle, And a very happy start.”
– Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It


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