Defining housing security and personal safety, and destigmatizing cultural lifestyle practices (kauhale, indoor ʻimu, outdoor dwelling space, etc.) that aid in disaster relief.
- Participants will define the relationship between housing security and disaster response among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
- Participants will define sustainable models of providing housing for all.
- Participants will identify a cultural lifestyle practice that is related to clinical signs and symptoms of serious mental illness and substance misuse.
Guest Speakers Spotlight
I have been working for Kōkua Kalihi Valley since Feb 2011, at Hoʻoulu ʻĀina, a 100-acre nature preserve, as a Youth Coordinator. Being a child who grew up in Kalihi, I have experienced the hardships and trauma that most community members grow up with. One of my kuleana is to teach the community ʻike kupuna to have them help in the healing of the land while healing themselves at the same time. Since COVID started, my new position handles the procurement and distribution of COVID supplies to our patients and the kupuna within our community.
I have been a haumana (student) of Kumu Francis “Palani” Sinenci, of Hana, Maui, and a part of Halau Hale Kuhikuhi for about 9 years. In my spare time I participate in traditional Hale building, uhau humu pohaku (dry stacking walls), and fishpond restoration. I believe these skills along with kalai waʻa (canoe carving), and lo’i kalo, and many more, were essential to everyday life in Hawai’i and the practice of any cultural ʻike kupuna will help us become whole and complete.
Kanoa O’Connor earned a bachelor of science in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. He has been an ʻāina educator and youth coordinator at Hoʻoulu ʻĀina at Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services since 2012 where he is a space holder in preparation to lead the program as a successor of his mentor Puni Jackson. In 2015 OʻConnorʻs masters research on Hawaiian systems of sanitation and waste water management in Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was featured in the Apocalypse Issue (Issue 22) of Flux Magazine.
Deja Ostrowski is a Staff Attorney with the Medical-Legal Partnership Hawaiʻi (“MLP”). Ms. Ostrowski’s practice with MLP addresses the complex social determinants of health that impact well-being. Through legal clinics, legal advocacy and representation, and advocacy academies for patients and community health center staff, she partners with people experiencing housing insecurity, exiting incarceration, and living with physical and mental disabilities to address legal and systemic barriers that perpetuate inequality. Ms. Ostrowski also serves as the Oʻahu Representative on the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women. Ms. Ostrowski has over a decade of community lawyering experience, working previously in public policy at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, representing victims of domestic violence in family law matters, civil rights enforcement, and impact litigation with Hawaiʻi Appleseed Center and Lawyers for Equal Justice. Deja holds a Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and a B.A. in Mathematics from Occidental College. She is the co-founder of Hawaiʻi Strategy Lab, a community data collaborative.
Our Training Kits
Impact of Tourism and Military Populations in Relation to the State of Hawaiʻi’s Disaster Preparedness (Version 1.2)
The Māpuna Lab
Department of Social Work
Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa