Keynote Speaker: Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio

Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a Kanaka Maoli activist, poet, musician, educator, and a PhD candidate in English at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her formal research areas are indigenous theory, translation theory and Kanaka Maoli moʻolelo.

Jamaica’s introduction to formal education began in her hometown of Pālolo at Ke Kula Kaiāpuni o Ānuenue where she honed her aloha for ʻŌlelo and ʻike Hawaiʻi. Jamaica is a proud graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. After high school Jamaica attended and graduated with honors from the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity program at Stanford University and a later received a Masters degree in the Arts Politics program at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

Jamaica is a widely published poet and professional performer and has shared her poetry throughout Oceania, on 5 continents, and at the White House by invitation of President Barack Obama. In her free time, Jamaica facilitates poetry workshops for local and Kanaka Maoli youth in Hawaiʻi and is a board member of the award winning organization, Pacific Tongues. Currently Jamaica is a junior faculty specialist at Native Hawaiian Student Services at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.