Current Job Opportunities

The Lawyers for Equal Justice project at Hawai‘i Appleseed is looking for a talented individual with a passion for advancing social and economic equity through litigation to join us through the AmeriCorps VISTA program to work on advancing policies that create economic opportunity and security for all Hawai‘i residents. This is a one-year commitment, with the possibility of extending an additional year.

The primary goals of the person filling this position are:

  1. Identifying and addressing systemic problems that perpetuate poverty, inequity, and injustice by analyzing law, policy, and practice affecting low-income Hawai‘i residents across a broad range of issue areas; and
  2. Connecting LEJ’s work to the community that it serves by building and strengthening relationships with community-based organizations and low-income residents throughout Hawai‘i.

The person filling this position must have an interest in legal research and complex litigation, and will work closely with LEJ’s Director/Litigation Director. The VISTA Community Legal Advocate will engage in the following activities:

  • Completing research and developing lawsuits in state and federal court to identify actionable issues impacting low-income communities in Hawai‘i
  • Supporting ongoing lawsuits filed by LEJ and its partners in state and federal court
  • Synthesizing research and data and preparing memoranda and reports on salient issues
  • Developing potential legal and policy solutions to problems identified
  • Preparing communications materials for distribution to both the public at large and target audiences
  • Educating and engaging organizations and communities served in addressing issues perpetuating poverty and inequity
  • Supporting LEJ’s Director/Litigation Director

About Hawai‘i Appleseed

Hawai‘i Appleseed is committed to a more socially just Hawai‘i, where everyone has genuine opportunities to achieve economic security and fulfill their potential. We change systems that perpetuate inequality and injustice through policy development, legislative advocacy, coalition building, and litigation. Hawai‘i Appleseed’s work addresses a variety of areas critical to creating self-sufficiency for people in Hawai‘i, such as housing, hunger, and tax & wage issues. For example, our research, coalition building, and lobbying efforts helped to create a state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that will provide $135 million in tax relief to low-income families over a period of five years.

Lawyers for Equal Justice is a project of Hawai‘i Appleseed that engages in legal advocacy and impact litigation to change systems and policies to make justice, equality and opportunity available to everyone. For example, LEJ is currently representing low-income tenants in a case that seeks to preserve a 142-unit low-income housing complex that was intended to remain affordable for 51 years, but is being converted to market rentals after just 18 years. The 300-plus tenants who live at the complex are at risk of losing their homes, and the community is at risk of losing an important and scarce resource for low-income housing. LEJ is advocating to enforce the original 51-year commitment and keep the complex affordable.

Position Qualifications

The right candidate will have the following strengths and qualifications:

  • Hard-working and driven by a passion for social and economic justice, with an interest in legal advocacy
  • Commitment to excellence and integrity in the work conducted for the organization
  • Good interpersonal and communications skills
  • Knowledge of the systemic issues affecting the well-being of low-income people (knowledge of issues unique to Hawai‘i and familiarity with Hawai‘i communities is a plus)
  • Skill in conceptualizing and executing legal and policy analysis, including
    • Exercising good judgment in all phases of a project
    • Employing intellectual curiosity in gathering information
    • Being able to sort out the most salient facts when dealing with voluminous amounts of information to ensure that the many facets of a policy issue are explored
    • Being detail-oriented in data collection and documentation
    • Developing feasible options or alternative proposals
    • Anticipating consequences of legal and policy decisions
  • Exceptional research and writing skills including the ability to communicate complex issues using language and graphics appropriate to non-experts
  • Ability to work effectively under the pressure of tight time frames and rigid deadlines
  • Self-directed, while also being able to work well in teams and with coalition partners
  • Strong and proven ability to manage multiple tasks concurrently
  • Bachelor’s degree (an advanced degree and or work experience in public policy, law or related fields is strongly preferred)
  • Command of standard office systems, equipment, and software

Compensation, Benefits, and Term of Service

AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program that works to eliminate poverty. The program requires VISTAs to commit to a one-year term of service. The position may be extended for an additional year if funding is available. Many of Hawai‘i’s Appleseed’s staff members are former AmeriCorps/VISTA members.


