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Lili‘uokalani Trust welcomes Kawika Riley as inaugural Community Change Initiatives Manager

HONOLULU, November 13, 2018 – Lili‘uokalani Trust (LT) has hired Kawika Riley to lead its recently established Community Change Initiatives program. In this role, Riley will develop and manage a statewide team dedicated to building community capacity to break the cycle of poverty for Native Hawaiian children.

Kawika Riley

Riley brings a wide range of experiences working for social justice within the state and federal government. Most recently, he served for five years as Chief Advocate at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), leading a department of 20 in advocating for Native Hawaiian rights at the county, state, and federal levels. In addition to his public policy advocacy work, Riley developed and managed OHA’s Native Hawaiian Public Service Pipeline, which connected numerous young Native Hawaiians to public service opportunities.

Additionally, Riley spent several years working for the late Senator Daniel K. Akaka, in the Senator’s capacity as Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Riley advised Akaka on veterans’ employment, benefits for wounded warriors’ families and survivors, and issues affecting Native veterans. He was also the committee’s Communications Director, responsible for designing and implementing communications campaigns for veterans’ policy adopted by the committee, including mental health care reforms and the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill of Rights.

The Community Change Initiatives program was recently created as a part of the Trust’s expanded strategic direction to serve the most disadvantaged kamali‘i (trust beneficiaries) through collective impact work and address the larger forces that facilitate intergenerational poverty among Native Hawaiians. Complementing the Trust’s ongoing direct services, Community Change Initiatives will build capacity among community organizations to facilitate systems change at the regional and state level.

“Liliʻuokalani Trust is excited for Kawika to lead our efforts to empower communities to dismantle the systems and forces that contribute to multi-generational poverty, and join with them to create places and opportunities where kamaliʻi can thrive,” said Summer Keliʻipio, LT senior director of systems innovation & community change.

About Liliʻuokalani Trust

Lili‘uokalani Trust was established by Hawaiʻi’s last ruling monarch, the beloved Queen Lili‘uokalani. Her Deed of Trust, executed in 1909, directs that the Queen’s lands be utilized to serve and provide for orphan and destitute children in perpetuity; core Trust assets include some 6,400 acres of land, the majority in Kona.

The vision of Liliʻuokalani Trust is e nā kamalei lupalupa, thriving Hawaiian children. LT’s mission: We believe in the resiliency of our Hawaiian children; we advocate for their wellbeing and build them pathways to thriving lives.