Why We Advocate

Students with teachers who reflect their race and ethnicity have higher graduation rates and clearer pathways to reaching their dreams. Yet, because of systemic racism, Washington’s education workforce does not reflect the diversity of its students.

FAE and The State Board of Education

In 2023 FAE was selected as a community based organization by the State Board of Education to hold listening sessions with FAE high school and college students, families and BIPOC educators in the Skagit Valley to inform the SBE of community needs to consider as they prepared their new strategic plan.

Sessions we held in Spanish, in person with a dinner and facilitated discussion that centered the voices of our community members to describe what their challenges and barriers were in our education systems.

FAE is proud to be a LEADERS partner in NWESD 189

FAE is a current partner in the LEADER initiative (Leaders in Education Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Racial justice) in ESD 189.

The initiative funds community-driven efforts to increase and sustain diversity in Washington’s educator workforce. With $13.8 million invested over eight years, the project supports community representation in teaching and systems changes in schools and districts needed to sustain BIPOC educators and leaders. 

Between 2021-2030, the LEADER initiative is coordinating and connecting regional coalitions focused on transforming educational policies, practices, and institutional cultures. This series of planning and implementation grants allows people to gather and leverage ideas and work in progress. From this planning, grantees will develop a workforce strategic plan using LEADER goals and approaches.


Racial, ethnic, and linguistic community representation across the education workforce.


A diverse community represented in the education workforce.


Changes in policy, practice and institutional culture to amplify racial justice and bring to life an education system that reflects the wisdom and priorities of educators who reflect their community.

Five connected approaches to guide this work:

Champion community-driven change to ensure the work reflects and is guided by the voices and needs of communities in Washington.

Focus on systems change with an understanding that educational systems that support students of color benefit all learners.

Prioritize racial justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the initiative.

Collaborate to bring people, resources, and ideas together across government, local communities, and the private and philanthropic sectors.

Build on the talents and strengths of a diverse education workforce to improve relationships with and experiences of students, families, and educators, especially within communities of color.