Ongoing Anti-Racism Work

-Jennifer Drury

I love this example of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in action. Due partly to the history of redlining (where people of color were not allowed to live in certain areas) in Seattle, some neighborhoods have not been able to accumulate the same wealth that home ownership in “desirable” neighborhoods fostered. We see this evident in the schools. PTAs in some schools raise 100s of 1000s of dollars – yes, some close to a half million dollars in a year. They use this money not only to pay for supplies and enrichment but also to pay for extra staff members. Other PTAs only raise a few thousand dollars. To combat this disparity, some better endowed PTAs have started donating some of their funds to other schools. But this has been controversial and huge gaps remain.  The initiative described in the Seattle Times article shows another way to bridge this gap that is completely transparent and inclusive from the start. Looking at their donation page, they have translations in many languages. Most importantly, this seems like a joint effort where everyone is working together toward the same goals. It feels less like charity, and more like community-building teamwork.  It would be interesting to talk with folks that are involved and see if that is how it is playing out.  This certainly won’t solve the problem of huge economic disparities but building community will get us closer to creating empathy across zip codes which could ultimately lead to better public policy.

Seattle PTAs pioneer new, more equitable ways of fundraisingPTAs in Southeast Seattle have come up with a new formula to spread fundraising wealth based on a school’s level of