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Hawai‘i Hearts at the Kahala
As the sun dipped gracefully into the Pacific Ocean, 25 leaders and philanthropists from the Honolulu community gathered at the Kahala Hotel and Resort to learn how to join the Joyful Revolution in Hawai‘i. The event was organized by the Hawai‘i Hearts, a group of women dedicated to promoting the mission of the Joyful Heart Foundation through building connection and raising awareness about JHF’s work in the local community. Guests were greeted by members of the Hawai‘i Hearts and JHF Board member Dr. Kalei Kanuha then invited to mingle on the lawn against the panoramic backdrop of the eastern coastline of O‘ahu. The cocktail reception featured Hawai‘i-style appetizers, gentle ocean breezes, views of Koko Head crater and many joyful moments of togetherness.
We come together tonight to celebrate the work of the Joyful Heart Foundation and their unique role in healing, educating and empowering survivors of violence and abuse, in our community. We also come together to celebrate new leadership – Kata Issari, the new Regional Director for Hawai‘i—and the growth of Joyful Heart in our state, represented by the establishing of a new office here in Honolulu. We speak on behalf of the Hawai‘i Hearts—a community of 14 women—who believe in the mission JHF and its distinctive role in Hawai‘i. We’re proud to share JHF’s unique story with you and ask you to join us in supporting its important work.
After showing the Joyful Revolution film, describing Joyful Heart’s origins and vision, Kristen and Nalani introduced Hawai‘i Regional Director Kata Issari to talk more about the work of JHF:
On behalf of all of us at Joyful Heart, I want to thank you being here tonight and allowing us to share our work with you. By so doing, you honor survivors, like the ones we met in the film, who have made the bold choice to heal. I’ve been blessed to work with thousands of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence survivors here in Hawai‘i for the past 12 years and am convinced that the growth of JHF throughout the state will make a significant difference in their lives and in our community. Tonight, we demonstrate what a community looks like when it turns towards these issues and commits its attention, resources and compassion to meeting the needs and healing the suffering of all its members. JHF in Hawai‘i is committed to affirming and supporting the work of existing programs in the state, while filling our special niche here – one that includes providing culturally appropriate and relevant programs to serve the unique and diverse communities of Hawai‘i.
Perhaps it’s symbolic that we gather outside tonight, under the stars with only a few tiki torches to provide light, because this reflects Joyful Heart’s commitment to shed light into the darkness around these issues. The issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse in our community need your attention. They need your commitment. They need your courage. We hope that you will stand with us in the years to come as we continue our journey in Hawai’i toward hearts that are healed, educated, empowered—and joyful.