Leader Initiative

Leaders in Education Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Racial justice (LEADER)

LEADER is a community-driven initiative focused on elevating community representation in Washington’s education workforce. Supported by $13.8 million in funding by College Spark Washington, this effort brings together regional teams of Education Service Districts, Educator and Principal Prep Programs, Districts, Community Organizations, and Tribes working to:

  • INCREASE community representation in Washington’s education workforce
  • SUSTAIN educators of color
  • ADVANCE systems change that supports transformation toward just and equitable educator prep programs, districts, and schools

The path toward educational equity must be inclusive, bringing together diverse perspectives from educators, learning experts, students and their communities to inform meaningful change.

Solutions Rooted in Community

BIPOC students who are exposed to teachers who reflect their race and ethnicity have higher graduation rates, and when adults in schools reflect communities, authentic school/community partnership are better positioned to transform schools in ways that dismantle racism and benefit from the wisdom & vision of families.  Yet, racism has led to an education workforce that does not reflect the diversity of Washington’s students and many educators are underprepared to teach and lead in ways that honor all learners, respect communities, and challenge inequitable practices.   

Education leaders committed to anti-racism, who are closer to school communities and connected to regional teacher/principal prep pathways, have insights into how to best diversify their local education workforce and are better situated to elevate and draw on community wisdom that can advance this goal.  Meaningful change requires the coordinated commitment and action of leaders at multiple levels. 

Collaborating for Systems Change

Regional collaborations are part of a state-wide learning communities facilitated by Education Northwest. Each region is working to build relationships,  map assets, and engage in an analysis of local needs, opportunities, priorities. These groups will co-design strategies to build & sustain an education workforce that reflects local school communities, elevate the influence of BIPOC educators, and makes progress toward more just and equitable education systems.   

To learn more or get involved contact Heather Gingerich at heather@collegespark.org or visit www.leaderwa.org.