Rev. M. Kalani Souza
Kalani is a gifted storyteller, singer, songwriter, musician, performer, poet, philosopher, priest, political satirist, and peacemaker. A Hawaiian practitioner and cross-cultural facilitator, he has experience in promoting social justice through conflict resolution. His workshops and lectures inspire, challenge and entertain the listener while calling all to be their greater self.
His native roots allow him a unique perspective of the collision of two worlds; one steeped in traditional culture; the other a juggernaut of new morality and changing economic and political persuasion. He is a messenger of integration and collaboration in a world normally rife with exclusion, oppression and hopelessness. His work in behavior modification research, leadership, teambuilding and political strategy gives him generous insights into group dynamics and systems of governance.
Kalani previously taught Conflict Resolution at UH Manoa in DURP Program and was on the Committee for Intense Public Conflict of ACR (the Association for Conflict Resolution), a body of 6,000 professional peacemakers internationally. He works training and leading workshops throughout the country and in Europe and is a teacher and community builder around resiliency and capacity, particularly in the case of natural and manmade disasters.
Currently, Kalani works as a Coastal Community Resilience Trainer with FEMA Consortium member National Disaster Preparedness Training Center with the University of Hawaii. The UH NDPTC is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kalani also serves as the chairman of the Indigenous Knowledge Hui of the Pacific Risk Management Ohana, PRiMO a collection of federal, state, county and non governmental agencies who work primarily to mitigate and respond to disasters in the greater pacific region. He also serves as a cultural competency consultant for NOAA Pacific Services Center of the Dept. of Commerce and previously served as one of two Hawaiians in the Native Network, a group of 450 peacemakers on the Dept. of Interiors out of the Morris Udall Center for Peace in Tucson, Arizona.
Kalani is currently engaged with a musical and media project, the Big Blue O, that produced an album in 2011 and is working on another. The project is also working on a film, The Big Blue O (working title), highlighting issues of community and cultural capacity through the lens of our relationships to one another and to water.
He currently serves as a mentor with the Hawaii non-killing effort out of the Spark Matsunaga Center for Peace and as a board member for the Ala Kahakai Trail Association, part of the National Park Services Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
He is also the executive director of the Olohana Foundation, a non profit focused on community capacity.
For an excellent and brief introduction to Rev. M. Kalani’s character and message, you may be interested in this video at 1000VoicesArchive.org.