Hawai`i Asset Building Conferences

In December 2010 and June 2012 HACBED and the statewide Ho`owaiwai Network convened local and national asset building leaders in statewide symposia. A symposium, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is “a convivial meeting for drinking, music, and intellectual discussion among the ancient Greeks.” True to the spirit of HACBED, these symposia created a space for people to engage in meaningful dialogue, relevant to the work and driven towards action, having fun all the while.

Each symposium brought together a diverse range of caring individuals from communities families, youth, policymakers, community practitioners, financial institutions, employers, resource partners who were interested and passionate about organizing around actions that address asset poverty and building the wealth and financial stability of Hawai`i’s working families to empower themselves to increase their self-sufficiency. Participants came from every island and guests from across the nation all of whom were and still are asset building experts in their own right. Each symposium served as a space to share, collaborate, and discuss strategies and tools for action to increase family and community assets within the unique context of Hawai`i.

Springboard To Prosperity: Building the Financial Stability, Wealth, & Well-Being of Hawai`i’s Working Families (December 9 & 10, 2010)

This day-and-a-half statewide symposium brought over 200 local and national experts from all walks of life together in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i Island to share and build genuine wealth together, the Island way.

Sessions included:

  • Discussions on innovative ways that credit unions, schools and nonprofits partner to help youth open accounts and save.
  • How different models of financial education training help families to meet monthly expenses while planning for the future.
  • Identifying and organizing around asset building campaigns and actions at the State, Local, Community, and Family levels.

San Francisco Treasurer and then Co-Chair of the National Cities for Financial Empowerment Jose Cisneros was the keynote speaker. Cisneros shared what local governments were doing to help families save, increase financial literacy, and find jobs in their communities.

Kahua O Ke Ola: Foundations for Prosperity (June 27-29, 2012)

This three-day symposium brought together more than 75 local and guest presenters to speak to over 300 participants. The presenters shared best practices and lessons learned around family and community financial empowerment strategies and initiatives relevant to the unique context of Hawai`i and our unique foundations of prosperity –`aina, aloha, and `ohana.

Sessions included:

  • Exploring family and community financial empowerment issues such as education and saving strategies for children and youth asset building
  • Financing and funding strategies to support micro/small business development and community-based ventures
  • Embedding asset building strategies into social service and public sector programs
  • Food and agriculture as critical entry points for financial empowerment
  • Financial protection and preservation strategies

The symposium also included learning tours to:

  • Wai`anae  `Aina Based Edu-preneurial Approaches
  • Kaka`ako  Seeds of Growth in Kaka`ako: Equitable Development in the Urban Core
  • Kualoa & He`eia  Ahupua`a Management Techniques
  • Kalihi Valley  The Health & Wealth Connections
  • Papakolea  Developing Strategic Partnerships


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