Purple Maiʻa

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You know what the end of hoʻoilo means–it’s time for another Purple Maiʻa Fun-raiser! In this, our 9th year, we’ll take you on a retrospective of where we started and how we’ve grown into a Hawaiian-led nonprofit with programs in culture-based youth technology education, workforce development, and entrepreneurship & design.

Saturday, May 13, 2023 

5:30pm to 10:30pm

at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi, Generations Ballroom

silent auction, door prizes, keiki activities, participant demo alley, eahou gallery

When we think about our origins, we usually think of our 2014 board and staff retreat at Kaʻala Farms. We spent the morning clearing weeds out of a loʻi that had been lying fallow and opening it back up to water flow again. Then we spent the afternoon taking turns talking, sharing our manaʻo about what it was that Purple Maiʻa was founded to do. In retrospect, we had a lot of questions on our minds that we were trying to work through together:

Can our kids succeed as technology makers, and if they do, what will that look like? Can we as Hawaiians and people of Hawaiʻi do technology innovation–is that ok? Were our ancestors innovators and can we call ourselves that too? Can technology be a way to rapidly upskill our people, access higher incomes, and keep people from having to leave Hawaiʻi? Are we just helping disadvantaged kids–or is our work, at its core, about systems change? Nine years later, it feels like the answer to all those questions is yes. The confirmation is in the programs and people that succeeded along the way and showed us glimmers of what the future could be. Our minds have turned to new questions now:
Can we build a Hawaiian culture-based tech and innovation sector in Hawaiʻi that is by and for Hawaiʻi’s people, doesn’t negatively impact the islands, solves the big problems of our time, and brings home real value? Can we not just achieve economic ascension for some but actually achieve economic sovereignty for many–and one day all–to live and work responsibly?
If these are questions on your mind too, we hope you’ll join us at the Fun-raiser to celebrate where we’ve been and talk about the future we’re building.