Updated: September 30, 2022
The organizers of last month’s March for Change on Maui, Maya Marquez and Keisa Liu, will be hosting another event called Celebrate Black Excellence on Saturday, July 25 from 3 to 6 p.m., starting in front of the University of Hawaiʻi, Maui College in Kahului.
Participants will sign wave before marching to Keōpūolani Park (near the Boys and Girls Club). Once at the park, an expo will be set up for black-owned businesses. Speakers will also be there to share their stories through poetry and music.
“We’re hoping to use this event to bring our black community together in celebration of our history, diversity and excellence,” said Marquez in an event press release announcement. Organizers say the event is open to the public, but participants are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.
At the March for Change, organizers say the team wanted to support the Black Lives Movement by bringing awareness to Maui. Liu said, “We are always saying we live in a bubble here on Maui. We don’t see the same level of overt racism we see on the mainland. It’s a privilege. For Maya and me, we couldn’t let that privilege keep us from standing up for what’s right.”
More than 400 people attended last month’s march in Kahului. The upcoming Celebrate Black Excellence event will be a change of pace for the organizers. Although there will still be a demonstration and march, the organizers wanted to end the march on a positive note.
“Celebrating the love and pride we have for ourselves is just as important as shedding light on the discrimination we have endured for hundreds of years in America. We wanted to create a space for that here”, says Liu.
Marquez is a Birth Doula and current student at University of Hawaiʻi, Maui College. Liu is an Upcountry resident and owns a business consulting company with her husband.