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  • Writer's pictureKu`ulei Stockman

Asian-American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month White

White House Event | APAICS | Nestlé USA

On Thurs., May 26, the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) held a Closing Ceremony at the Department of the Interior in honor of the AANHPI Heritage Month. E Ala E Hawaiian Cultural Center was privileged to be called upon to open the ceremony with an oli (Oli Aloha) and a hula `auana (He Hawai`i Au).

It was also fantastic to see Hawai`i’s own, speakers Krystal Ka`ai, Executive Director, White House Initiative and President’s Advisory Commission on AANHPI and Keone Nakoa, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Mahalo piha to Senator Mazie K. Hirono for her meaningful Closing Remarks. This truly was a day of celebration!

Mahalo nui loa to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) for inviting E Ala E Hawaiian Cultural Center to present the opening blessing at this year’s Courage to Lead Gala. The event was the culmination of our nation’s recognition of AANHPI Heritage Month. The opportunity to connect and re-connect with amazing people such as one of Hawai`i’s favorite sons, Dr. Kamana`opono Crabbe, made for a lovely evening.

The event was held on Tues., May 24 at Renaissance Washington, D.C. The gala is the largest gathering of AANHPI elected officials and government appointees at the federal, state, and local levels. Past speakers and awardees include President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Biden, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and Senator Mazie Hirono.

Mahalo, Leihua Stewart, for presenting the opening oli, Ua Ao Hawai`i, which was written by Larry Kimura.

On Thurs., May 12, E Ala E Hawaiian Cultural Center was also grateful to Nestlé USA for

inviting our alaka`i to share in the celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month at their Arlington, VA Headquarters. Our good friend and hula sister, Kelly Kikukawa Walker, coordinated an employee lunch that included hula and some fun audience participation. Our alaka`i noted, “It was soooo wonderful to also see Aunty Kelly and Aunty Haunani!” It goes without saying that these favorite “aunties” are dearly missed!

A big mahalo nui loa to the Stewart `Ohana (Mom Leihua, Kona, Nalei and Kalia) and the Farias `Ohana (Mom Marilyn, Ka`ihilei, and Onalani), who took time off from their busy schedules as they always do to share ALOHA with our communities during the AANHPI Heritage Month!

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