Hawaii International Forgiveness Day
Calls for Forgiveness in Politics


JULY 19, 2012; HONOLULU HAWAII: The State Capitol Auditorium will host the 10th Annual Hawaii International Forgiveness Day -- on Sunday, August 5, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.

Space is limited, so reservations are encouraged; Free reservations at:


This year, the popular annual family festival tackles a timely topic: the dysfunction of our legal and political system, and how they can be improved to better reflect the values of ordinary people.

Former State Representative Lyla Berg, who will give the keynote, said, “Forgiveness gives one the ability to change -- to pause,  take a deep breath and stop doing what doesn’t work; to look  sincerely into the eyes of people with whom we disagree and see where we have common principles, values, goals -- and to let go of those feelings and thoughts that keep us stuck.  I've had my experiences with partisan disagreements -- and intra-party confrontations -- when I served in the Legislature, along with some movement toward addressing them at a fundamental, human level, much deeper, authentic, and more lasting than the characteristic political "horse-trading." I'm willing to share those experiences with others, and offer the possibility, and opportunity, for everyone to be better -- personally and professionally .”

All members of the State Legislature and Executive, and all members of the City/County Administration and City Council, are being personally invited to attend.

Heroes of Forgiveness will be recognized -- people who have met the challenge of change, found a wellspring of forgiveness and shared their discovery with the community. Two Heroes will be honored this year, and both are well-known in the community: Sister Joan Chatfield of the Maryknoll Sisters, and acclaimed author and teacher Chuck Spezzano, of Psychology of Vision.

Forgiveness Arts Awards will be presented -- and entries are now open to the public, online. Anyone may enter original work into the Images or Poetry category, no charge:


The winning images will be on display on August 5, and the winning poets will read their work. A full gallery of past years' winners -- artists and poets of aloha -- is available on the website, to get an idea of what is meant by "Forgiveness Arts."

Beloved Hawaii slack-key master Keola Beamer will share his work and realizations of forgiveness in a thoughtful presentation, highlighted by an oli (chant of dedication) presented by his wife.

Well-known local attorney Roger Epstein of Cades-Schutte, a founder of the Forgiveness Project in Hawaii, and former State Court Judge Lorenn Walker (recognized as a Hero of Forgiveness in 2005) will be on hand to discuss how the values of forgiveness can be more effectively embedded in public policy.

International Forgiveness Day is celebrated in more than 80 countries, and the festival here in Hawaii is consistently one of the largest in the world. It is organized by an ad-hoc coalition of community groups, professionals, religious organizations, business and government people who support a lifestyle of forgiveness in Hawaii, based on the values of traditional Hawaiian culture and the spirit of aloha.


press contact:
Hawaii Forgiveness Project, Michael North; 808-638-7100
details: http://www.hawaiiforgivenessproject.org

online press room: