School Resources

Sector Racial Equity Identity Groups

WA Charters hosted the Sector REIG in the 2023-24 school year, a program for Washington charter public school staff and teachers to build connections and strengthen support for each other, from diverse racial backgrounds and across the schools in our state.

Led by equity consultants, participants came together in sessions to focus on community care. This program was launched for the community to share experiences, insights, and strategies, and work towards a more anti-racist, equitable, and student-centered environment for all students. 

Ultimate Goal

We strived to create a sustainable, supportive, and transformative experience for all participants, equipping them to be more aligned and effective in their roles as educators and advocates for racial equity.

Programming & Participation

The program was designed as a cohort experience, featuring three distinct affinity spaces: Global Majority, Black, and White Accountability.

Participants were encouraged to engage deeply within their respective affinity spaces while also benefiting from the collective wisdom of the entire cohort.

Black Educators, Educators of Color, and White Educators were facilitated through the following programming throughout the school year in a series of sessions – both virtual and in-person! Participants were able to earn clock hours for their involvement in the program, adding a formal recognition of their commitment and learning.

We saw participation from a diverse array of schools, reflecting a broad commitment to fostering racial equity across the charter sector. The final cohort consisted of educators and leaders participating from 14 schools in Seattle, Spokane, Bremerton, Pullman, and Vancouver!

Man from Impact Schools Speaking into a Microphone
Woman speaking into a microphone outdoors
Two men conversing
Two women and a man speaking to a group in a classroom

Centering Community Care

The different spaces for the groups tackled different themes of embracing diversity and building bridges (Global Majority Affinity) and confronting history while building a more inclusive future (White Accountability).

In community with one another, staff connected, celebrated diverse identities, and shared stories to nurture an environment where everyone feels seen and valued. By fostering honest conversations, they collectively took steps towards dismantling systemic barriers and creating an educational landscape that truly represents and serves all.

And for all the groups and as a whole program, it was necessary to recognize the importance of care, rest, restoration, and well-being by creating spaces for reflection and rejuvenation.

In acknowledging the challenges faced by our leaders, teachers, and staff members, our facilitators fostered resilience with the mission to ensure that our school communities are places of support and understanding.

Check out this blog post to learn more about the program’s impact and reflections from the participants:

Racial Equity Identity Group (REIG) Program Facilitators

Resources

After the program concluded, the cohort was encouraged to continue working on their racial equity stances, white identity development, and self-care practices, especially for people of color. We’re happy to share some of these resources with our broader community:

Rest and Self-Care for People of Color

Embrace practices that promote rest and self-care. Audre Lorde’s writings on self-care as an act of political warfare are particularly inspiring. Additionally, consider joining support groups or wellness workshops designed specifically for people of color.

Gorejus Consulting Wellness Workshops for People of Color

Technology Access Foundation Network for EdWork (NWEW)

Affinity Salons: a space where BIPOC educators and leaders can connect and collaborate in community, while sharing lived and living experiences of race(ism). They occur virtually on the 2nd Thursday of every other month from 4-5 pm. The next gathering is Thursday, July 11, 2024.

2025 Convening: aimed to support BIPOC educators and education leaders in imagining, healing, and building for liberation

Those who attended in February 2024 expressed that they enjoyed the intentional space. Click here to read more.

 

Understanding Community Care and Why It's Important

DR. AYANNA L. GORE | Click here to watch Dr. Gore’s intro video

With over 16 years of experience in education and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from DePaul University Chicago, Dr. Ayanna L. Gore is a passionate educator and consultant. She’s a systemic iniquity interrupter, dedicated to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Gore has a track record of transformative leadership, including turning around a school in Chicago and serving as a school leader and Executive Director at Summit Sierra High School in Seattle. Recently, she played a pivotal role in reshaping African American Studies in Washington state. Dr. Gore is also the Vice President of Selection at Teach For America and the CEO and Founder of Gorejus Incorporated, a consulting business promoting health, wellness, and anti-racist living. Her mission is to facilitate meaningful transformation in education and society, empowering individuals and institutions to create inclusive spaces guided by anti-racist principles.

JILLIAN CAREW | Click here to watch Jillian’s intro video

Jillian Carew brings both lived and professional experience in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging. She is a Certified Life Coach who centers her work around self-introspection as a means to transform outward life experiences. Having served as an educator for more than two decades, she has secured more than a half million dollars towards her mission to dismantle the school to prison pipeline by creating a pathway to college for all kids. She is a valuable addition to our team as her dedication to employee engagement, retention, and creating positive school cultures for all stakeholders is evident in her work. As an Equity Coach and Consultant, focuses on building relationships, conducting school assessments, strategic planning, and data
cycles to drive more equitable outcomes.

LEAH PERSON | Click here to watch Leah’s intro video

Leah Pearson holds over 20 years of experience in education, particularly in underserved communities. Her extensive background includes teaching, mentoring, coaching, and consulting. Leah’s passion lies in transforming inequitable classroom cultures with culturally relevant pedagogy. She played a pivotal role in helping organizations pivot towards anti-racism, making her a valuable asset to our team. Fluent in Spanish and deeply connected to her values, Leah’s commitment to justice-driven education shines through in her work.

BELY LUU

Bely Luu is the Director of Innovative Schools at WA Charters. She oversees fundraising, board governance, and diversity, equity, and inclusion support for schools and boards within the Washington charter sector. Bely has 15+ years of fundraising, events, and diversity, equity & inclusion experience in higher education, K-12, nonprofit organizations, and healthcare philanthropy in the Greater Seattle area. She is passionate about educational justice and committed to dismantling oppressive systems within education.

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