Friday, August 10, 2018
Civic Square, A Civics Project for Hawaii, goes live today
by Larry Geller
Hawaii is a special place. We really do have a different outlook on life, often described as the "Aloha Spirit". The meanness and cruelty documented by news coverage and tweets that assail us daily seem alien to us.
Yet Hawaii is not perfect by any measure. There is still injustice and discrimination if one looks for it, which is to say, there is still work to be done.
Of course there are already organizations working on fighting poverty, others that provide legal services, and many whose mission is to feed the hungry. Social workers assist children and adults needing protection. Churches and non-profits provide shelters for the houseless. Underlying the mission of these and so many others in Hawaii is the “Aloha Spirit.”
Altruism and caring are real human values, but in today’s political climate it is clear that they cannot be taken for granted. And so it seems appropriate that Hawaii should be the home of a new civic-minded organization, Civic Square, which Les Ihara, Jr., board chair and founder, described as
A project for the civic leader in each of us. The part of us that cares for the whole and will act on its behalf.
“Aloha Spirit” may sound nebulous to those outside Hawaii, but here it is captured in statute (see sidebar).
Like most law, it isn’t enforced by a traffic cop, but rather by the daily practice of individual citizens.
According to Tambry R. Young, president of Civic Square,
Civic Square is a learning community interested in building community practices that express civic values and norms, global and community narratives that trend, and in-person and online practices with viral potential. Civic Square seeks to have the civic spirit and our connection to the whole become a sacred matter in public life.
According to the Civic Square Manifesto, the organization will seek collaboration via networking and in practice among organizations that share civic purposes.
Click the link above to read more, or go to facebook.com/civicsquare808