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Executive Director’s Letter - 8/22/23

As we bear witness to the extreme weather that has been exacerbated by global climate change, our thoughts turn to our friends in the town of Lahaina in Maui. Not only has there been a stunning loss of lives and property, Hawaiians are now fighting a possible erasure of their culture. Opportunists see the possibility of a town devoted entirely to tourism. That’s not to say tourism hasn’t contributed greatly to its economy, but that Lahaina holds an important place in Hawaiian history and is home to many residents from all income levels. Sometime around 1794, King Kamehameha the Great conquered Maui and later named Lahaina the capital of his kingdom. It remained the capital of Hawaii until King Kamehameha III moved it to Honolulu in 1840. Lahaina’s history is rich with chiefs, kings, queens, ship captains and whales. You can learn more here.

The culture of many countries has been under literal attack as the result of wars, religious extremism, and also of neglect. These days, we can also add climate change to that list. As we suffer with smoke from the fires in Canada, consider that protecting the earth will help protect our humanity, cultures, and civilization.

To avoid scammers who create fake charities during natural disasters, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency recommends donating to trusted, well-known charities. It currently recommends the Maui Strong Fund and American Red Cross of Hawaii.

My best,


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