Puanani Burgess consults and does her work One-Peace-At-A-Time. Based in Hawai`i, her work takes her all over the U.S., the Pacific and other parts of the world. She is also a poet, cultural translator and has been a lecturer with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawai`i, where she was the first “Community Scholar in Residence.” She sits on the Board of Directors for the Positive Futures Network, the publisher of “YES! Magazine.” and was the Miles and Zilphia Horton Chairholder for Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee. She is noted for her experience in community, family and values-based economic development, mediation and storytelling processes as part of conflict transformation, and developing community-based organizations. In 2009 she was among five people named as Hawai’i’s Living Treasures. In 2000 she was ordained as a Zen Buddhist priest in the International Daihonzan Chozen-ji.
As part of her Hawai’I-based work, she helped develop several community-based organizations including: Ka’ala Farm, Inc. (taro and land-based cultural learning center in Wai’anae); Hoa’Aina O Makaha (land-based cultural and agricultural learning center in Makaha); Hale Na’au Pono (Wai’anae Coast Community Mental Health Center); Pu’a Foundation (the only Native Hawaiian Foundation in Hawai’i); Legal Servicres for Children (focusing on assuring children in Wai’anae receive free and appropriate educational services); Wai’anae Coast Community Alternative Development Corporation (developed community and cultural-based aquaculture program with Native Hawaiian families.