Panel to discuss Hawai'i economy
By Mary Kaye Ritz
Advertiser Religion and Ethics Writer
|||Symposium slated for Feb. 18
"Economic Disparity Among Us: The Challenge and the Opportunities" symposium
7 to 10 p.m.
Central Union Church
Also: A public reception for presenters will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 19 at National Spiritual Assembly of the Bah', 3264 Allan Place; 595-3314.
And no, we're not talking about a habit.
When she was assigned in 1999 to New York with the Maryknoll order, she was appointed to the board for the United States Conference of Religions for Peace.
"Then the trauma of 9/11 happened," Chatfield said.
The group, an interfaith organization made up of representatives from more than 45 religious communities, went about finding ways to help the country heal. It won a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to host symposia in a dozen cities around the country, discussing the pressing social issues of each locale.
Because Hawai'i is near and dear to her heart (she's returning here in Thanksgiving), Chatfield made sure Honolulu made the list.
"I said, 'Well, I go out there on other business,' " she told the group's executive director. "I could go out."
She passed along names of people she knew would be interested in the symposium, and through further discussions it was determined that the most pressing issue for Hawai'i was the economy.
Other regions have taken up topics such as racial profiling in New York City, urban education and diversity in upstate New York.
"Economic Disparity Among Us: The Challenge and the Opportunity" is the name for the Hawai'i panel discussion, which will include a wide variety of speakers including Robert Alm, chairman of the Hawai'i Community Foundation; Haunani Apoliona, chairwoman of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; and Eric Gill, secretary-treasurer of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union.
The total cost for the evening of discussion comes to about $5,000, including a reception after the presentations, but it's all being paid for by the grant.
The next morning, students from different private schools who were invited expressly for the purpose of attending a follow-up discussion, will take points from the talks and synthesize what they heard.
Arranging for a day away from instruction for public high-school students was harder to accomplish, said Chatfield, who had taught in her years in Hawai'i at Maryknoll High, Saint Ann's in Kane'ohe (back when there was a high school), and Saint Anthony's in Wailuku, Maui, and served as dean of fine arts at Chaminade for nine years.
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bah' will host a free reception Feb. 19 at 3264 Allan Place for the public and the presenters.