Rainbow Town Hall


Rainbow Town Hall is an ongoing virtual panel discussion series exploring important issues affecting LGBTQ+ people and Hawaii’s larger diverse communities.

Join us for our next Rainbow Town Hall on Thursday, June 17 at 6pm: 40 Years of HIV/AIDS: The History and Future of HIV/AIDS in Hawaii.

This month we are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the first AIDS Walk here in Hawaii as well as the 40th anniversary of Dr David McEwan diagnosing the very first AIDS case on the islands.

The AIDS epidemic in the 1980s left the LGBT community with few allies and even fewer options on how to stem its tide. It was through the foresight and perseverance of medical practitioners and community activists like Dr McEwan that HIV/AIDS is now preventable and treatable.

Although advancements have been made in prevention and maintenance, the spread of HIV/AIDS is still a very real problem for our community. Awareness is key to helping our younger generations understand that this disease is far from being eradicated, and continues to be a threat to the lives and futures of anyone who does not take precautions.

Join this Rainbow Town Hall and learn what our future looks like in Hawaii as we continue to battle HIV/AIDS; and in the process, you’ll discover a rich and diverse history that has led us to where we are today.

This event is free, but registration is required. Click here.


Previous Rainbow Town Hall recordings available online include the May 25, 2021 Engagement Party.

 Featuring an exclusive pre-release discussion with Sasha Issenberg, author of the highly anticipated new book The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle With Same-Sex Marriage.

Joining Sasha to explore Hawaii’s early, pivotal role in marriage equality were important advocates for marriage equality in Hawaii and the nation, including: Genora Dancel, one of the original plaintiffs; the Honorable Dan Foley, the attorney that launched the mission; Representative / Speaker of the House Scott Saiki, the politician who remained a loyal ally; and Senator Chris Lee, the political leader who became a stalwart. The discussion is moderated by Emmy award-winning filmmaker and New York Times best selling author, Dean Hamer

To learn more about our Rainbow Town Hall series, contact Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation board member Sandy Livingston.

Mahalo to Mary Krause / EmmKay Media for providing this video.


Also available online is the 5-part Rainbow Town Hall series produced in October 2020 in conjunction with Honolulu Pride. In that series, educators, health care providers, members of the business community and activists on the front lines discuss how to move forward on critical issues facing Hawaii’s LGBTQIA community. Scroll down to watch the Zoom videos.


Rainbow Town Hall #1 | October 14, 2020
LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY & THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Kim Coco Iwamoto, Esq., Community Activist
Mandy Fernandes, Esq., Policy Director, ACLU Hawaii
Shayna Lonoaea-Alexander, Smart Justic Field Organizer, ACLU Hawaii
Kat Brady, Community Justice Advocate & Coordinator, Community Alliance on Prisons
Stacia Ohira, Formerly Incarcerated ACLU Hawaii Board Member


Rainbow Town Hall #2 | October 20, 2020
Find the Way: Facilitating LGBTQIA+ Conversations in Education

Thaddeus Pham, Chairperson, Hawaii Sexual Gender Minority Work Group
Ryan Mandado, Chief Academic Officer, DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach Public Charter School
Lord Ryan Lizardo, Program Manager for Work-based Learning, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii
Alison Lazzara, SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Acceptance) Club Advisor, Punahou School
Kim Coco Iwamoto, Esq., Community Activist


Rainbow Town Hall #3 | October 22, 2020
HOW HAVE GAY-OWNED BUSINESSES SHIFTED DUE TO COVID-19?

Winston Welch, Co-Founder, Hawaii Rainbow Chamber of Commerce
Ari South, Owner / Designer, Ari South
Jeff Hong, Founder & Chief Technology Officer, Techmana LLC
Ryan K. Hew, Esq., Managing Partner, Hew & Bordenave (H&B)
William Chen, Founder & Culinary Director, fresh BOX


Rainbow Town Hall #5 | October 26, 2020
MENTAL HEALTH & STIGMA IN THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY

Dr. David McEwan, Advisory Board Member, Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation
Dr. Kevin Tomita, PhD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Tomita Psychotherapy and  Consultation, LLC
Trey Halliday Fenton, Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Certified Substance Abuse Counselor
Hao Le, President, Affirmation Hawaii Chapter
Dr. Don “Keith” Pedro, Forensic Section Supervisor – Oahu Branch of Adult Mental Health, State of Hawaii


Rainbow Town Hall #5 | October 28, 2020
SAFE & STABLE HOUSING FOR THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY

Gary Permenter, PhD, Social Worker & Educator
Trey Halliday Fenton, Licensed Clinical Social Worker | Certified Substance Abuse Counselor
Brian Esquivel, Housing Outreach Worker, Hawaii Health and Harm Reduction Center
Patricio Battani, MPH, Director of Health Equity & Homeless Shleters, Waikiki Health
Wallace Engberg, Research & Planning Analyst, Partners In Care
Jonathan Berliner, Executive Director, Gregory House Programs