Racial Equity Committee

June 7, 2020 Hazel Wolf K-8 PTSA Statement on Racial Inequities and Injustice


Upcoming Racial Equity Events

Hazel Wolf Community of Practice for White Men/Those who identify as white men We are creating an online Community of Practice (CP) for white men affiliated with HW. The focus will be anti-racism work. The goal of a CP is to create a community of people who want to focus on a subject, to learn from each other, and to be accountable to the others in the group. It is meant to be safe, challenging, and engaged. We are starting this CP for white men in response to interest from men following formation of the CP for white women.

Each meeting will have a facilitator, who will send out the general topic, and any (brief!) readings. The facilitator will loosely guide the discussion, encouraging everyone to speak and to listen. The facilitator will keep an eye on the time, and draw the meeting to a close in a positive way, noting any major themes and letting participants know about the take-home ideas or actions, as well as the time and focus of the next meeting time.

Possible focus subjects are the following:
– What does it mean to be white?
– How can parents/fathers best talk with their kids about racism and racist events?
– What actions can we take as white men, beyond reading books, especially if we don’t know any BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)?
– How do we as white men talk with white family or friends who have racist views, who “don’t see color,” who say “all lives matter”?

If you are interested in attending, email ptsa_rec@hazelwolfk8.org. We will send you the Zoom link and any other info needed.

The next meeting is Tuesday, August 4th at 8pm and will be every other week. Going into the summer, in these unprecedented times, we expect that folks will miss some sessions, but hope that folks will participate with consistency. We are not looking for perfection. We are looking for engagement, discussion, deep listening, and accountability. Any questions? ptsa_rec@hazelwolfk8.org

The Racial Equity Committee (REC) Community of Practice for White Women As part of the Hazel Wolf Racial Equity Committee, we are creating an online Community of Practice (CoP) for white women affiliated with Hazel Wolf. The focus will be anti-racism work. The goal of a Community of Practice is to create a community of people who want to focus on a subject, learn from each other, and be accountable to the others in the group. It is meant to be safe, challenging, and engaging. The next meetings are Sunday, August 9 and 23, from 4 – 5:30 p.m. For meeting details, contact ptsa_rec@hazelwolfk8.org.

From Maureen McCauley, Communications, REC: We have created these CP’s for white people because we currently live in a historically entrenched white-dominant culture, and because we white REC members want to take the burden for educating and learning about anti-racist work off the shoulders of BIPOC (though we are absolutely accountable to and in community with BIPOC). 
A reminder: The Hazel Wolf PTSA REC is a small committee made up of volunteers, mostly BIPOC, most working full-time, plus raising children. We meet and communicate often, and do a significant amount of behind the scenes work. We do our best to contribute to the community, and we cannot do all that we would like, all that is needed, or all that would be ideal. The majority of REC is BIPOC, and they are under some measure of pressure and stress these days. I am hopeful that these CPs will potentially alleviate some of that stress, and will contribute as a small step in anti-racist work.

For more information, refer to the REC Resources Page.


Mission Statement:

The mission of the Hazel Wolf Parent Racial Equity Committee (REC) is to enhance and empower students, families, and community members both individually and collectively to address and advance racial equity by closing opportunity gaps for students of color and providing equitable and inclusive working and learning environments for all students.

The REC is comprised primarily of parents of color, and began working together during the 2018-19 school-year. During 2018-19, we

  • took a survey during Multicultural Night of HW families about racial equity issues at school;
  • held a book fundraiser that brought 25 books about children of color and others and which were also written by authors of color;
  • supported Black Lives Matter events at school;
  • had a BLM contest which resulted in a prize winning design by a HW student;
  • began the REC Book Club-Discussion group (our first book last May was Ijeoma Olua’s So You Want to Talk About Race); and
  • held a powerful Roundtable on Racism, where students of color (and some REC members) talked about their real life experiences.

In the 2019-2020 school year, we will build on those successes from last year. The PTSA has been generous in its support of the work of the REC. We plan to create student affinity groups, continue the REC Discussion Group, host some speakers and trainings, continue to support Black Lives Matter at School, and more.

