Tonight, women of Honolulu joined the community in a statewide Equity Summit event held by FACE (Faith Action for Community Equity) at the Art Auditorium on the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus. This Friday is among their two-day weekend, equity implement in January. The Equity Summit is, “designed to educate and stimulate productive discussion among experts, community members, elected officials and business leaders, on timely & defining state issues.” The FACE State President, Rev. Alan Mark, led the meeting with introduction and announcement of recognition to the people that make up the team.
Guest speakers, James Koshiba, Executive Director of KANU Hawaii, and Kirk Caldwell, a former Majority Leader and former Acting Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu, were invited to acknowledge given topic, “The Challenge of Equity in Hawaii.” Koshiba stated, “FACE is different from other organizations … offered us a challenge for all of us to address injustice with love.” He explained about an inspiring women from the Waimanalo community, how the lady was once homeless living at the beach park, but out of love for her children, woke up as early as 4 a.m. to clean the public bathrooms for their use. Her actions convinced the other women in similar situations, to join in the cleaning, also making sure others are informed to keep the bathrooms clean. He concluded that this is how to convince others to join and saying, “Put fire in my belly, the way to do it is love.”
Former Majority Leader and Acting Mayor Caldwell talked about several changes needed on the islands. Among is education reform. He said, “We’re scared about the economic costs, it’s going to be expensive, but we need the courage that you can give us.” Other issues he touched base on was health and diabetes, doing more to help the native Hawaiians, protecting US government, homelessness, civil rights (same sex marriages and gender equality), and global warming. He concluded by talking about his wife’s bank as Vice President and commenting, “Knowing Hawaii, I think about my favorite bank [pause] Peter Ho is the President.”
The night later turned into a stimulating and entertaining evening as popular local ‘70s performer and composer, Jon Osorio sang with his guitar, while everyone helped themselves to light pupus or appetizers. Many women’s involvement with the faith-based grassroots, nonprofit organization is linked to leadership roles in their churches. They serve as an advocate for the needy, and continue to search social justice and action through FACE. Hawaii’s FACE is a Gamaliel Foundation affiliate, currently consisting of 24 institutions: 19 churches, one Buddhist temple, one synagogue, UNITE-HERE Local 5, Kukui Gardens Resident Association, and the Ecumenical Association for Housing.
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