Michael Odegaard will join us on February 23rd, as our next presenter in the Adult RE Speaker Series, to tell us about his current project to preserve the Kumeyaay Language. This event will be one more step toward establishing an accountable relationship between First UU and the Kumeyaay People. Michael serves as a Director of the United Nations Association of San Diego to coordinate implementation of the United Nations 2022-2032 Decade of Indigenous Languages' goals, which includes ecuring legal status for San Diego County's two indigenous languages, Kumeyaay and Luiseno (Chamtēela).
In December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, to draw global attention on to the critical situation of many Indigenous languages and to mobilize stakeholders and resources for their preservation, revitalization, and promotion.
Michael launched Hawaii Bilingual and has been a recognized advocate for the linguistic rights of indigenous, and especially Hawaiian-speaking, peoples. As a "kumu" or teacher, he has been invited to lead traditional blessings of gardens and canoes. When he was asked to do baptisms, Michael decided to attend seminary in Boston where he also taught Hawaiian language for the Harvard University NativeAmerican Program.
Welcomed as a visiting scholar at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Hawaiian Language College, Michael has also been invited to speak as far away as India at indigenous churches, universities, and local indigenous groups and Rotary Clubs throughout San Diego County on the topic of indigenous language rights and revitalization. Locally, Michael collaborates with Dr. Stanley Rodriguez, the director of Kumeyaay Community College since 2018, and a Kumeyaay language instructor at Kumeyaay Community College since 2005.
We look forward to welcoming Michael Odegaard to our Adult RE Speaker Series. Register for the6:30 pm ? 8:00 pm, February 23rd, Zoom event at: www.firstuusandiego.org/adult-faith-formation.html.
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