HAPA Launches Second ‘Kuleana Academy’

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2017 Kuleana Academy participants and staff. Photo courtesy of HAPA.

The Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) and its Education Alliance Partners have launched the 2017 “Kuleana Academy,” a leadership development and political candidate training program involving 17 participants statewide.

This is the second round of the program which is designed to educate and train aspiring leaders in Hawaiʻi who want to serve in public office.

Kuleana Academy involves an introduction to critical issues in Hawaiʻi, personal leadership development, and training in campaign fundamentals like fundraising, finance reporting, speech and debate skills and media interaction. Participants will learn from a diverse cross-section of former public officials, including Hawaiʻi Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Justin Avery of Hawai‘i Island. Photo: HAPA.


This year’s participants include:

Heather Kimball of Hawai‘i Island. Photo: HAPA.

  • Hawaiʻi Island – Justin Avery and Heather Kimball
  • Kauaʻi – Angela Anderson
  • Lanaʻi – Gabriel Johnson
  • Maui – Jason Eno, Tamara Paltin, and Shane Sinenci
  • Molokaʻi – Keani Rawlins-Fernandez
  • Oʻahu – Will Caron,  Joshua Frost, Rebecca Gardner, Randy Aaron Gonce, Tyler Greenhill, Asami Kobayashi, Amy Perruso, Sandra Kaui Pratt-Aquino, and Cameron Sato

“HAPA’s mission is to catalyze community empowerment and systemic change – change that goes to the root of our social, economic and environmental injustices,” said Kuleana Academy Program Director, Aria Juliet Castillo. “In order to fulfill that mission, Hawai‘i needs more progressive leaders who value ʻāina and people ahead of corporate profit. We are excited to be able to provide this kind of critical education and development to a diverse group of civic-minded emerging leaders from across Hawaiʻi.”

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HAPA is hosting the program in partnership with other nonprofit public interest organizations including: Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaiʻi Americans For Democratic Action, Hawaiʻi Appleseed, Hawai‘i Center for Food Safety, Hawaiʻi People’s Fund, Hawaiʻi SEED, Hawaiʻi’s Thousand Friends, KAHEA: Hawaiian Environmental Alliance, Life of the Land, Maui Tomorrow, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai‘i and UNITE HERE! Local 5.  

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