Hawaii is one of the most racially diverse places on this planet with nearly a quarter of the population being multiracial and no single ethnicity claiming more than 25% of the population. It’s almost a guarantee that, when you leave your home, you will see someone who is ethnically different from you. But, no matter who you pass, the greeting stays the same: Aloha.
Everyone is familiar with aloha. However, it is more than just a “hello”. Aloha is the essence of being affectionate, peaceful, merciful, compassionate, and loving. Here are 5 acts of aloha we love to help inspire equality in Hawaii. We hope you’ll join us!
1. Support Local
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Refocusing as little as 5% of your shopping habits to locally owned stores can have a huge impact on economic equality in the city you shop. It helps local employees and families that don’t get as much support and resources as big businesses. Plus, local businesses are more likely to put money back into the community to maintain and grow the area.
2. Take Classes
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Being able to learn and understand the history and practices of cultures other than your own can give more insight and understanding of the challenges that they have faced. You’ll never be able to understand exactly what someone else has gone through, but taking the time to listen and learn can provide a richer understanding. Between The University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University and Kapiolani Community College, there are plenty of opportunities to learn.
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Everyone is dealt a different hand in life, which leads to their own obstacles. Some of those obstacles make it difficult to get the basic everyday items that we often take for granted, such as meals, clothing, and household goods. Donating your time or items can help those in need and can provide a glimpse of challenges people face daily.
4. Attend Events
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It’s great to learn and be aware of the different histories cultures have experienced, but putting yourself into situations where people can share a part of their culture gives a new opportunity to grow your knowledge. Hawaii Korean Cultural Center, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Popolo Project, and Hawaiian Cultural Center put on numerous events throughout the year, each giving a unique cultural experience.
Being able to learn and understand different cultures can only happen if we’re willing to include one another. It also means actively including diversity in your social groups, activities and events. The more we are welcoming and accepting of diversity the more we’re able to learn and grow from our differences to work towards equality.
While overall equality takes great change, daily acts of aloha are small steps we can take to inspire equality in Hawaii.