`Olelo BOD Meeting re Kawika Naho`opi`i – WED May 26

Many community members have objected to `Olelo’s decision to terminate Kawika Naho`opi`i (pictured above) from his position as manager of the Wai`anae Community Media Center.

From: Jack De Feo


The Olelo Board of Directors meeting will be held on May 26th Wednesday at the Waipahu Olelo Community Media Center at 6 PM.

There will be a Bus waiting at Leeward Community College in Waianae to take us to that meeting en masse at 4PM.

Please bring as many people as you can with you to let our voices be heard by the members of the board in regards to the injury sustained over the unanimous OBJECTION to the decision made at our Olelo Kahea on May 6th by the CEO of Olelo Keali Lopez. The Waianae Community was told at our Kahea Meeting that we would have no say in the matter as to the direction we the members of our community want our Waianae Olelo CMC Canoe to go well into the future. The time has come for the members of our community to take a course of action where we decide for ourselves the future of our Community with the support of our Media Center to sustain us and to tell those who do not live or work for our community loud and clear where they can go.

I’ve included [text of a] letter that was sent to Olelo that will better illustrate our current situation in this matter:

Aloha & Greetings,

What has come to my attention is the impasse over the administrative decision by Olelo to transfer Kawika to the Mapunapuna Media Center as its new manager. I clearly understand the reasoning behind this decision due to the working relationship I’ve developed with Kawika. I will present and give a brief summary of his unique skill set that has set the standard for building Community Media for Olelo in Waianae:

1.) Kawika has a vision that coincides with his passion for the community of Waianae he has devoted much of his life to by implementing and expanding the resources of Olelo into the Waianae CMC. Kawika is the best spokesperson I know of for Olelo in the Waianae Community that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to and working with. He believes with all his heart and soul that Olelo is the vehicle by which his community can transcend all of its generational problems and learn to live a healthier, more prosperous future using Community Media to promote these vital issues with Kawika as the steersman in the Olelo Waianae Canoe.

2.) Kawika has the innate ability to fully utilize the strengths of his staff to do what they do best while at the same time mentoring to the volunteers and clients looking for guidance on how to best realize their projects. I have personally benefited by his insight to constructively criticize and address my specific needs. These are just a few of the qualities Kawika has that translate into being a trusted leader, manager, mentor, coach and friend.

Olelo in Mapunapuna would do well to have someone like Kawika as its CMC Manager but that would mean taking the Waianae community with him, including staff, volunteers and clients because taking Kawika away from his community would be like taking one leg away from a three legged stool. He is as much an important part of Olelo as he is to those who need him most in the Waianae Community. Its not realistic or practical to outsource Kawika’s unique skill set or passion to another community and expect that he would thrive as well as he has in another environment. What Kawika brings to any organization should not to be misconstrued as a product that can easily be exported inside a tool box to be outsourced elsewhere. What practical sense does it make to fix what’s broken in Mapunapuna by breaking what has worked so well for Waianae and nationally recognized as a model for building Community Media in PEG access. Under the present circumstances Kawika has no choice but to follow his heart and remain in his community. What is really sad about this situation is that no one will benefit by the unintended consequences of the decision to transfer Kawika out of the Waianae Community. The departure of Kawika will have a devastating effect on the relationship with Olelo and the Waianae Community especially at this critical juncture when by his self less efforts towards building community, Kawika has managed to bring together community organizations that until recently have been at odds with each for many years. The facts as they now stand reveal that after 10 years of recognized loyalty, outstanding performance and dedication, Olelo has made the decision to separate itself from Kawika instead of the other way around despite the spin that has been circulated to conceal Olelo’s disreputable subterfuge.

I strongly recommend that a more reasonable approach be considered on how to best address the needs of Olelo in Mapunapuna and Olelo Waianae where both parties involved can arrive at a solution where no harm is done to either community. I also suggest that an arbitrator be considered to facilitate the reinstatement of Kawika and any further discussions in this matter must include the Olelo Board Members to avoid any unintended consequences to the reputation of Olelo by the Waianae Community once the news of Kawika’s departure is made public.


Liaison for Na Hoaloha

Jack De Feo

The directions to the Waipahu Olelo CMC are as follows:

To the Waipahu Community Media Center

Waipahu Community Media Center
@ Waipahu Intermediate School
94-455 Farrington Hwy
Waipahu, HI 96797

Phone: 671-3950 | Fax: 671-3952
Email: waipahu@olelo.org