Community Conversations


In 2020, Puget Sound Educational Services District invited local leaders to join a Wisdom Council to elevate voices, expertise, and partnership opportunities for our Communities of Color across school districts in South King County (‘the Road Map region’). In Spring and Summer 2021, the council launched an ongoing process of community conversations with Youth, Community Leaders, Parents, and Educators of Color. The first round of conversations focused on learning during a pandemic and returning to school in-person. Forty-four community members representing all 7 Road Map school districts engaged in over 35 hours of conversations with trusted peers. Community members engaged in collaborative meaning-making, developed recommendations, and shaped reporting and communication strategies.

Click Here to View 2021 Report

Our Current Work

In 2022, twelve Youth Wisdom Council (YWC) leaders engaged in a total of 120 conversations with their 6th - 12th grade peers in schools across the Road Map region (school districts of Auburn, Federal Way, Kent, Highline, Renton, Seattle, and Tukwila). YWC leaders also reached out to five local Educators of Color for review and discussion, additional insights, and calls to action. Conversation participants engaged in collaborative meaning-making, developed recommendations, and shaped reporting and communication strategies. 

We are excited for you to hear what Youth of Color in our schools have to say. We encourage you to ask follow-up questions of your Youth, Educators, and Communities of Color and engage them in next step decision-making to cultivate thriving cultures and support systems for a workforce that our youth believe can and will radically transform our schools. 

Full Video

Community Conversations 2022 Full Video

Written Report

Community Conversations 2022 At a Glance
Community Conversations 2022 AT A GLANCE
Community Conversations 2022
Conversatorios Comunitarios 2022 De un vistazo
Conversatorios Comunitarios 2022 (Spanish version)
Community Conversations 2022 Text Only


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Our conversations about Educators of Color lifted up unique connections, life-changing experiences, powerful learning environments, and real possibilities for change. Many of our first significant experiences with an Educator of Color were about shared cultural and racial identity and experience.

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"They just know what these students are going through on a personal level because they went through the things that these students are going through."

Ashley Lopez Mora, Auburn School District

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We see our Educators of Color shining when they feel comfortable and welcome, when they are appreciated for all of their full selves, when they are recognized and celebrated for their unique and brilliant contributions.

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"By being comfortable, I would think they would want you to recognize them for who they are, their experiences, like them being a particular race, or if they're an immigrant, etc., their past life experiences."

Hannah Park, Auburn School District

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Our conversations illustrate that we see high turnover of Educators of Color due to unwelcoming cultures, lack of leadership and school support, racial harm, microaggressions, and tokenization.

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"In my school I see a lot of microaggressions not only from the students to the teacher, it's from the teacher to teacher."

Vislee Roman, Kent School District

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We want our schools to set up support systems. This includes listening to the experiences of Educators of Color in our schools, resources for self-care, and creation of dedicated communities for Educators of Color. We also want schools to focus on eliminating racial harm and microaggressions while cultivating system-wide leadership and accountability in support of Educators of Color.

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" of the most important things is the resources that they need, especially for mental health, especially for even just to talk about it, because they don't have that space or even a network of other EOC that they can relate to..."

Kaley Duong, Edmonds School District

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We can lead change by amplifying our voices on these issues, by sharing our voices in different decision-making spaces and by holding our leaders accountable to change. And we can go further, by taking on leadership roles that contribute to policy, decision-making & action, and being on hiring panels.

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"...having Students of Color on interview teams would be really huge because we can see who will be impacting us."

Anya Souza Ponce, Seattle Public Schools

Additional Resources & Materials

Community Conversations Archive

Contact Us

Adam Kay
Collaborative Improvement Networks

Angelica Alvarez
Student, Family & Community Engagement

Leila Crist
Program Coordinator
Collaborative Improvement Networks