Who We Are
Here at the West Seattle Public School Equity Fund, we challenge the narrative of financing our individual school deficits with PTA funding and encourage greater advocacy and legislative action so that all students have equitable access to resources.
Our Board & Advisory Committee Members
Our Board and Advisory Committee members are made up of public school parents and community members residing in West Seattle. Advisory Committee Members are representatives from each participating school. Each committee member leads the efforts at their individual school. If you have questions about your specific school or would like to join the Advisory Committee, please contact your school’s advisory committee member directly.
ALKI - Ashley Clingan & Anni Mizuta | ARBOR HEIGHTS - Monica Fujii & Dominic Wong | CONCORD - Karina Rojas & Sara Poulsen | GATEWOOD - Fran McIvor | GENESEE HILL - Claire Miccio & Merrick Bodmer | HIGHLAND PARK - Spencer Flanagan | LAFAYETTE - Sadie Schnitzler | PATHFINDER - Andy Woo & Kathleen Warren | ROXHILL - Erin Conery & Kelly Buck | SANISLO - Kelly Alleen-Willems & Janay Destello | WEST SEATTLE - Rashid Noor & Laura Stowell
"I feel like I am helping my community in a more effective way. I like helping the kids at my school and I feel like we have a seat at the table by showing up and advocating."
JANAY DESTELLO, SANISLO PARENT
WSPSEF ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER
Our Founding Board of Directors (Kristen Corning Bedford, Andrea Dimond, and Shannon Woodard) pictured at Uptown Espresso.
How it all began.
In the Fall of 2021, well resourced schools all over the city began passing Anti-Racism Resolutions, and, struck by a post Ijeoma Oluo wrote on IG asking how our anti-racism work is actually impacting people of color, Andrea Dimond felt the disconnect between the affirmations of the resolutions and what was actually happening in our neighborhood schools. Fundshifting felt like an actionable step these PTAs could take to disrupt systemic racism and historic wealth accumulation in a small but impactful way. With her expertise in design, and understanding of historical racism in Seattle, she overlaid a current map of West Seattle public gradeschools on top of a 1936 redlining map and made a shocking (but not surprising) discovery: there was a direct correlation between how much PTA funding a school had, its BIPOC or white student population, and whether the school lay in redlined neighborhoods. She mulled over an idea that would pool and redistribute PTA funding in West Seattle to address the inequitable distribution of resources, based on the historical patterns of redlining in our neighborhood, and began to ask others if they thought it was feasible. First, she shared the graphic with Shannon Woodard, the President of the Board at Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) and asked if DNDA would be interested in acting as a fiscal sponsor for a start up pooled fund. Shannon enthusiastically brought the idea to the Board, and agreed to help Andrea set up the Fund, bringing two decades of accounting and nonprofit leadership experience to the formation of the new entity.
Andrea also contacted Kristen Corning Bedford, a philanthropic strategist with over 20 years of systems design experience, and the first appointed Equity Chair on the Genesee Hill Elementary PTA Board, to discuss how a fundshifting mechanism could provide solutions to several issues faced by both well-resourced and under-resourced schools, as well as support the anti-racism resolutions that many schools had recently adopted. Kristen had been in conversations with PTA and school administration leadership for years about how the generosity and wealth of some schools could be shared with the wider community, and like Andrea and Shannon, she knew the problem was part of an inequitable system. In the Spring of 2021, the three women began presenting the idea of fundshifting to all the West Seattle public elementary school PTAs, and by the Spring of 2022 they were ready to disburse their first round of funds.
Andrea, Shannon and Kristen all have children enrolled in West Seattle public schools, and they strongly believe in creating solutions that disrupt systemic racism, establish deep community partnerships, and remove barriers that create inequitable educational opportunities. Between them, they have decades of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector and together bring the talents of design, writing, finances, leadership and community engagement. They also enjoy each other's company and have found that working together on something that matters has created a deep friendship between them.