In the four years since we launched, Kanu Hawaii's work has focused on building a more sustainable, compassionate, resilient Hawaii, through personal commitments to change. That work has built a network of thousands, across Hawaii and beyond, that share a belief in island values shaping a better future for our communities.
When we launched in February of 2008, it was a hopeful time. Obama was on the verge of becoming President and the economy was prospering. Four years later, so much has changed: tents have sprung up along our sidewalks and beaches, there is a widespread frustration with both the economy and government, and new social movements are astir across the country and the world. Kanu Hawaii must change too, if we are to continue to speak to the needs and aspirations of an island people.
Toward that end, next year, we plan to shift our emphasis from "I will..." to "We will..." The goal of a sustainable, compassionate, resilient future remains the same, but our strategy in 2012 will focus on:
1) NEW VOICES. Reaching and raising up voices often drowned out in conversations about our economy and government (young people, low-income folks, neighbor islanders). Our work will begin with projects designed to bring fresh locally-grown food, energy-saving technologies and education, and waste-cutting action steps to target communities, enlisting their help in shaping a better Hawaii.
2) GROUP ACTIONS. Organizing group actions to change industry practice and government policies, e.g., consumer "carrot mobs" to urge businesses to act more responsibly and citizen advocacy to change public policies.
3) GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE. Engaging citizens in a grassroots campaign for new rules limiting the corrosive influence of money on public policy. This will include watchdog efforts during the legislative session, community education about how money in policy affects everyone, and voter registration and education leading up to the 2012 elections.
From “I will…” to “We will…” That is our focus in 2012. This new work is harder to fund with corporate, government, or foundation grants. It's about encouraging a community to stand and speak together, rather than serving the needy or winning a particular sustainability policy (though both our most vulnerable communities and our most powerful institutions will be changed along the way if we succeed). More than ever, we will depend on grassroots donations to support our work.
The new work will still be rooted in values of kuleana and aloha. Everyone will be asked start with a personal commitment. Everyone will be urged to speak up in ways that reflect empathy and open-mindedness. But, everyone will also be challenged to step beyond “I will…” and consider how “We will…” shape a more sustainable, compassionate, resilient future through group action.
If you believe in this change, we hope you’ll help make it happen. You can donate to our first-ever grassroots fundraising drive here.
Your commitments and efforts at personal change have made Kanu Hawaii what it is today. We hope you’ll take this next step with us, and shape what Kanu Hawaii will be tomorrow.
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