During this time of year, Native Hawaiian protocols dictate that we set aside conflicts and daily challenges to focus on a season of peace, reflection and to celebrate the work of the year by enjoying the harvests of that work.
In that spirit, I would like to share about an event I had the honor to experience, and my reflection on what that means for all of us who support the mission and vision of the Hawai’i Education Association.
Along with our Executive Director, Laurie Togami, I had the privilege of representing HEA at the Historic Hawai’i Foundation’s 48th Annual Preservation Honor Awards. The Hawaii Education Association was recognized for our Centennial Celebration with notable entities like the Hawai’i Library Association, Wai’oli Tea Room, Konawaena High School, Hawai’i Theatre Center Pu’unēnē School, among others.
Our organization was formed before statehood, providing support, a voice, and professional development opportunities for educators long before other educational organizations were in existence. In those 100 years, we have helped educators organize, develop beloved writing programs for our students, and create and support a pipeline from high school to the teaching profession. In short, HEA has served as an educated and experienced elder in our education community.
This would never have been possible without you. Your membership is part of a legacy that lives on through our shared good work. As we look forward to our next 100 years, we will continue working to be of help to our educators and our educational institutions so that they may continue to thrive. Your ongoing membership and support will go a long way in helping us maintain our current programs and scholarships. As importantly, your good word will help us expand our endeavors as we move forward to our next centennial.
While we may be looking towards the time of year where we are rushing and running, I hope you find time to also enjoy the Makahiki spirit. May you experience peace, have opportunities to reflect, but most of all, may you enjoy your own personal “harvests” for the year.
With deep aloha and gratitude,
Joan Kamila Lewis