Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement & Political Manipulation at America's Largest Charitable Trust

Discussion Questions

  • Foreword:
    • Why do you think the book’s authors asked Gladys Kamakakuokalani Brandt to write the Foreword for this book?
    • Mrs. Brandt described herself in the Foreword as part of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana.  What is an ‘ohana?
    • Brandt wrote that she had a hanai mother.  What does that mean?
    • Who do you think is more likely to have the greatest influence on a child, the child’s birth parent or a hanai parent?  Why?
    • Mrs. Brandt wrote that there were great changes over the course of her lifetime in what it meant to be Hawaiian.  What does that mean?  Whether or not you are Hawaiian, what are some things about being Hawaiian that you think might change during your lifetime?
    • Mrs. Brandt refers to “acts of moral courage and civic responsibility.”  Have you ever witnessed or heard about anything like that?  If so, describe it.
    • Mrs. Brandt referred to the turmoil at Bishop Estate as “painful but necessary.”  She was in her nineties when she helped organize a protest march and co-author the Broken Trust essay.  Those activities were physically taxing and emotionally “painful.”  Why would a person like Mrs. Brandt act as she did, knowing that it would be taxing and painful to her?
    • Mrs. Brandt wrote that certain leaders “did not seek leadership positions out of ego or a desire for self-gain,” and that they tried to make things pono (right) despite “threats to their personal interests.”  Does it make sense for someone to take personal risks just to benefit others?  Do you know of anyone who has ever done that?  If so, what do you think of that person?