The Sustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative sponsored five young people from the County of Hawaii to serve as delegates to the 8th Annual Youth Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development.
At this weeklong intensive leadership training Hawaii youth envisioned their personal, professional, island and planetary goals and created action plans for their lives and for sustainable projects.
The Summit began with a journey to Lucy Vincent Beach where youth find their "magic stone" and create an ocean art design in support of 350.org's Hands Across the Sand.
The Sustainable Vineyard Tour of sustainable agriculture, architecture, business, cultures, and energy -- from the Aquinnah Cultural Center, Allen Farm, Island Grown Schools, to the Island Co-Housing. SHYLI youth enjoyed kayaking with the Trustees of the Reservation at Cape Pogue and then a tour of Leslie and Winn Self's energy self-sufficient home.
This year's Summit featured a Multicultural Opening Ceremony with Amira Lanere Madison (Wampanoag Tribe Gayhead-Aquinnah) and Sam Low who spoke about the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Hawaiian youth delegates performed a special welcoming ceremony.
Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo for hosting us on Martha's Vineyard. The time we spent with you as our hosts was truly inspiring and enriching, I look forward to future collaborations. Amira's cultural sharing really meant something to all of us and was something that I, personally, was able to connect to most deeply. I miss everyone and am so grateful that I was able to be a part of the Summit, which helped us to build bridges and collaborate on paths toward change together!
Me ke aloha pumehana, Makana
At the Summit they learned from our diverse faculty including the sustainable leaders like Noli Taylor, Island Grown Schools (who was Nancy Redfeather's student). Amira Lanere Madison, Aquinnah Cultural Center and Sam Low spoke about the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Bella El-Deiry and Doris Clark spoke about MVYLI's College Prep & Field Trip Program and Job Shadow Day. The Stone Soup Leadership Institute's board Nane Alejandrez and Marsha Reeves-Jews shared their wisdom and seasoned youth leaders Josue Cruz and Kassandra Castillo shared their joy for realizing their goals and their passion for giving back. Each day Hawaiian youth also shared their language, dance and cultural blessings.
The SHYLI youth delegation shared presentations on sustainable initiatives on their island. Makana on Sustainable Cultures, Kynan on Sustainable Agriculture and Business, Allie on Sustainable Architecture, Trevor on Sustainable Education, and Manao on Sustainable Environments.
Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative co-founder Emma HallBilsback presented the Sustainable Vineyard 2020 Report that builds on the two-year Sustainable Vineyard Map Project in partnership with the Martha's Vineyard Commission.
During the Summit, they developed Sustainability-In-Action Plans for the coming year. They created posters to inspire and remind themselves of their dreams for the lives, their Island and the world.
Marthaʻs Vineyard was more intriguing than I thought. It is an Island people with the Wampanoag people working to revive their language and culture. Totally rewarding! I believe the mission and goals of the Initiative are valuable and really good. Our students gave valuable perspectives.
-- Kamaka Mahi Gunderson
Sharing Our Vision
Resolution 15: Sustainable Education in all Hawaii Schools. For the last year, Trevor Tanaka has been shepherding Resolution #15 to require all Hawaii schools to teach at least one course on sustainability. During the Summit, Trevor and Kynan had the opportunity to share their vision on the national radio - Keeping It Moving with Marsha Reeves- Jews. WEAA 88.9FM from Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD. Makana wrote an inspired article that was published in the Civil Beat, Honolulu (see page 4).
Fantastic! Great article by Makana. Congratulations to everyone for a job well done. It's great to see SHYLI progressing.
-- Barbara Garcia, Publisher, Ke Ola Magazine
The Summit is the cornerstone of SHYLI's year-round program. SHYLI youth are now working with their schools and nominating organizations to engage others to implement their Sustainability-In-Action projects.During the coming year, they will stay connected with other youth delegates by using technology to share their progress and trouble-shoot their challenges as they implement their Sustainability-In-Action projects.
Mahalo for all you do for our children. Kynan felt it was productive. On Monday night, I had him speak to about 75 people working on our "North Kohala Growing a Local Food System" meeting and he shared his potential project. Senator Malama Solomon was one of the attendees and both made the connection.
- David Fuertes, Ka Hana No'eau, Partners in Development
A'ohe hana nui ka alu'ia
No task is too big when done together.