Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott graces INPEACE with a $5 Million Gift for Education in Indigenous Communities

We are pleased to announce the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE) received a historic gift of $5 million from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the largest single unrestricted donation received by INPEACE in our 28 years of operation and the most remarkable investment towards our mission. As a result of a national search and an extensive research process, the gift was made in support of our educational work with indigenous people.

This investment provides important support for our mission to improve the quality of life for Native Hawaiians through community partnerships that provide educational opportunities and self-sufficiency and our vision for Native Hawaiians to be culturally grounded and thriving in their community. 

“It was extremely gratifying to be told that we were selected for this award, as a result of an extensive research process, because of our work and commitment to serving the indigenous community,” stated Maile Keliipio-Acoba, Chief Executive Officer.  “These funds provide INPEACE with an incredible opportunity to reach further beyond ourselves, and expand our impact through strategic partnerships with other community organizations across the state.”  

The focus on strengthening Native Hawaiian communities starts by providing individuals the education, knowledge, and skills necessary to support the growth and educational needs of their keiki and to become leaders and educators in their community. INPEACE seeks to increase its capacity to work collectively with organizations that have similar approaches, such as building community leaders, honoring the knowledge and wisdom of our kupuna, partnering with families, and empowering parents. 

Waialeale Sarsona, Vice President of Hiʻialo at Kamehameha Schools commented, “Congratulations to INPEACE for becoming one of the nonprofits supported by noted philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. What an honor for a grassroots Native Hawaiian organization – led and staffed primarily by residents of the communities it serves. Kamehameha considers INPEACE a valued partner in serving our Hawaiian communities, and we are pleased to see that MacKenzie Scott recognized their significant contributions as well.” 

Strategic discussions, of the Board of Director and Executive Team, for the use of these funds include:  

BUILDING A LEGACY We seek to establish a legacy for Native Hawaiian communities by investing a portion of the funds to generate an ongoing source of income to be used towards community empowerment efforts for generations to come. 

SUPPORTING INNOVATION THAT EXPANDS OUR IMPACT Invest in the development of our Kaulele Project, a recent innovation to establish a traveling pop-up science center that looks at the world of science through a Native Hawaiian lens and highlights the brilliance of our native ancestors. Kaulele is designed to engage Hawaii’s youth and their families in hands-on, exploratory STEM activities that are culture-based, grounded in indigenous Hawaiian knowledge, and integrate both ancient and modern technologies. 

STRENGTHING SYSTEMS Strengthen our core administrative systems to expand our ability to reach beyond ourselves and offer support to other Native Hawaiian organizations through consultations and partnerships in areas such as data, evaluation, grant writing, reporting, bookkeeping, and digital media, so they can increase their own capacity and continue to effectively serve our communities.