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Commitment to DEIA

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is a major focus for the entire organization.

Kahilu recognizes the multifaceted dimensions of our community that make our rural town of approximately 10,000 people so unique. In the spirit of doing our part to ensure the cultural fabric of this storied place thrives, we’ve taken collaborative action with other arts organizations on Hawaiʻi Island to invest in DEIA education and training for the teams and individuals we serve. Since our initial training sessions for Board, staff, and community stakeholders in 2021, we’ve made significant progress towards our goals by establishing a DEIA committee and engaging local community members in leadership roles.

Kahilu Theatre Board of Director’s Commitment to DEIA

The Kahilu Theatre Board of Directors is committed to being nondiscriminatory and providing equal opportunities for Board development and advancement in all areas of our work. The Board respects and values diverse life experiences represented in our community. We strive to listen and engage all views and commit to fostering a culture of equality that embraces the voices of all and their full, authentic selves. The Board will model diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) with and the goal of supporting fair and equal treatment for all. Further, we will promote DEIA in our governance work by providing informed leadership for the organization’s internal culture, identity, and strategic direction and by agreeing to the following action items:

- The Board commits to implementing DEIA principles in connection with our vision and mission
for the benefit of those we serve;
- The Board aims to recognize and address inequities in our policies, programs, and services;
- The Board will update and document Board progress on our DEIA practices on Kahilu’s website
and in annual reports;
- The Board promises to investigate underlying assumptions that interfere with our DEIA policy;
- The Board commits to uncovering systemic inequities that impact our work at the Board level
and addressing them in accordance with this policy and in alignment with our mission;
- The Board commits to challenging notions about what constitutes strong leadership within our
organization and reframing our understanding through a DEIA and anti-racist lens;
- The Board will institute ongoing learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies as we
strive for cultural competence and sensitivity by all Board members;
- The Board will create a designated resource page on Kahilu’s website in order to publicly share
our learnings in the areas of DEIA;
- The Board will develop a system to create awareness and address biases during our recruiting,
hiring, and evaluating processes for executive staff;
- The Board will allocate resources toward Board orientation and onboarding focused on DEIA
- The Board will continue to be transparent about salary ranges for job listings;
- The Board will support collaborations that positively impact community well-being, equity and
- The Board will support programming that supports Hawaiian cultural vitality and the
application of ʻike kūpuna (ancestral wisdom), including the use of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian
language) and symbiotic, ancestral relationships to ʻāina (land) whenever possible.

As a community arts organization, we are deeply compelled by a strong sense of urgency to
ensure that Kahilu Theatre reflects the richness of our community. We commit to
diversifying our Board membership and staff, and eliminating barriers to participation to achieve greater representation with an emphasis on recruiting Native Hawaiian, Pacific
Islander, and Asian American community members, as well as those of diverse ability, age,
background, beliefs, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, race, sexual orientation, and socio-
economic status.

We are proud to report that substantial progress towards our objectives were met by the close
of 2022, as we welcomed our first Native Hawaiian Board President. Additionally, a newly-
elected-Filipino-American Board Director now heads up our DEIA Committee, and two Native
Hawaiian staff members joined our team in leadership positions as Director of Programming
and Box Office Manager.

By continuing to bring DEIA principles to the forefront of all aspects of Kahilu Theatre, grounded
in Hawaiʻi values and culture, we strive to create a positive environment of belonging for all.

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