Try Think

Try Think: An Invitation to Conversation

‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi.
All knowledge is not learned in one school.
We learn from many sources.
from ‘Ōlelo Noʻeau

Try Think is not a command. It’s our invitation to you— to conversation, to interaction, to listening and to being heard. Try Think includes diverse peoples and celebrates diverse perspectives. Try Think is community.

The current landscape of “new normals”—of social-distancing and facemasks—has unfortunately resulted in the temporary pause in our in-person, face to face, community Try Think events. Although we are disappointed in not being able to publically gather together, we are viewing this situation as an opportunity to reimagine what community conversations look and feel like. 

As we take time to reflect programmatically on what we have learned and continue to learn, we imagine new and exciting possibilities and we encourage you to do the same.  

You are invited to be a part of our new virtual community conversations project, Try Think: An Invitation to Conversation. Each week we will be hosting virtual gatherings for you, our community, to provide opportunities for people to connect, share ideas, and engage in meaningful and thought-provoking conversations.

Rather than let our current quarantine situation separate us, let’s take this opportunity to connect beyond our previously imagined comforts and reach across towns and islands and oceans and redefine who we think of as our community.

Our schedule of events will be available shortly on our website and will be announced through our social media @hihumanities (IG) and Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities (FB) and via email. Check back often as we will be updating the schedule regularly. Events will be limited to 20 participants on a first come first serve basis. Click on any of the event links to register.

If you have any questions or ideas for conversation topics, or would like to be added to our email list, please contact Robert Chang at rchang@hihumanities.org.

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Try Think

Since 2016, Rob Chang and Dr. Tammy Jones have pioneered the community discussion program Try Think. Originally based exclusively in the Hālawa Correctional Facility and the Women’s Community Correctional Center, Try Think has been offering spaces for incarcerated people to talk about issues ranging from constitutional rights to the role culture plays in our island communities. Try Think is offered 4 times a year as 12 week courses that meet once a week. The classes are generally 1 to 2 hours long and the curriculum is constructed around the idea that engaging in thought provoking ideas that build civic engagement will help those who have been incarcerated successfully integrate into the larger community when they are released from prison, which will also reduce the possibility of thought processes and behaviors that lead to recidivism.

Many inmates become regular participants with the Try Think program and when asked why they were returning they said Try Think offered them a safe place to think and talk about important and difficult topics. Many have said it offered the only space the felt secure enough to be themselves and that by partaking in these discussions they were reminded that it is possible to build community and to be a part of something bigger.