Malulani’s Bio

Michael E. Malulani K. Odegaard, founder of Hawai‘i Bilingual, grew up in Newport Beach, California, in a home that was immersed in Hawaiian culture. His earliest memories were comprised of his mother’s Hawaiian intimate words and hula and his parents were active members of the ‘Āinahau o Kaleponi Hawaiian Civic Club. The global perspective that afforded “Kaleponi-Hawaiian” Malulani by his studies of French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese languages at Newport Harbor High School led him into recognized leadership in local environmental activism at a young age, organizing the “OUTLOOK ’81” Environmental Fair and even serving in public office while in college, and he was awarded a bronze Olympic medal by the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for “outstanding volunteer service” to the Protocol Division during 1984 summer break. As a delegate to the American Institute of Architects Student Chapter National Convention in Atlanta, he organized the complete California delegation and provided the conceptual framework that won the California student delegation the Design Award in a national “charrette” competition to redesign the nation’s Capitol. However after graduating from UC Irvine, where he was initiated into the Sigma Chi Fraternity and attended lectures in architecture and critical theory as an art student, he both pursued his family tradition of outrigger canoe paddling, becoming a California State Sprints Champion in 1991, as well as launched his award-winning career in international community design that included the 2000 “Gold Nugget” Award by the National Association of Home Builders California Chapter in the International Housing category for his plan for a small, California-style community in Beijing. Malulani often visited ‘ohana in Hawa‘i, but never stayed for more than two weeks at a time.

Malulani’s Presbyterian upbringing during his youth, especially his selection as a Youth Advisory Delegate to the Synod of Southern California and Hawai’i, provided him the opportunity to relate his early Christian faith to public policy. He helped launch the Orange County chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and prior to his 30th birthday in 1991, he walked 100 miles to raise funds for Habitat while creating public awareness for the need of affordable housing in Southern California. While President of Earthsave Toastmasters in Orange County, it was his yearning to find a Christian response to the environmental crisis that set Malulani on a spiritual quest that resulted in his 1997 chrismation into the Orthodox Church. At the time in 1994 he received the first of his two family Hawaiian names of “Malulani” and “Kamehameha,” he began his advocacy efforts on behalf of his fellow native Hawaiians.

Outrigger canoe paddling (hoe wa‘a) in the early 1990’s bridged Malulani’s deepening understanding of Hawiian culture from matters of home and family to the broader issues of human society. In addition to introducing the sport to collegiate society (and subsequently assisting with the reestablishment of Newport Outrigger Canoe Club), Malulani also introduced the ‘ahupua‘a land use concpet to a planning professionals in the continental United States, resulting in its employment as the “Sustainable Alternative” to the Tejon Ranch Master Plan in Los Angeles County. Malulani was employed as an award-winning community designer and planner for over 15 years on world-wide projects ranging from Tuscany to China and Canada to Mexico before renting his California home in 2007 to finance his dream of moving to Honolulu to study Hawaiian language. Malulani, who earned his MBA in Project Management in 2004, was well acquainted with the public-private sector cooperation that cultivates community ethos. As he became familiar with the local Hawaiian immersion school movement, through his volunteer work teaching community design in Hawaiian at Ānuenue School and coaching outrigger canoe paddling for local high school students, he was alarmed to hear the stories of students who had transfered out of Hawaiian immersion schools for fear of being inadequately prepared for admittance into American colleges for the careers of their choosing. His exposure to systems management theory in business school indicated to him that there was perhaps a gap in the State’s understanding of how a Hawaiian language student transitions from the academic environment to the marketplace. He realized that very soon there won’t be enough teaching, entertaining, fishing and ranching jobs to employ all of the Hawaiian immersion schools (or those who have dedicated their college educations to Hawaiian language) to sustain their continued use of Hawaiian language in the context of their chosen professions. It really isn’t enough for college students to double major in Hawaiian plus another field of knowledge; there needs to be more “enlightened capitalistic” financial incentives in the professional marketplace to employ Hawaiian-speaking employees. Malulani has testified before State Native Hawaiian legislative committees, the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, the Hawai‘i State Office of Language Access and the O‘ahu Island Burial Council advocating the need for regulatory agencies to begin publishing official documents as well as receiving reports bilingually in order to raise the status of the Hawaiian language economy with that of the English language.

While studying Hawaiian language at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Malulani led the Hui Pule Kalikiano (a chapter of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship) and won the 2008 Kalama Award for Hawaiian Language Scholarship. During that time Malulani also hosted 2009 Australia’s “Man of the Year” Mick Dodson for a week at his Waikīkī condominium; the part-Yaruwu Dodson is one of the principal architects of the United Nations 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and he provided Malulani with valuable insight on how he had improved the lives of Australia’s indigenous peoples through direct negotiations with the Australian government. His own professional experience as a community planner informed Malulani of the necessity of including the Hawaiian language in all legislative and regulatory processes if the state expects to normalize use of Hawaiian language. He found confirmation of his theory in Canada’s bilingualist efforts to protect the French language, preempting the necessity of Quebec’s secession. During his July 2010 visit to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the Ermineskin Cree (Canada’s largest Native American nation) chief and delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Wilton Littlechild confirmed that the French-English Canada Official Languages Act stands as a model for Canadian indigenous linguistic rights efforts.

