Our Current Projects

Student Peacebuilding Competition

The Pono Pono Peace Initiative is excited to announce that we will be hosting the 1st Annual Student Peacebuilding Competition at BYU-Hawaii in Fall 2024!

This is a competition where BYUH peacebuilding students develop and propose projects and organizations focused on peacebuilding - bringing peace to a space or geography where it is needed. The contest is open to any BYUH peacebuilding major or minor.

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Our Past Projects

Tracing the Shared Lineage

An Interfaith Dialogue at BYU-Hawaii

In June of 2023, our founder, Naomi Pedersen, collaborated with the David O. Mckay Center for Intercultural Understanding at BYU-Hawaii to host an impactful interfaith conference.

This gathering aimed to facilitate a profound exploration of the connections and commonalities shared among the Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.

The conference was rooted in the recognition that while these faiths have evolved and diversified over the centuries, their fundamental origins can be traced back to the patriarch Abraham. Pedersen saw this as a unique opportunity to foster meaningful dialogue and mutual understanding among adherents of these Abrahamic traditions.

The day-long event featured an impressive lineup of speakers, each offering unique insights into the shared lineage of the Abrahamic faiths.

Empowering the Next Generation of Peacebuilders

Reflections on our Collaboration with the David O. McKay Center

On May 15, 2024, our organization participated in discussions centered around peace and intercultural understanding at the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding at BYU-Hawaii.

This event brought together students from diverse backgrounds to explore the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in peacebuilding efforts.

One of the key takeaways from our interactions was the profound significance of local and indigenous knowledge in addressing global challenges.

During our discussions with the Hawaiian studies program, we learned about the cultural symbolism of the wa'a (canoe) Iosepa, a canoe that represents the interconnectedness and journey of the Hawaiian people.

This exchange highlighted the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives and traditional wisdom into our approaches to peace rather than relying solely on top-down, Western-centric models.