Activating the Maui Vegan Community

After moving to Maui in 2017, Joy Waters starting asking the vegans who lived on island: what can we do to inspire more of Maui towards the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle?   She facilitated public discussions to brainstorm meaningful mini-projects that we can do in the community to share the vegan message and encourage and nurture local leadership to make it happen.

These are the Project Ideas that we have envisioned so far.  If you’re interested in joining the team for any of these projects, please contact the Project Champion listed.  If there is no Project Champion listed, that means we still are looking for someone to step up and lead the team, perhaps you?  Any questions, feel free to contact Joy Waters here.

Plant-Powered People’s Tabling
We look for opportunities to spread the vegan message at local events organized by other groups, especially mainstream institutions. We contact the organizers and get permission to host a table or booth at their event. We provide friendly, knowledgeable vegans to answer questions, be interactive with public who approach the table/booth, and give encouragement. We also organize and provide free vegan samples for the public to taste, and free written literature with health info and recipes for them to take home. We also provide the tabling equipment/ chairs etc. Looking for people willing to commit to PPP Tabling at least twice a year.  Project Champion:  Joy Waters, Email:  joy@PositiveMediaHawaii.com

Expand the VSH Member Discount Program on Maui
Involves approaching Maui restaurants and businesses and educating them about the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii Member Discount Program and the benefits for them for participating. Check out the VSH Member Discount Guide here: http://vsh.org/discounts/index.htm  To get involved, request Guidelines from Marie and schedule phone call with her.   Project Champion:  Marie LeBoeuf, Email: mauimarie2016@gmx.com

Big Box Shopping Tours
Create a list of all the vegan and organic products at stores like Walmart, Costco, Target.  Get permission from Management to conduct free, public tours of the store to shoppers interested in eating healthy, organic food. Possibly video the results and shopper comments about switching to more plant-based options.

Database and Encouragement of Vegan Food Entrepreneurs
Create an island-wide database of all vegan Maui food entrepreneurs that have products they can vend at local markets and events.  Find out about opportunities in the community that they can participate.  Project Champion: Joy Waters, Email:  joy@PositiveMediaHawaii.com

Maui-Specific Vegan Website 
Website with blog articles and resources. Has veg-friendly guide for Maui restaurants, businesses, clubs, shopping, volunteer opportunities, medical professionals, and calendar of events.  Possibly has member submitted recipes and articles about being vegan on Maui.  Project Champion:  Eric Baizer, Email: baizer2@gmail.com 

Leafleting
Done as individuals or in pairs. Attend public events or pick a public location to go to and hand out written literature to people walking by. Note: this is different from Tabling as it does not require getting permission from anyone to do it. Can be spontaneous. You are actively approaching the public. Some free literature is available for leafleting from VSH, Leilani Farm Sanctuary, or online from places like PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) and Vegan Outreach.

Performance Art Activism
Design an activity to do in public that helps spread the vegan message in a creative way.  Example given at meeting was to dress up like Jesus and “preach” compassion based on the Sermon on the Mount and hand out soy fishes and loaves to feed the people. Another great example of this mentioned at meeting is Reverand Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. Check out the Hilarious video trailer for the documentary made about him called “What Would Jesus Buy”: https://youtu.be/sGi21YQFjMM
His official website: http://www.revbilly.com/

Educational Event with Panel Speakers and Vegan Food
One time event that is about 3 hours long. Presents a topic with Speakers and/or a panel of experts. Includes a few food vendors. Intended audience is for total beginners curious about plant-based diet. Presents reasons for being vegan in the three topics of health, environment and compassionate reasons. Includes a Q&A session. Hosted at a mainstream location like UH-Maui.

Mentoring MatchUps
Develop criteria and commitment required for becoming a mentor to helping someone become vegan. Can adopt ones already created in other groups (found online). Here’s one by Vegan Outreach: https://veganoutreach.org/vegan-mentorship-program/
Recruit potential local mentors and prepare them for role. Create a way for public to sign up for mentors. Match up the mentors with mentees and manage the relationship. This project can also include a “Vegan Challenge” that the whole group takes together.

School Educators
Prepare a presentation geared towards children or teens and get permission to present it in public schools. Can use the program already in place by the Factory Farm Coalition. They have a training plus several presentations (with slideshows) already developed for the school environment. Can start giving the FFC presentations in Maui. More about that here (you can sign up to get the materials): http://www.ffacoalition.org/give_a_presentation

Influence the Influencers
Target a Decision Maker at a mainstream Maui institution. For example, the Director of the Culinary Arts Program at Maui College. Develop a campaign to influence them towards the vegan message. For example, enrolling the Director to offer plant-based cooking class options at the Maui College Culinary Arts Program.

Social Potlucks
Organize bi-monthly opportunities for the Maui Vegan Tribe to come together and party! Can include scheduling live music to accompany it and/or a speaker. Main goal is to Network and socialize. No formal agenda.

Veganizing Maui Dining
Develop a campaign to enroll Maui restaurant owners to add one or two vegan options to their current menu. Lots of creative suggestions on how to do this are documented in Plant-Pure Nation’s Restaurant Challenge. A wealth of Action Sheets and valuable tips found here:
http://plantpurecommunities.org/restaurant-toolkit/#1496120610803-1f87ec8c-951b
Also worth checking out is Kiki Adams, who has branded the term “theveganizer” in her website as she works to do this in high-end places in NYC and similar, more info here: http://www.theveganizers.com/nyc.html

Craftivism
Activism for introverts. Really fascinating, this TedTalk describes it all:
https://youtu.be/iM5Dl3rLyo8

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