Try Think

Genuine Conversation Builds Community

The pewa is a traditional woodworking technique used to repair holes or to prevent wood from splitting. Named after the fishtail shape it resembles, the simple and effective pewa embodies the approach of our Try Think program. We strive to bring people together in conversation to bridge gaps and share ideas in the hopes of strengthening our ties with each other and our sense of community. We embrace difficult topics that have the potential to divide, but provide opportunity for all voices to be heard and considered. When we grow better at making these connections across divides, community can carry us all once again.

“How do you even start a conversation about these kinds of difficult topics? Try Think can bring people together who normally would not have opportunity to talk … “

“This feels energizing. This kind of interaction is missing in the everyday.”

“I want to share what we talked about with my family and friends.”

Our Try Think events are opportunities to connect, listen, and share, by participating in a conversation on an important topic, led by a trained facilitator, and together with people in our community we might not normally get the chance to interact with. All are welcome to join us.


Check us out on social media @hihumanities (IG) and Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities (FB), and and sign up for our email list here for more conversation updates. 

If you have any questions or ideas for conversation topics, please contact Lyz Soto, our Director of Literary & Conversation Programs at lsoto@hihumanities.org.

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Try Think Origin Story

Try Think is a conversation-based program that began in the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Windward Oʻahu. Different than learning a specific trade or following a set curriculum, we created Try Think with the aim to be more responsive: to provide a space for incarcerated people to feel safe to share their opinions and perspectives, and to share their stories and hopes for the communities they may be returning to someday. Through the process of collective conversation, we built community inside. We expanded the Try Think program with the men at the Hālawa Correctional Facility, and again created a community together with a remarkable feeling of genuine care and relationship building. Try Think is committed to taking these powerful lessons we learned inside the facilities to our larger community: the importance of voice, the desire to feel heard and considered, the need to feel acknowledged as a whole person and as a valuable part of the community.