Open Letter: Exciting News – We Are Expanding

Today, we are excited to announce that we’re expanding. Since the beginning of our work at Shark Truth – working with wedding couples and families to go Fin Free – we knew we were on the cusp of a new kind of activism: one that simultaneously embraces culture *and* change.

Hua Foundation

st+hf logoThroughout our work these past four years, we’ve begun to see how much our community wants to participate in environmental action but beyond going Fin Free, they – like ourselves – are stuck at the question, “I already stopped eating shark fin, now what?” Moreover, many Hua youth struggle with how to straddle the worlds of tradition and sustainability. Where do we draw the lines, where do we keep them open?

This is why we’re thrilled to announce that we’re expanding to a new organization called Hua Foundation that aims to bring together the worlds of cultural heritage and environmental action. The name Hua is a play on words of Hua Ren [Cantonese: Wah Yun] 華人 – “peoples of ethnic Chinese descent,” Bian Hua [C: Bin Faa] 變化 – “change,” and Wen Hua [C: Man Faa] 文化 – “culture.” Our new Intercultural Food Literacy program looks at what healthy, local eating means for the Hua community. Part of our work will also involve reconnecting youth to their traditional foods and practices using an environmental lens.

Shark Truth’s Work Continues

Our work at Shark Truth will continue as a program under Hua Foundation. The pilot we implemented with Hong Kong Shark Foundation last year was a tremendous success – bringing our total count of shark fin bowls stopped to 80,000. For 2014, we’re going to focus our energies on securing funds to open-source the Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding contest so ally organizations around the world can use this proven conservation action model for free.

On the legislative end of things, we will continue talking to our organizational partners on how to bring forth effective shark conservation policy in Canada and around the world.

Our Team & What’s Next

To support our expanded work, we’re welcoming in a new Board of Directors as well as some stellar leaders to our Advisory Board. This time around, Kevin and I will be the Co-Executive Directors of Hua Foundation. We’ll be sharing the responsibility of strategy, planning, and development of the programs. Right now we’re working hard to fundraise for our Intercultural Food Literacy program and open-sourcing the Wedding Contest. Next month, we’ll be holding a fundraiser at Bao Bei Brasserie (tickets available here).

Learn more about what we have planned on our website huafoundation.org or on Facebook and Twitter. Wanna help us kickstart Hua Foundation? Donate here!

Thank you for your unwavering support – we hope you’ll continue to be a part of building this beautiful community that supports sharks, culture, and our planet.

With gratitude and excitement,

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Claudia Li
Founder & Executive Director
Shark Truth Society