About Us

Community Funds. Community Action.

Our Mission

Hawaii People’s Fund is a publicly-supported social justice philanthropy advancing a grassroots movement for Change, Not Charity™.


A force for progressive social change, Hawai`i People's Fund supports passionate, often alternative voices and their vision of creating a more just and equitable Hawaiʻi.  Whether it is the poetically-slamming voices of Youth Speaks Hawai'i, the cross-sector organizing of Pride at Work Hawaiʻi, or the voices of incarcerated women, Hawai'i People's Fund strives to support those who will bring important and creative ways of reimagining community and Hawaiʻi.  Hawai‘i People's Fund assists groups considered too small, too new, or too controversial by traditional funding agencies.

Founded in 1972, Hawai‘i People's Fund is a publicly supported community fund established to provide grants to progressive grassroots social change organizations working in Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i People's Fund brings together those who want to invest in justice with those who are actively pursuing justice in a united vision for social change. Our philosophy of community-based strategic philanthropy offers a unique alternative to traditional charitable giving. Individuals who contribute to Hawai‘i People's Fund are investing in our community's future by supporting projects that seek out the root causes of social problems and pose new solutions.

Community Funds & Action!


From its earliest grantmaking, in 1972-3 into the 1990s, Hawaii People’s Fund supported community organizing in Honolulu’s Chinatown. The critical grassroots groups were Third Arm and People Against Chinatown Evictions (PACE).


Several continuous Hawaii People’s Fund constituents were part of these groups and one asked if we might help preserve more of the stories from this important period of strategic activism,


Hawaii People’s Fund worked with a UH student-intern in the spring/summer of 2016. Sonja Cookman put this article together. She met with about a dozen organizers from those days. She also scanned a number of original documents, organizational newsletters and media coverage. Hawaii People’s Fund was able to digitize a couple hundred old slides.


The original activists plan to come together to archive more of their memories. Hawaii People’s Fund hopes this article, the first source documents, and the ongoing work of the surviving organizers will help preserve the history and serve to inspire and inform continued struggles against evictions and gentrification and activism for access to health care, housing and dignity for all.

Click the title above or open the document below to read Sonjaʻs paper.


See more pictures by movement photographer, Ed Greevy, here: http://edgreevy.com/chinatown/2016/04/chinatown/


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