Hawaii is one of the only places that I know–the other is Singapore–where everyone is a minority. No one group has a plurality.
We’re about 30% Asian, 25% White, 10% Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and most remarkably, about 25% who identify as multi-ethnic–the highest percentage in the U.S.
This is one reason I love Hawaii and one of the reasons I chose to raise my multi-cultural and multi-lingual family here.
While there is undoubtedly racism and discrimination in Hawaii, it is not a flashpoint issue like it is in many American cities. For the most part, we have found a way to live, recreate, govern, and work together. That’s a good thing.
As a business owner, I love the value a diverse community brings. Kona Impact’s client list reflects very well the diversity in our community. We have clients from tens of different countries of origin and clients of every political and religious persuasion. We also have many gay clients. All are welcome and valued by us.
Nobody should ever feel unwelcome at Kona Impact because of something they are.
Kona Impact values the diversity in our community and has contributed time, materials, and money to organizations that celebrate this diversity. We have donated our resources to the Japanese Cultural Center of Kona, Aloha Theater, Hawaii Island HIV-AIDS Foundation, and many others because of the essential roles they play in creating a community in which we want to live.
It pains me to see the deterioration of civility in many areas of the Mainland. Disagreeing is fine, expected, but yelling, vandalizing, demonizing, or harming others because of who they are is wrong. I don’t know how it has come to this. I am thankful that our big rock in the middle of the Pacific seems to have found a better way: respect, even celebrate our differences and work together.
I don’t pretend to understand these issues deeply, but I do commit that my business will not knowingly be part of the problem.