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Piʻo Summit 2022: Wai Sovereignty & Justice

2022 Piʻo Summit: Wai Sovereignty & Justice
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Imin International Conference Center & Kennedy Theatre, UH Mānoa

Wai Sovereignty & Justice
was chosen as the theme of our inaugural summit to draw attention and action to the current state of our wai, along with the constant threats our water resources are currently facing. Wai Sovereignty & Justice brought together esteemed community leaders, advocates, and truth speakers who are advancing aloha ʻāina and water justice. The summit consisted of two day-time panels, a networking mixer event and an evening keynote discussion.

Watch Opening Addresses and Wai Panel Discussions

Featured Keynote

Dr. Cornel West, affectionately known to many as Brother West, is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. West teaches on the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as well as courses in Philosophy of Religion, African American Critical Thought, and a wide range of subjects -- including but by no means limited to, the classics, philosophy, politics, cultural theory, literature, and music. He has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice. Dr. West is the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. 

Summit Schedule

Dr. Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwoʻole Osorio
Dean, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge
Dr. Kamanamaikalani Beamer
Dana Naone Hall Chair

Panel 1: Wai,ʻAi & Iʻa

Thursday, December 15, 2022
12:30 pm
Imin International Conference Center at the East-West Center (adjacent to UH Mānoa campus, 1601 East-West Rd, Honolulu, HI)

Our first panel brought together aloha ʻāina leaders and practitioners to share about their organizations' relationships to wai, along with the significant role it has in feeding our communities. The panel explored questions such as: How does your organization care for wai? What role does wai have in strengthening connections to historical food sources? And how can UH and the academy support these efforts?

Panelists: Keliʻi Kotubetey (Paepae o Heʻeia), Hōkūao Pellegrino (Hui O Nā Wai ʻEhā), Tiare Lawrence (Ka Malu o Kahālāwai), Kanekoa Kukea-Shultz (Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi), Stacy M Sproat (Waipā Foundation) and Hanohano Naehu (Hui o Kuapā). Moderated by Dr. Kamana Beamer.

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Panel 2: Wai & Red Hill

Thursday, December 15, 2022
2:00 pm
Imin International Conference Center at the East-West Center (adjacent to UH Mānoa campus, 1601 East-West Rd, Honolulu, HI)

Panel 2 included community leaders who are at the forefront of the Shut Down Red Hill movement to discuss the significant and pressing issues our water sources and communities are currently facing as a result of the Navy’s fuel leak at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility. The panel addressed questions such as: What enabled the Red Hill crisis to occur? Given the multiple agencies responsible for water in Hawaiʻi, what were the breakdowns that led us to where we are today? What are the current updates on Red Hill and how can communities ensure the safety of Oʻahu’s water?

Panelists: Ernie Lau (Board of Water Supply), Wayne Tanaka (Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi) and Camille Kalama (Kaʻohewai). Moderated by UH Mānoa Professor Kapua Sproat (Ka Huli Ao).

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Muliwai Mixer

Thursday, December 15, 2022
3:30 pm
Imin International Conference Center at the East-West Center (adjacent to UH Mānoa campus, 1601 East-West Rd, Honolulu, HI)

Like-minded water protectors and stewards had the chance to mix and mingle while enjoying food provided by Nui Kealoha.

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Piʻo Summit 2022 Featured Keynote

Thursday, December 15, 2022
5:00 pm
7:00 pm
UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre

Renowned philosopher, political activist, public intellectual and author Dr. Cornel West headlined a moderated keynote discussion following the summit. West spoke on imperialism and the occupation of Hawaiʻi, while placing the islands within the context of peoples’ movements for liberation and justice across the world.

Dr. Cornel West
Professor of Practice Harvard University

Summit Highlights

Piʻo Summit 2022: Wai Sovereignty & Justice: Dr.Kamana Beamer and Community Leaders on Wai

December 15, 2022
Opening Addresses: Dr.Jonathan Osorio and Dr.Beamer Panel 1: Wai ʻAi and Iʻa featuring Keliʻi Kotubetey, Hōkūao Pellegrino, Tiare Lawrence, Kanekoa Kukea-Shultz, Stacy M Sproat and Hanohano Naehu. Moderated by Dr.Beamer. Panel 2: Ernie Lau, Wayne Tanaka, Camille Kalama. Moderated by UH Mānoa Professor Kapua Sproat.

Piʻo Summit 2022: Moderated Keynote with Dr.Cornel West

December 15, 2022
Dr.Cornel West offers one of the most prolific and thoughtful Keynote conversations on issues of Imperialism, Justice, Integrity, Love, and Liberation as related to Hawaiʻi and broader movements for justice and people's movements worldwide. A Moderated Keynote at The University of Hawaii at Manoa Kennedy Theatre for the inaugural Piʻo Summit on Wai Sovereignty and Justice. Moderated by Dr.Beamer.

Our Partners

This summit would not be possible without the kōkua of our valued partners. They are stalwart supporters of environmental justice and ʻōiwi agency, and we would like to express our deep mahalo to these organizations for their contributions:

About our Piʻo Summit

A centerpiece of the Pōʻai ke Aloha ʻĀina project is the Piʻo Summit, a gathering of individuals dedicated to sharing their work to cultivate circular economic thinking in their local communities, and around the world. Our goal is to bring leaders together from at home and abroad to celebrate and share innovative projects that support our communities.

The summit will be held bianually, with each event embodying one of the following themes:

- Highlighting Aloha ʻĀina Innovation at Home, to advance local policy issues and uplift the work of a community collaborator, sharing our (kākou) efforts with an international audience.
- Learning from Sustainability Leaders Abroad
, to increase international collaborations and networks as related to manifesting aloha ʻāina. Let's learn from each other.

Our esteemed guests are leaders in imagining a sustainable future. Whether from far across the globe or from within our own island communities, they bring with them insights that show us a vision of the world, where the operation of our societies, rooted in the concept of aloha ʻāina, draws on the resources of our one and only home in a restorative and rejuvenative fashion, and allows us all to thrive.