Womxn of Color in Education is a committee of diverse, passionate womxn of color deeply embedded in and committed to improving education policy and politics in Washington State. We bring expertise from across the education pipeline from early learning to higher education, from policy and advocacy to building-level leadership and teaching. We share the belief that shifting power to people of color is essential to improving educational systems to ensure all kids succeed in school and life. We share the understanding that changing systems of power is not a passive endeavor and that power needs to be intentionally cultivated within communities of color.
The WoCE Committee operates under the OneAmerica Votes Justice Fund which works to raise independent money and elect candidates from immigrant and refugee communities and communities of color who share our belief in diversity, democracy and justice. Electing a new generation of leaders who are representative of our communities and share our values is an important piece of the work to achieve our mission to advance the fundamental principles of democracy and justice.
2019 School Board Endorsements
Our steering committee has been actively working on our first major effort, school board races, and have some exciting news to share! We have made our first set of endorsements for inspiring Womxn of Color running for school board below.
Seattle School Board, Position 6
Molly is a community activist, mom and educator with over 20 years of working in education while centering equity and social justice in all of her roles. As the winner of the WA Statewide “Equity Award” for Community and Technical Colleges, Molly has demonstrated her dedication towards advocating for the diverse needs of all students and closing the achievement gap.
“Closing the achievement gap is one of my top priorities in running for school board along with addressing the school to prison pipeline. There are many levels to address this including, hiring diverse staff, professional development for educators, culturally responsive curriculum, funding more resources in schools and zero detention.”
Seattle School Board, Position 3
Chandra has been active in school advocacy and community service for the past six years. She is a former President of Seattle Council PTSA, now serving as a board member, and is Vice President of Title VI Native Education Parent Advisory Committee. Chandra also has extensive experience in finance and community development which she hopes to utilize to advocate for racial equity as a school board director.
“I do not believe the “cost” of equity is in fact high. I believe transparent and careful financial analysis will tell us that racial equity is, over time, at least cost neutral if not less operationally expensive. This means budget cannot and should never be a hurdle or barrier to equity work.”
Seattle School Board, Position 3
Rebeca is a racial equity activist with a passion for increasing opportunities for all students. As a first generation Mexican-American and racial equity researcher, Rebeca has personal and professional experience understanding and addressing disparities that exist in public schools
“We can fix the disproportion of opportunities by properly funding things like racial equity teams or implementing policies that require racial equity components in evaluations for the superintendent down to all staff.”
Olympia School Board, Position 1
Maria is a former teacher, parent and policy leader with extensive experience leading state and federal educational equity policy for Washington. She plans to use her experience to help Olympia School District dismantle systemic barriers and provide each student what they need to succeed in school.
“Closing the opportunity gap is my life’s work. As a school board member, I plan to use my expertise as an educator who has closed gaps, and over 16 years of service as a teacher, to guide the districts data analysis, family engagement and supports for students of color.”
Minal Kode Ghassemieh
Issaquah School Board, Position 3
Minal is an immigration lawyer and parent with a passion for creating a more inclusive school system for not only her kids, but for all students who come from diverse backgrounds.
“My biggest passion project is incorporating ethinic studies, not only as the state requires in middle school but beginning a culturally responsive curriculum in PreK and elementary. If we are able to groom global citizens that are aware of their own culture and language and that of their friends and neighbors they will be better prepared as ambassadors and leaders in academics, athletics and other school related activities.”
Federal Way School Board, District 3
Phillips is a professor of early childhood education at Highline Community College. Her passion is advocating for children with special needs. She understands the importance of retaining quality teachers to increase the educational outcomes for the city of Federal Way.
Bellevue School Board, Position 5
Jane Aras was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States when she was adopted from an orphanage as an 8-year-old. She earned a master’s degree in special education and is a previous educator who taught both special education and general education. As a school board member, Jane wants to make sure that ALL students feel safe in our schools so that parents don’t have to seek other options.