Healing Tides NHPI Initiative

Healing Tides: NHPI Leadership + Renewal Initiative

Guest Post: Jason Lacsamana, Director, Programs and Partnerships


This month, the Fund starts our Healing Tides: NHPI Leadership + Renewal Initiative. Historically, Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities have received little attention or investment from philanthropy while also experiencing critical need. While the Fund’s equity lens highlighted the need to work in these communities, our personal and professional relationships made it a responsibility.


On the surface, the initiative may look like a leadership development and organizational capacity-building effort. However, we intend it to be much more – centering and exploring what healing and renewal seem like in the NHPI communities, then concurrently building and designing together with our initiative partners. This initiative is the first of its kind, and it’s centered around the NHPI community without being borrowed from any other program.


The Healing Tides framework is based on the belief that sustainable leaders head sustainable organizations that, in turn, support sustainable communities. Empowered leaders honor cultural values and impact leadership. Yet, individual healing is integral to being an empowered leader. By centering on healing, the hope is the creation of structures that support high-functioning organizations that foster healthy and resilient communities.


We held our first convening at the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM), a sacred space and community home in Long Beach, California. Healing Tides leaders, our design team, and Fund staff came together to kick off this historic initiative. (See a complete list of initiative leaders and design team at the end of this post.)


Whereas other capacity-building efforts have been limited, we believe we can be effective by acknowledging and addressing the historical trauma our NHPI communities have experienced, not burying it under more investments and program funding. We are not saying this initiative will fix what ails our communities. Rather, by centering healing and renewal, NHPI leaders will be better positioned to help and serve their communities in all capacities.


Noilyn Mendoza, Program Facilitator and Leadership Coach, said, “In the Healing Tides Initiative, we hold steadfast to the belief that a sustainable leader is not only the bedrock of a lasting organization but also the cornerstone of a thriving community and an evolving movement.”


She added, “Our guiding framework embodies the profound truth that healing and renewal are the essence of becoming an empowered and whole leader. Like the ebb and flow of tides, our journey toward sustainability is nurtured by the rhythm of self-care, compassion, and rejuvenation, for it is in our wholeness that we inspire others to create waves of positive change.”


We hope that our leaders’ work will replicate and be without deficit. The burnout rate is very high in the nonprofit field, but even more so in under-resourced community-based organizations. We can expect it to rise if we don’t focus on addressing the foundation of healing and creating healthy operating practices with a cultural identity context.


In the next few weeks, we will share more details about Healing Tides, including a program overview and our design team’s definition of coaching, on the Initiative Page on our website. If you aren’t already, follow the Fund on LinkedIn to find out when the page goes live.


Healing Tides Leaders

  • Marshallese Youth of Orange County (Orange County)
  • Kutturan Chamorro Foundation (Los Angeles)
  • The Young SAMOA (Inland Empire)
  • LE GaFa (Los Angeles-based programming with international reach)
  • Pacific Islander Health Partnership (Orange County)
  • FOU Movement (Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Orange County)
  • NHPI Alliance (Los Angeles-based programming with national reach)
  • SoCal PICRT (Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Orange County)
  • Mafana (Los Angeles)

Healing Tides Design Team

  • ‘Alisi Tulua (Advisor)
  • Alyshia Alohalani Macaysa-Feracota (Leadership Coach)
  • Jackie Ng-Osorio, DrPH (Evaluator/Ethnographer)
  • Larissa Estes, DrPH (Sustainability/Technical Assistance Strategist)*
  • Noilyn Mendoza (Facilitator, Leadership Coach)
  • Patricia Dayleg (Leadership Coach)

*No longer serving in this capacity, appointed as the Executive Director of the first California Commission on Racial Equity


This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.