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Hawai’i International Forgiveness Day


Hawai'i's Queen, Lili'uokalan -- and the Traditional Hawaiian Ahupua'a


Stanford University Professor Fred Luskin speaks at Forgiveness Day


Filmmaker Meleanna Meyer shares Talkstory at Forgiveness Day this year

“Building Community” Free Festival 
Brings Diverse Groups Together

HONOLULU, HAWAII, USA, July 28, 2019 / -- Hawai’i International Forgiveness Day, a free public festival supported by many diverse groups and individuals, will be held in Kaneohe, on the windward shore of O’ahu, August 4, 2019. The theme for this 17th annual event is “Building Community” -- with the added rhetorical question, “What would Queen Lili’uokalani do?” Forgiveness Day is a global event, with dozens of participating countries, and Hawai’i holds one of the largest and most consistent programs. One of the original founders, Dr. Frederic Luskin (author of “Forgive for Good”) will lead many artists, teachers and community innovators in a two-hour program, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, at the Seicho No Ie center in Kaneohe, this coming Sunday, August 4. Attendance is free for everyone.

One of the highlights of Forgiveness Day is meeting the Forgiveness Heroes -- people and organizations that have demonstrated indelibly, through their thoughts, words and actions, the power of forgiveness to catalyze change. This year, the Hawaii Forgiveness Project recognizes two new Heroes -- the Angel Network, with memory of Ivy Olson and Rodney “Mac,” -- and Chelsey Villamin, elementary school teacher and founder of the Peace Project.

Meleanna Aluli Meyer is a filmmaker and leader of the original Hawaiian community; she has a special relationship with Queen Lili’uokalani. She will lead talkstory at Forgiveness Day. She said, “The Queen set the standard for living forgiveness when she wrote ‘The Queen’s Prayer’ in response to the injustice of the overthrow of Hawaiian sovereignty. In asking, what would she do today -- we stimulate our inner vision, and an understanding of her historic role in bringing together all the people of Hawai’i -- both the original Hawaiians and the many kama’aina who have joined us over the centuries.”

Aaron Mahi, beloved singer-songwriter and former conductor of the Royal Hawaiian Band, will host the program and perform “The Queen’s Prayer” -- as only Aaron Mahi can do.

Professor Fred Luskin is a founder of the worldwide forgiveness movement; he will lead a discussion at Hawai’i International Forgiveness Day. He said, in his seminal 2001 book, “I do not suggest that forgiveness means we give up our right to be angry when we have been hurt or mistreated. My forgiveness research shows that people retain their ability to be angry but simply use that ability more wisely...I have seen that forgiveness helps people control their emotions so they maintain good judgment. They do not waste precious energy trapped in anger and hurt...”

One of the founders of the event, and a constant supporter for 17 years, is attorney Roger Epstein. He said, “Forgiveness is not about forgetting -- in fact, it is about truly remembering, deeply understanding and accepting, the events and people that have caused pain. Forgiveness is the driving force at the heart of justice and reconciliation.” Roger served as a senior partner at Hawai’i’s largest law firm, Cade Schutte, and has a lifelong commitment to the law, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Merritt Sakata is one of the key leaders of Seicho No Ie (“House of Growth”), a community group that unites people of all ideas and faiths. Merritt helped to open the Jisso Center in Kaneohe for this event, which is held outside of Honolulu for the first time. He said, “It is our honor and our kuleana to bring together people of many religions and philosophies -- to find the fundamental unity of all hearts in forgiveness.”

This is a free event, for the whole family; participation, questions and discussion are encouraged. People are invited to arrive at 1:00 pm. for community tables and pre-event gatherings; the main program begins at 2:00 pm. and concludes at 4:00 pm. The address is the Jisso Center, 47-451 Hui Aeko Pl, Kaneohe, Hawai’i 96744; not far from the Valley of the Temples -- here is an interactive Event Map.

For information go to the website
 of the Hawaii Forgiveness Project

Contact: Merton Chinen, 808-226-6797

Merton Chinn
Hawaii Forgiveness Project
+1 808-226-6797
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