Makana is not only a passionate performer but a committed educator, activist, and advocate. He is dedicated to making the world a better place for both current and future generations.

During his four-day stay in Tallahassee, Makana visited five elementary schools in Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla and Jefferson Counties, teaching more than 1,000 students about Hawaiian culture. He shared the history of the Slack Key guitar and provided an overview of Hawaiian food, native birds and popular words and phrases.

Educational materials created between him and the Florida Center for Reading Research reinforced his performance. Through his music and words, Makana honored Hawaiian elders whose wisdom has been passed down through generations—bridging the gap between arts and humanity.

Makana also had the opportunity to visit FSU’s Center for Global Engagement as part of their Engage Our World series. These series feature guest speakers who host dialogue sessions about Global issues and the influence students can have on the world. Students lined up after Makana’s program to ask him questions and share their stories.

“I have never seen so many students stay after and talk to a speaker after a lecture,” said Dr. Tanu Kohli-Bagwe, Teaching Faculty at the Center. “”Students enjoyed his generosity with his time, attention, and willingness to follow up with them. Makana’s personable nature appealed to them a lot!”