PIK2AR began in 2015 by Susi and Simi Malohifo’ou and Cencira Te’o, who was Susi’s intern at a community organization as Susi served a 2 year Board Member term. After Susi’s 2 year term, Cencira and Susi signed up to attend the Sustainable Startups Incubator program, an opportunity provided by University of Utah Neighborhood Partners, as Cencira was a recent graduate of the Westside Leadership program. Her involvement and interest in civic engagement, community work, and her education in social work were instrumental in developing PIK2AR. Cencira is a single mother nearing completion of her Bachelors in Social Work and the current Chair of the PIK2AR Board.
Susi and Simi attended the Asian American Pacific Island Domestic Violence Institutes Conference in San Francisco, which sparked Simi’s desire to protect the women of his community by educating Pacific Islander men about the impact of domestic violence and sexual assault, by teaching Pacific Island cultural non violence practices, and by providing a safe space for Pacific Island men to find their voice and hold discussions pertaining to violence and violence prevention.
Susi is a transracial adoptee who is a survivor of domestic and sexual violence. In support of her husband’s new found cause, Susi used her business and community building skills to network and reconnected with her friends at the Peery Foundation, who became the first financial supporters of PIK2AR. With the Peery Foundation’s kind donation, Susi and Simi received their 501c3 Non-Profit status, and in 2015, Pacific Island Knowledge 2 Action Resources, a.k.a. PIK2AR, was born.
PIK2AR serves all communities, bridging mainstream resources to the Pacific Island communities and other disadvantaged groups. PIK2AR started off with a focus on domestic violence prevention and providing business resources; however, in networking and meeting other Pacific Island community members, PIK2AR has branched out, organizing other programs to bridge bigger gaps in the Pacific Island communities and help the Pacific Islander communities overcocme barriers to living healthier lives.
In 2019, PIK2AR founders Simi and Susi traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept an award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on behalf of PIK2AR for outstanding work in violence prevention within the community