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Hawai’i Civil Rights Commission

Proudly Presents

E Ola Pono: A Short Story & Video Competition for Hawai‘i Students in Grades 4-12

Envision a world where everyone and everything is ponoyour school is a place that empowers and motivates you to be the best you can be; peers, teachers, families and communities work in harmony to achieve common goals; and, you’re doing something that makes a difference!

Take the challenge and create a short story or video that teaches what it means to E OLA PONO!

What is E Ola Pono? It means living respectfully and harmoniously within our environment—places we call home—our communities and our neighborhoods where our families, friends, visitors and newcomers can thrive. E Ola Pono means being passionate about life and acknowledging the energy or spirit that helps us to be good people and do good things

How is Pono related to our current Hawai’i civil rights laws? What can we do to contribute to, and how can we participate in, creating healthy and peaceful communities? How do we identify, practice, promote and uphold values that teach us about being respectful, accommodating, safe and happy?

Last year the Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission embraced our host culture’s perspective on living righteously—the native Hawaiian belief and practice of E Ola Pono. Malcolm Naea Chun, in the Ka Wana Series: Pono The Way of Living, states “values are concepts and ideas that are important to a people in defining who they are, what they are doing here, and where they are going.”  page vii

The goal of this year’s competition is to inspire students, teachers, and their communities to create a vision of pono through short stories and video.  What can we do in our daily lives to promote respect, acceptance, harmony, and peace in the spirit of E Ola Pono?   We want to hear from you.  Please see the resource section in our website for suggestions to brainstorm ideas.

The Pono Short Story and Video Competition

•4th through 6th graders: Share a story, fiction or non-fiction, about how the concept of E Ola Pono exists today, what it was like in the past, or what it means for our future.

•7th and 8th graders: Produce a short video or compose a short story that defines what pono means to you.

•9th through 12th graders: Create a public service announcement video that teaches about a person, place, or event from the past, present or what it means for the future.

Please refer to competition guidelines included in this website.


The entry deadline for all works is March 25, 2009.

Entry forms and other important information are available at:

Hawai’i Civil Rights Commission: www.hawaii.gov/labor/hcrc

Department of Education: www.doe.k12.hi.us

Center on Disability Studies: www.cds.hawaii.edu

Compelling stories and videos from the E Ola Pono Competition will be considered for Kiwila Civic curriculum being developed by the Center on Disability Studies at University of Hawaii and possibly compiled into a booklet and DVD and made available as an enhancement to the University of Hawai’i Curriculum and Research Development Group’s Ka Wana series.