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  • Writer's pictureRay Saludares

We're Non-Profit Official!

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

Aloha and welcome to Equality HI.

Wow, how time has flown by, a lot has happened since our establishment over two years ago. In that time Equality HI has been busy developing activities and events on Hawai’i Island. Our goal is to build community within the diverse LGBTQ+ pockets of our island. We've provided the community with activities and functions to grow relationships with our Hawai’i Island community while partnering with existing LGBTQ+ and friendly businesses and organizations. These highlights include:


  • Pride Participation - In 2018 and 2019 Equality HI showcased community organizing to supplement the Hawaii Island Pride Parade and festival with events and activities. These events covered three days of activities beginning with an opening reception meet-and-greet. This free event at the local LGBTQ+ eatery, Chapter 27, provided attendees a chance to mingle, meet new friends, and reconnect with existing one. Over 50 people attended the event.

  • Hilo Pride Parade - Equality HI also participated in the Saturday Hilo Pride Parade in both 2018 and 2019. We're proud to say - Equality HI won Best Float for both consecutive years.

  • Dancing the night away - Also in 2018 and 2019 post event feedback we received was to have an evening dance party. Since Hilo did not have the designated venue for such an event, Equality HI met that need. We planned and executed a successful post-Pride dance party at the Grand Naniloa Crown Room! The event attracted our local LGBTQ+ communities and visitors to continue to enjoy Pride and dance the night away.

  • BBQ’s, Picnics, and Beach Parties - Pride would not be complete without a closing BBQ, picnic, or beach party. To recognize the work of committee members, partners and the community, Equality HI organized these events to thank everyone involved in Pride Weekend.

  • Hike to Narnia - Equality HI collaborated with members of the Like Hike group providing a well-attended guided hike to one of Hilo’s tropical destination points.

  • Friends and Family Bowling - One of our most popular activities has been our bowling night. Held at Kilauea Military Camp, the community has an opportunity to have fun, network and win prizes. Each night attracted more than the max capacity of bowlers. Realizing the popularity, sign up was created to ensure a rotation was provided to allow for more individuals to enjoy.

  • 2020 Pride Talks - In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic derailed our ability to pursue traditional versions of Pride. Collaborating with the Pride Committee, Equality HI planned, implemented, and produced a 7-session web series called “Pride Talks”. These discussions were broadcast via Zoom and Facebook Live. Each talk addressed issues facing our local LGBTQ+ communities. The talks brought together diverse people to share their unique perspectives. This innovative concept led to more interest and education opportunities for Equality HI to fulfil its mission.

  • Community Collaborations - Equality HI has established strong relationships with the Big Island LGBTQ+ Pride and volunteered in several of their events including “Gifts from Gays.” This fundraiser supports the East Hawaii Family Guidance Center and the “Hilo Town Haunt” a free Halloween event for keiki’s and adults alike.


  • Friends and Family Bowling - One of our most popular activities has been our bowling night. We are working with KMC to bring this event back utilizing COVID safe protocols.

  • Abled Hawai’i Artist Annual Art Festival - A Celebration of the Spectrum of Creativity and Promotion of Inclusive Entrepreneurship in the Arts.

  • Pride Talks - Equality HI will continue to plan, produce and deliver a web series called “Pride Talks”. These discussions are broadcast via Zoom and Facebook Live and addressed issues facing our local LGBTQ+ communities.

As Equality HI moved into 2021, we received our 501(c)3 non-profit designation! We look forward to expanding our vision of providing resources, services, and education to our LGBTQ+ community here on the Big Island. We are looking to build connections with those already providing services, develop new initiatives, and strengthen our community network by establishing strong community support.

As we grow, Equality HI is looking to diversify our board membership to help serve and meet the needs across the island, listen to what is important to our community, and find creative ways to fill unmet gaps that affect us all.

We hope you join us in creating a flourishing LGBTQ+ community.


Ray Saludares

President, Equality HI

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