Joyful Heart in the News

Joyful Heart Foundation Hires Kata Issari as Hawai‘i Regional Director

October 21st, 2011
Hawaii News Now
Bennett Group

The Joyful Heart Foundation announced today that Kata Issari has joined the organization as its first Hawai'i regional director. Issari will play an integral role in leading the organization's growth locally and dissemination of innovative, statewide programs to serve island residents. In her new position, Issari will strive to fulfill the Joyful Heart Foundation's mission to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

"We're thrilled to have Kata join the Joyful Heart 'ohana," said Maile Zambuto, CEO of the Joyful Heart Foundation. "Kata's tremendous experience and expertise is vital to our commitment to expand the Foundation's work in Hawai'i."

In addition to bringing on Issari, Joyful Heart recently celebrated the opening of its new Hawai'i office in Honolulu, located in the Kukui Children's Center. The new office is critical in helping the Foundation to better meet the growing needs of diverse communities across the state.   

"Joyful Heart's work in Hawai'i is a catalyst for change," said Issari. "We hope that Hawai'i will serve as a model to inform our national efforts. We plan to develop best practices and culturally relevant programming that promotes holistic healing for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault - as well as their families and the providers who assist them. We are committed to supporting the work of existing programs throughout the state and look forward to forging many lasting partnerships that honor the rich history and cultures of this special place."

Issari brings with her extensive experience in the areas of sexual assault and domestic violence through her work in Hawai'i and on the mainland. She has published articles and curricula on rape and domestic abuse, anti-oppression and multicultural competence, recently serving as a consultant and trainer for Praxis International's Advocacy Learning Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.  For close to 30 years, Issari has provided consultations, presentations and facilitation to groups and organizations in throughout the United States. She has also been an active community volunteer, including serving as a national founding member of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, and as a Board member for the Women's Funding Alliance as well as the Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse in Seattle.

Prior to joining Joyful Heart Foundation Issari was the program director at Parents And Children Together's Family Peace Center for 12 years where she managed one of the few comprehensive domestic violence programs in the country that provides services for survivors, perpetrators and children as well as community education and training. She also served as a lecturer at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and has collaborated with UH faculty on research projects involving children and domestic violence.    

Issari received her bachelor's degree in political science and English and her M.S.W. from the School of Social Work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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