It is apparent to Malulani that it would be much more advantageous for native Hawaiians to pursue de facto implementation of Hawai‘i’s constitutionally-professed bilingualism than to follow the unknown outcomes of the various secessionist schemes that we read about in the news. Indeed, the State can cultivate a healthy Hawaiian language private sector through a subtle yet systematic adjustment in its regulatory mission. In 2009 Malulani was successful in unanimously persuading the Hawaiian Civic Club of Waimanalo to submit a resolution at their last Convention to lobby the Association’s recommendation that the State adopt an Official Languages Act similar to those employed in Canada and Ireland to implement official bilingualism in Hawai‘i. To accomplish this goal, Malulani launched Hawai‘i Bilingual on Facebook (currently at almost 2,300 members, including a State Senator, an OHA Trustee, a Hawaiian Civic Club president, as well as several current candidates for public office) in 2008 and initiated a campaign of educational lectures proposing reconciliatory measures for Hawaiian linguicide hosted by Dr. Kekuni Blaisedell of Ke Pākaukau, Kahu Dr. Kaleo Patterson and Dr. Ha‘aheo Guanson’s “Indigenous Prayer” and “Ho‘oponopono” classes at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Social Work, the UH Mānoa Department Second Language Studies, UH Mānoa Native Hawaiian Student Scholarship Association, UH Hilo College of Hawaiian Language (date to be determined, invited by Dr. William “Pila” Wilson) as well as the Waikīkī Community Center, the Pacific Club and gatherings of individuals in private homes. He also provides affordable, or even free, Hawaiian language instruction for adults as well as produces bilingual cultural events such as a summer series of six chamber music concerts and monthly Ilina Wai Hawaiian language prayer vigils to end the Hawaiian cultural genocide. On April 30, Malulani completed a year of leading monthly Hawaiian language vigils held at both Mauna ‘Ala – the Royal Mausoleum and King Lunalilo’s Tomb, adjacent to the ‘Iolani Palace. (The reader is invited to download a copy of the text by clicking here.)

A community gardening advocate as well as a California landlord and part-time Hawaiian language instructor for Kahakai Elementary School in Kailua-Kona, Malulani is the mo‘opuna kāne of Kamehameha Maertens (retired Army officer and real estate broker resident of Pālolo-Honolulu), mo‘opuna kuakolu of Maria Beckley (high chiefess and kahu of Mauna ‘Ala under Lili‘uokalani), and mo‘opuna kualima of both Ho‘olulu and Captain George Charles Beckley (Kapu Chief under Kamehameha I and designer of the Hawaiian flag), and mo‘opuna kuaono of Kame‘eiamoku.

At the recommendation of Dr. Kaleo Patterson to offer his Hawai’i Bilingual vision to a larger constituency (and with support confirmed by several other kahu from O‘ahu and Hawai‘i islands) Malulani is presently a candidate for Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee at Large. He is available and eager to speak with community groups and may be contacted via email at



  • 2008 – Kalama Award for Hawaiian Language Scholarship, ʻĀinahau ʻo Kaleponi Hawaiian Civic Club
  • 2008 – French Language Contest Judge, World Language & Speech Festival at Moanalua High School
  • 2006 – Guest Architectural Critic, Orange Coast College
  • 2005 – “Silver Medal” Award, Los Angeles County Fair Commercial Beer Competition
  • 2002 – International Housing “Gold Nugget” Award, Beijing Guang Ming Villas Site Plan, National Association of Home Builders, California Chapter
  • 1996 – Distinguished Chapter, as President of Earthsave Toastmasters, Fullerton, CA
  • 1995 – Certificate of Appreciation, for service as Chapter Advisor, Sigma Chi Fraternity at U.C. Irvine
  • 1993 – 94 – Ambassador, World Cup [Soccer] USA
  • 1992 – 94 – Associate Editor, Earthword Journal, Eos Institute for Sustainable Living
  • 1991 – California State Champion, Outrigger Canoe Open Men’s Fours Sprints
  • 1985 – 87 – Student Representative, U.C. Irvine Long Range Planning Committee
  • 1984 – “Bronze Medal” Award for Exemplary Service, Los Angeles Olympics Organizing Committee
  • 1983 – Design Award, AIA/Student Chapter National Charrette Competition to Redesign the U.S. Capitol
  • 1983 – 84 – Coordinating Council Member, Architects, Designers & Planners for Social Responsibility/Los Angeles Chapter
  • 1981 – 82 – Student Trustee (California public office), Coast Community College District
  • 1981 – Exemplary Service Award, Orange Coast College (Coordinator OUTLOOK ’81 Enviornmental Fair)
  • 1980 – 81 – Trustee, Associated Students of Orange Coast College
  • 1979 – 80 – Student Representative, United Ministries in Higher Education, Orange Coast College
  • 1979 – 80 – President, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Orange Coast College Chapter
  • 1979 – Youth Advisory Delagate, Presbyterian Church Synod of So. California & Hawaiʻi


Outrigger Canoe Paddling, Playing Piano, Teaching Hawaiian Language, Liturgical Singing & Teaching Byzantine Chant, Art & Photography, “Smart Growth” and Hawaiian Language Activism, Homebrewing, Gardening


  • University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, Certificate (Hawaiian Language) 2008
  • Keller Graduate School of Business of DeVry University, MBA (Project Management) 2004
  • University of California, Irvine, B.A. (Art Studio) 1989 and Extension University coursework in Land Use Planning and also Commercial Industrial Development Management
  • Southern California Institute of Architecture, studies 1983-84
  • Orange Coast College, A.A. (Political & Environmental Sciences) 1983
  • Newport Harbor High School, Diploma 1979