Skip to content

Kris Coffield on the new chair of the Hawai'i State Board of Education



Senior Landecker Fellow Kris Coffield chairs the Democratic Party of Hawai’i’s Education Caucus. A couple of weeks ago, the governor replaced the chair of the Hawai’i State Board of Education, “shocking the education and children’s advocacy community in the islands,” Kris points out. On June 14, 2023, Kris was featured in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser article about the new chair of the Hawai’i BOE.

Interestingly, this development is relevant to Kris’ ongoing Landecker Democracy Fellowship project. “I was criticizing the new appointee because he’s the CEO of Maui Land and Pineapple, the literal corporate descendent of Hawai’i’s plantation era,” he explains.

Indeed, Kris voiced concerns that the new chair would prioritize education privatization and market-based “reforms” at the expense of civic education or racial and gender equity – all of which are encapsulated in portions of the Platforming Peace initiative.

Learn more

Kris is one of thirty 2021-2022 Landecker Democracy Fellows. This fellowship, a collaboration between the Alfred Landecker Foundation and Humanity in Action, was created to strengthen a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and social challenges can become catalysts for democratic placemaking and community building. Read more about the fellowship here.