In March, 2013, Kris served as a plaintiff in the historic federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. Argued before the Supreme Court, Hollingsworth v. Perry brought marriage equality to the nation’s most populous state. As a spokesperson for the case, Kris’s ambitious and perseverant character helped bring this fight to the highest court and usher in an era of remarkable change in the Golden State and across the nation. Over thirty federal and state lawsuits have since been filed nationwide following the model used in Hollingsworth v. Perry to win marriage equality for millions of Americans.
Kris serves as the executive director of the First Five Years Fund. She has dedicated her career to bringing resources and support to parents, caregivers, and early learning workforce professionals to ensure children grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school and in life. A national thought leader on early childhood education, Kris has appeared in the New York Times, POLITICO, New Republic, Salon, Congressional Quarterly, among other media outlets. Her leadership has led to state appointments, including co-chair of the California State Early Learning Advisory Council, which was established to position the state for millions of dollars in federal funding for early childhood education. In this and other roles, her work resulted in learning system changes to improve the quality of preschool and school readiness programs.
Ms. Perry’s son Elliot is a current student at UCSC. In addition, Ms. Perry has returned to campus on multiple occasions to give lectures to student groups and in classes.