Kanaka maoli teacher, cultural practitioner, community leader, one of first openly-transgender candidates to run for a statewide political office in the U.S.
Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu is a kanaka maoli teacher, cultural practitioner and community leader. She was born in the Nuuanu district of Oʻahu and educated at Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaiʻi. She was a founding member of, and outreach specialist for, Kulia Na Mamo, a community organization established to improve the quality of life for māhūwahine (transgender women). She is currently the cultural director at Hālau Lōkahi, a public charter school that uses Native Hawaiian culture, history and education as tools for developing and empowering the next generation of warrior scholars. She and her students have been invited to participate in numerous events in Hawaiʻi and abroad, including trips to Tahiti, Autearoa and Japan. Hina is also a leader in many community affairs and civic activities, including serving as chair of the O‘ahu Island Burial Council, which oversees the management of Native Hawaiian burial sites and ancestral remains. Last year, Hina became one of the first Native Hawaiians to actively support marriage equality in Hawaiʻi through a prominent Star-Advertiser editorial entitled, “Hawaiian Values Differ from Western Traditions.” She can currently be seen in an award-winning documentary about her life, Kumu Hina, which is screening at film festivals around the globe.
(Photo by Kai Markell)