VISTA members in Honolulu receive a living allowance of $24,119 that enables them to live very frugally, comparable with the members of the low-income communities VISTAs serve. In addition, VISTA members at Appleseed are provided with a $500 per month housing stipend and a monthly bus pass. VISTA members are eligible for a $6,095 end of service education award. Additional information regarding compensation and benefits for VISTA members can be found at


Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, resume and a writing sample to as soon as possible since the position will be filled once the right candidate is identified.

Organizational overview and background

To pay attention in class and lay a strong educational foundation for a lifetime of success, students need to start the day with a nutritious breakfast. But many Hawai‘i students are going hungry and not accessing the school breakfast program available to them. Hawai‘i Appleseed, in partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s (HIDOE) School Food Services Branch and other key stakeholders, is looking to retain an independently contracted project manager for the Jump Start School Breakfast Project, which aims to improve school breakfast participation at public schools around the state so Hawai‘i’s children and youth have a solid start to each day and to their future.


HIDOE School Food Services Branch is responsible for implementing school meal programs at all 256 public schools in the system. With funding and support from nonprofit partners, School Food Services Branch is expanding its breakfast program using innovative breakfast serving models, improved menus, and marketing and promotional campaigns.


Position overview
The Jump Start Project Manager is an independent contractor position that will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the Jump Start School Breakfast project, which is itself a component of the HIDOE’s larger ‘Aina Pono Initiative. Managing the overall project will include organizing advisory board meetings, oversight of marketing and community engagement strategies, and supporting individual schools as they transition to their new breakfast models. The position will work remotely but in close coordination with the HIDOE’s School Food Services Branch office located in Honolulu. The position is funded by Hawai‘i Appleseed.


Responsibilities and duties

·        Plan, organize, and facilitate regular meetings of the project’s leadership team, currently led by Hawai‘i’s First Lady Dawn Amano Ige, which also includes multiple partners from business, government, and nonprofit. Manage the transition of the current leadership team from a working group to an advisory board.

·        Organize regular meetings of both the advisory board and the School Food Supervisors to track implementation and provide project updates to partners

·        Work with School Food Supervisors to ensure schools meet deadlines for choosing and implementing their breakfast models, and reporting back on their results (deadlines to be set by the advisory board)

·        Work with School Food Supervisors to develop and implement a transparent process for providing equipment and funding for program costs to individual schools

·        Work with the HIDOE Communications Office and other partners to share project highlights on social media and traditional media outlets

·        Develop and distribute marketing and outreach materials to promote Jump Start to partners and assist schools in implementation

·        Assist the School Food Services Branch menu committee in the development of new breakfast menu items

·        Assist School Food Supervisors with regional and school level training as needed

·        Track school-level data on breakfast participation to identify which breakfast serving models are most effective, popular menu items, and other bright spots, and share this data with relevant partners

·        Plan and coordinate various promotional events, to include at a minimum: three breakfast item sampling events, an annual breakfast recipe competition, and a year-end award summit

·        Other duties as needed


Qualifications and skills


·        Bachelor’s degree or relevant experience in a field related to the work of this position such as public health, policy/planning, administration, community/organizational psychology, etc.; 5 years of appropriate experience in managing or coordinating a community-based public health, advocacy, or hunger-related agency could be substituted for bachelor’s degree

·        At least two years of experience managing large scale collaborative projects with multiple partners from varying sectors 

Excellent project management and organizational skills

·        Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

·        Highly proficient with Microsoft Office and general computer skills

·        Ability to work effectively under the pressure of tight time frames and rigid deadlines

·         Self-directed, while also being able to work well in teams and with coalition partners

·         Must be able to attend meetings in the Honolulu area

·         Must have a car and valid driver’s license

·         Neighbor island travel may be required



·         Knowledge of federal child nutrition programs and/or food service management experience

·         Experience in data collection and project evaluation

·         Public relations or marketing skills 

Position details

·       The Jump Start Project Manager will report progress to HIDOE’s School Food Program Administrator. This position does not oversee staff.

·       Contract term: HIDOE 2019-2020 school year (August 2019 to May 2020)

·       Rate: $50 per hour (negotiable), depending on experience. We anticipate a commitment of anywhere from 15-30 hours per week, with a maximum of $60,000 in compensation and expense reimbursement for the contract period.


Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to by August 12, 2019.