REC Meeting Schedule

The REC generally meets 6-7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month, September through June, at the Hazel Wolf K-8 School Library.

Some of our meetings will be open to all Hazel Wolf community members. We will post information about these meetings in advance.

REC Discussion Group Schedule

The REC Discussion Group meets every other month to discuss books and articles. We meet from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Hazel Wolf K-8 School Library. Folks are welcome to join us whether they completed the reading or not!

Our 2019-2020 book selections are:

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (held in September)
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. (held in October)
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez (held in December)
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (held in February)
  • The Myth of the Model Minority by Rosalind Chou  
  • Reading selection to be announced  

2019-2020 Racial Equity Events

  • March 6: A Conversation/Workshop presented by REC. “White Women: How Can We Do Better at Talking About Race and Racism?” Open to everyone, this program will be led by Zoe Leverson, Maureen McCauley, Kelly McIntyre, and Camille Mulchi, (white women on the parent HW REC) plus Kristen Cater (a white woman, HW teacher, and member of the teacher-staff HW Racial Equity Team). We are the mothers of white, brown, and black children. We will talk about our own work to be better anti-racists, and about how we have talked with and learned from our kids about racism, white privilege, and speaking up. We recognize we do not have lived experience with racism the way that black, brown, and indigenous people do, and we are constantly making mistakes and learning on our way to becoming better allies and accomplices. We welcome everyone to join us. 6:30-8 p.m., Hazel Wolf Library.

Committee Members

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Committee Chair
Aselefech Evans

Hello! Racial equity is work that moves me both personally and professionally. As an Ethiopian-American and an immigrant, my intention for the REC is to create a safe and nurturing environment that understands the importance of undoing a system that sees students of color as less capable and inferior. That can only happen through authentic community engagement, and cultivating a space for people, especially marginalized voices to be heard. I have a daughter going into in 7th grade who identifies as Ethiopian and Latinx; you may have heard her speak at the MLK Assembly earlier this year.

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Committee Co-Chair
Ardel Jala
People generally have an initial impression of me based on where we met. At school, I’m mom to two boys in 5th and 7th grade. At work, I’m an engineer. To my family, I’m a mother, daughter and sister. But what people always see first is my skin color (brown) because I’m first generation Filipino-American. I joined this committee because I want to explore how race affects the educational experience of my kids and their peers.

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Committee Member
Marina Gray

I am an African American woman and part of an inter-racial family. I am the mother of 4 African American boys (ages 28-10) of varying hues who have experienced different levels of systemic racism within our educational system over the years. My son Aiden Gray will be a 6th grader at Hazel Wolf. I think I bring to REC my experiences as a mother of boys in our school system, as a woman of color in our society, as a person who has grown up in a multi-racial family in two countries being a bridge between our families’ cultures and racial experiences. My desire is to work with the Hazel Wolf community to make our educational and community experiences safe and welcoming spaces for all of our students and families.

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Committee Member
Yolanda Jackson-Edwards

I am Scottish, Irish, English, Norwegian, African American, Native American, Creole, and Japanese, and I not only have 3 children that attend Hazel Wolf but have worked here for the past 7 years. As an African American in the education field, I see firsthand the discrepancies in how students, situations, and discipline is handled, and want to be part of the force that ensures that all students, including my own, are being provided equitable resources for success.

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Committee Member
Nimi Joshi

My family and I moved to Seattle 3 years ago from India. I was so happy when two years ago, my daughter Aadya Deshpande (now 6th grade) could join Hazel Wolf. Quickly, a warm and welcoming Hazel Wolf community became of our own! I really admire our school’s awareness about diversity through its ongoing efforts to embrace & respect diverse cultures, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. This year, as I found myself getting better at acclimatizing with the surrounding, I decided to join PTSA so that I can volunteer some of my time outside my full time teaching profession. REC was my immediate choice since I think as an immigrant and multilingual (Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati, Japanese), I can share my voice and provide diverse perspective. I am excited to be working with PTSA this year!

