By Christy MacPherson, immediate past Faith Action Executive Director
As I look back on the last 25 years of Faith Action for Community Equity’s existence, I can certainly say that we have gone through our powerful and not-so-powerful periods. Such is the ebb and flow nature of grassroots organizations like ours.
But one thing that always grounds an “organization of organizations” like Faith Action is our roots, our history. Whenever we struggle to find purpose or meaning in the work we are doing as people of faith fighting for social justice, we need only look to our beginnings--our formation and development, our first issue, our first leaders, our first action, our first victory! There are jewels in that.
I distinctly recall our Founding Convention in October of 1998 when we gathered 1,000 people at Farrington High School auditorium. It was a culmination of the countless one-on-one conversations and hard work of the previous two years, including organizing the residents of Kalihi Valley Homes.
I got chicken skin from the energy I could feel down to my bones! We got then gubernatorial candidates Ben Cayetano and Linda Lingle to commit to renovations of KVH and it was then that we knew we really held power.
As we continue in our life together, let us take time to reflect at every crossroad and incorporate the wisdom gained from our experiences. May we keep moving forward by building and cultivating our relationships, calling each other and our leaders into accountability, and making OUR community what we want!
"PLEDGING to work tirelessly for ‘the voiceless and the outcast,’ 1,000 members of Oahu churches gathered in Kalihi yesterday to christen a multi-faith group, Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE), and seek commitments from the candidates for governor, ” reported The Honolulu Advertiser on Nov.1, 1998. This was the Founding Convention of FACE held Oct. 31, 1998. Gov. Ben Cayetano and challenger Maui Mayor Linda Lingle were asked to pledge their support of long term care, Kalihi Valley Homes renovation, and requiring businesses that receive contracts from the state to give residents the first chance at job openings. – Looking Back: 25th Anniversary of Faith Action.