Welcome to the personal website of Kris Coffield, a trauma survivor, sex trafficking victim advocate, political activist, campaign strategist, public policy specialist, and independent scholar living in Hawai’i.
Kris Coffield advocates for socioeconomic equality, educational opportunity, environmental and racial justice, and human rights. He currently serves as Executive Director of Imua Alliance, chief-of-staff for Rep. Jeanné Kapela at the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives, and chairperson of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i Education Caucus.
Kris is a survivor of sexual trauma who is dedicated to coordinating trauma care for victims of sexual violence and building a world that is free from exploitation. He is completing a poetry collection about his experiences entitled Survivalist. He posts short poems and regular updates about his healing journey on Facebook and Instagram.
Kris has authored some of Hawai’i’s most progressive pieces of legislation, including the state’s sex trafficking ban (Act 206, 2016) and anti-revenge-porn law (Act 116, 2014), as well as proposals to institute single-payer healthcare (SB 1199, 2017), eliminate private prisons (SB 2979, 2018), accelerate Hawai’i’s transition to a clean energy economy (HB 1934, 2020), institute comprehensive paid sick leave (HB 2, 2021) and paid family leave (HB 5, 2021) programs, establish a living wage (HB 4, 2021), strengthen racial justice (HB 11, 2021) and sexual wellness curricula (SB 1347, 2021) in public schools, levy green fees (HB 6, 2021) and a carbon tax (HB 460, 2021) to combat climate change, expand protections for victims of sexual violence on college campuses (HB 691, 2021), and enact legal personhood for the sacred Native Hawaiian land of Mauna Kea (HB 693, 2021).
He has also drafted over forty bills for the Hawai’i State Teachers Association, including the original constitutional amendment text to increase education funding (SB 2922) and Schools Our Keiki Deserve Act (SB 2586, 2016).
As a victim service provider for survivors of human trafficking, Kris has rescued over 170 people from Hawaiʻi’s slave trade. A specialist in direct intervention services, he regularly oversees outreach in locations at which exploitation is known to occur, often putting his life on the line to emancipate victims from sexual servitude. He is a leader in prevention education programming that empowers professionals and school communities to create spaces that are safe from sexual violence and provide victims of violence with trauma-informed care.
Kris is the editor of Interstitial: A Journal of Modern Culture and Events (journal is on temporary hiatus). His scholarly work has been published in World History Connected, In Media Res, Evental Aesthetics, and Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures.
View his professional resumé at the following link: work experience. Organizations with which he is affiliated appear below.
Imua Alliance, Founder and Executive Director (2010-present)
Hawai’i Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Member (2012-present)
Democratic Party of Hawai’i, Education Caucus Chair (2018-present)
Hawai’i State Teachers Association, Government Relations Consultant (2012-2018)
Friends of Jeanné Kapela, Campaign Manager (2018-present)
Friends of Amy Perruso, Campaign Manager (2018-2020)
Friends of Micah Pregitzer, Campaign Manager (2019-2020)
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Finally. For more than a year, global society has battled a planetary pandemic. Even for those of us who have been spared infection by COVID-19, the virus’s social symptoms have been a persistent challenge. My home of Hawai’i has been besieged by an economic downturn that …
“Keep hope alive” isn’t a cliché. It’s a call to action. We can’t perpetuate hope simply by searching for feelings of optimism within ourselves. We have to work, each day, to actively uplift our most vulnerable neighbors, to be our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers, to create space for marginalized voices that were once rendered unintelligible …
Women-led nations are doing better than male-led nations in handling COVID-19. To all the men out there who recoil at that statement, get over it. It’s true. And new research backs it up. According to a study of 194 countries by two economists based in England, Supriya Garikipati and Uma Kambhampati, women-led nations like New …
The following are samples of Kris Coffield’s writing.
“Politicizing the Spectacle” in In Media Res, “Spectacles of Protest” theme week (May, 2017)
“Naked Games: Procedural Misogyny in Videogame Culture,” in In Media Res, “Just Add Nudity” theme week (October, 2014)
“Terror, Trauma, and the Thing at Ground Zero,” in Evental Aesthetics, Volume 1, Number 3 (September, 2012)
“Humanities in Hawaiʻi, From Statehood to the Present,” in Inquire Journal of Comparative Literature, Volume 2, Number 2 (September, 2012)
Politics of the Event: Time, Movement, Becoming by Tom Lundborg, in Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, Volume 10 (Fall, 2013)
Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism by Noenoe K. Silva, in World History Connected, Volume 8, Number 3 (October, 2011)
“Ending gender violence should be a pandemic priority” in Honolulu Star-Advertiser (December 3, 2020)
“Invest in education to end sex trafficking” in Honolulu Star-Advertiser (October 25, 2018)
“Homeland PTSD,” poem in Streetcake, Issue 33 (January, 2014).
“Storm break,” haiku in Chrysanthemum, Issue 14 (October, 2013).