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Committee Member
Zoe Leverson

I am white woman who is mom to 2 white boys, in 7th and 5th grade, at Hazel Wolf. It is important to my family and I that we talk about, promote, and understand how race effects our lives and our school. I am also an educator who focuses on the inclusion of people of color, gender, ability, and anyone who feels “othered.”

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Committee Member
Maureen McCauly

I am white, and part of an interracial family. I am the grandmother of Zariyah Quiroz, who is a 7th grader this year at Hazel Wolf. I think I bring to the REC my experience in nonprofit work, my ongoing learning as a white person hoping to be a good ally, and my long-standing interest in public education.

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Committee Member
Kelly McIntyre

I am a white mother to a 7th and a 4th grader. I joined the REC because I am passionate about doing the learning and the work required to understand and leverage my privilege and be a successful ally. In my time as a parent at Hazel Wolf I have heard so many kind words of support and good intentions expressed. I am excited to harness those intentions and transform them into action that will be seen and felt in a real way by our school community, especially by our students of color. I am so happy to be a part of this group of smart, passionate and thoughtful parents and look forward to working to advance the cause of racial equity.

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Committee Member
Camille Mülchi

I’m mother to a Hazel Wolf alum and current 5th grader. I am white, and my partner, Rodrigo, is Latino (Chilean—and a recent immigrant to the US when we met 20 years ago.) My background is in social work (juvenile justice), doula care and education. I feel profoundly fortunate that all of these have allowed me the opportunity to support, serve and advocate for underrepresented families—something I hope to continue in my work with the HW REC.

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Committee Member
Gloria Okada

I was born and raised in Seattle by my Filipino immigrant parents. I have a 2nd grader, Adeline, at Hazel Wolf and a 4 year old, Lila. When Adeline and Lila were younger, I participated with Families of Color Seattle (FOCS) and began to hear about the experience of other kids of color in Seattle Public Schools. I joined the Parent Racial Equity Committee at Hazel Wolf because I saw it as a chance to make a difference in the educational experience of my children and other children of color. I am excited to advocate for all children’s voices to be heard at Hazel Wolf, not just the dominant culture.

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Committee Member
Alexander Perez Paz

I’m a Latino (Salvadoran) who is part of interracial family. I’m the father of two girls and a person who is dedicated to fight against any racial bias in this society or any societies.

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Committee Member
Sajida Rehman

I am mom of Shaheer Afridi who is a 7th grader at Hazel Wolf. We just joined the HW community in the current school year. My son graduated 5th grade from Olympic View Elementary. I have been fortunate to be part of OV FEAT and Race and Equity Team. I co-chaired FEAT for 3 years and helped organize multicultural potluck and Diversity Fest. One of my contributions was to connect with local businesses in the neighboring community and engage them via participation in our OV ice cream social and multicultural potluck. My professional background is related to Educational Research and evaluation. I am currently working towards PhD in curriculum and Instruction at University of Washington. I am honored to be invited to this group and look forward to work along you all.

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Committee Member
Cammy Umdor

I am the mother of a 5th grader here at HW. I am an Asian Indian, brought up in India but now settled here for the last 14 years. Growing up as a minority in India, I experienced racial inequality and bias both in medical school and at my professional level. I was determined however this would not be the case when I moved here and had kids. As an immigrant, a parent of color, and having grown up and lived in two countries and seen racial inequality in both, I am concerned, more so for our kids. I strongly feel the need to understand more about racial equity, advocate, serve and help bridge the gap so ALL students have the chance to reach their true potential, where they feel a sense of belonging and purpose in school.

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Committee Member
Lev Elson-Schwab

I am a white man and father to two mixed race children at Hazel Wolf: my daughter Tandia and my son Dalton.  I feel privileged to be involved in this critically important work and hope to support increasing diversity, equity and inclusion at HWK8. My family and I feel that it’s very important to leverage our privilege to advocate for underrepresented people.