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  • Kyle Lovett

Faith In Action, Justice for Lindani Myeni and Iremamber Sykap!

Several of our UCC churches belong to Faith Action for Community Equity (now just "Faith Action"). Did you know that new energy and new people have gotten involved in the leadership? Younger adults are doing their theology in our midst!

The newly formed Transformative Justice Task Force of Faith Action put out a call for folks to join the “March for Justice” from the State Capitol in Honolulu to the Honolulu Police Department to Thomas Square. Members from Central Union Church joined about 50 other people—from a wide array of groups—in the June 23rd March for Justice, Transparency, and Accountability around the police killings in our community.

Members of Central Union Church and Faith Action at the rally for justice, transparency, accountability.
Photo taken by Faith Action Organizer Cassie Chee

We’ve cried. We’ve met. We’ve signed petitions. We’ve submitted testimony to one setting of our government or another. And now we’re taking embodied action!

One of the most poignant moments at the march came when family members of some of the more than 30 people killed by Honolulu Police in the past decade spoke individually to us. Many said they were so thankful that people were finally showing they cared enough to come out into the streets. Before today, they weren’t sure people noticed or cared—certainly there hasn’t been the public outrage at police killings like was seen this past year on the continent.

Perhaps the best thing about the event was that it brought together people who had never taken to the streets before but who are now energized to do something—many ethnicities, many ages, many religious and political leanings—committed to demanding accountability, transparency, and most of all, no more killings of our neighbors.

Our faith calls us to love our neighbors and stand with the oppressed. Together with Faith Action and other community members, we offered our care and support through peaceful protest.

Attendees hold up photos and names of Oahu residents shot and killed by HPD since 2010.
Attendees hold up photos and names of Oahu residents killed by HPD since 2010. Photo by Kyle Lovett

Rev. Kyle Lovett shares:

As a clergyperson and a leader in my faith community, I was shocked when the news began to fill with reports of the Honolulu Police Department killing Black and Brown people. I was further shocked and saddened when none of the “usual suspects” (the social justice-attentive religious leaders) stepped forward to lead us in expressions of concern and protest. True, we in Hawaii don’t like to “make good trouble” like those on the continent. But really? No protests over the killings of Lindani Myeni and Iremamber Sykap and the horrible, racist language about the Micronesian community? I was taught in my early years in church to speak up for those who are not experiencing justice. Speaking up looks like many things – calling and writing to elected and appointed officials as well as marching in the street – whatever empowers and uplifts and names and holds accountable. I have been sorely disappointed that the structures in Hawaii – The Honolulu Police Commission in particular, and of course the police union and the local papers – have not been vocal or responsive to calls for transparency and accountability, much less justice! I’m not giving up, and I hope you don’t give up either. None of us is in this alone. The Faith Action Transformative Justice Task Force is one place that’s gathering folk for education & resources on the concerns, contemplation of what can be done, and organizing for action. Individually and together, grounded in our faith, we can make the difference in holding HPD accountable and making the systems, structures, and agencies for justice work for all.




GET INVOLVED with Faith Action

"Faith Action for Community Equity (Faith Action) is a grassroots, interfaith 501(c)3 non-profit organization driven by a deep spiritual commitment to improving the quality of life for our members and all the people of Hawaii. Through our common values and collective power, we address the root causes of social justice challenges facing our community. We are the only organization of its kind in Hawaii."


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