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  • Writer's pictureMar Ortaleza

Vision, Mission and Equality HI

In January of 2021, the Board of Directors of Equality HI held its second annual two-day retreat. Our first day started with a fun and meaningful exercise “Who Dat Icon?” The activity matched pictures of a diverse group of LGBTQ icons with their bios. The activity highlighted that no Icon was ever an overnight success. Like the Icons, it will take our Board Members doing hard work to make Equality HI successful.

With fun activities that kept us laughing and engaged, we moved into what I referred to as the “Big Sky - Dream Catcher” activity. Each of us took turns answering the question “In each guiding topic below, what’s the missing piece, that would let you live out the rest of your long happy life on Hawai‘i Island?"

* Housing * Transportation * Healthcare * Employment * Education * Fabulousness *


Throughout the day, we went through nonprofit training and vision exercises. With all the enthusiasm for “being the change”, the day’s crescendo concluded with a Strengths, Weaknesses, external Opportunities and Threats, (SWOT) analysis. We followed this up with by a comparison between the external Opportunities list with results of our “Big Sky- Dream Catcher” activity, leaving our Board members wondering about our future.

Day two of Equality HI retreat pulled our individual dreams and shared knowledge into potential community action. We started with another set of “Who Dat Icon”. With an engaged and LOL’ing board, we tied results of our “Big Sky- Dream Catcher” into the corresponding Equality HI Vision and Mission Statement objective categories:

* Aloha * Leadership * Resources * Service * Education *


Two examples of “Big Sky- Dream Catcher” result were “Halfway/safe house for homeless/at risk youth” and “LGBTQ+ Senior Citizen Coop/housing- hospice program”. Both of these examples tied into the following Vison and Mission Statement objective categories: Resources, Service and Education. In the end, we decided to focus on taking action on list of our “Big Sky- Dream Catcher” that fit into the three most overlapping Vision and Mission objective categories:


* Resources * Service * Education *


Ask yourself, “what’s the missing piece, that would let you live out the rest of your long happy life on Hawai‘i Island?”. If one of your answers overlap into Equality HI’s top Vision and Mission objective categories, chances are you’re an “Who Dat Icon” in the making. Contact us and see where we overlap!


* Aloha * Leadership *


Equality HI envisions a thriving and empowered Culture that proactively engages in creating an inclusive and diverse Queer community through Aloha, Leadership, Resources, Services and Education.










Mar Ortaleza

Vice President, Equality HI

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