Yesterday, we were able to get a handful of us who were available in the afternoon to go and show our kanaka maoli presence in NYC. We went to the National Museum of the American Indian in NYC (which is near Battery Park/the Statue of Liberty) to take pictures with Hawaiian flags. I chose that location because it is pretty much the only symbol of native presence I know of in NYC (someone please let me know if there are others).
It dawned on us later that we also should have went to the UN - that's where many protests are held. They also have all the flags from every country in the world. We could have got arrested and tried to include the Hawaiian flag up there. Haha. That would have made for a good pic!
Anyway, I also asked kanaka maoli who couldn't make it (it was LAST MINUTE kine, after all) to take pics of themselves in red and/or with the flag in solidarity.
But this is just a step in the direction we want to go. I am so determined that just because I'm going to school in NYC doesn't mean I have to put a PAUSE to advocacy work for Native Hawaiians. Right? In fact, it makes for very good practice in community organizing.
So, we are planning to start up some film screenings - hopefully we can get space at NYU - and educational type stuff. In addition, we are starting up a website and hopefully a social network like maoliworld where Hawaiians can connect in NY.
What I found most difficult living here is that Hawaiians are virtually invisible to each other... unless we have online communities to connect. So --- this is our attempt to solve that and bridge that divide.
Anyway, that's my mana'o for now.