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Friday, October 11, 2019

New Director of Racial Equity Advancement for SPS

I'm not sure it has been officially announced but a source tells me that Manal Al-ansi will be the new Director of Racial Equity Advancement.

According to her biography, Ms. Al-ansi is
a Black, Muslim, immigrant woman born in Ethiopia and raised in Seattle, WA, she had early and extensive exposure to the social and institutional impacts and hurdles experienced by people and communities with “othered” identities.
She's a graduate of Garfield High School.

She seems very connected in community, with a large list of connections
Manal has worked with the Washington State Supreme Court, the Minority and Justice Commission, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Teach for America, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Urban League, and more. She is also a board member of the Loren Miller Bar Association (LMBA) and serves as the Economic Development Chair of Tabor 100.
She is also a lawyer. From a Seattle University Law School interview:
I used what I learned about public service and leadership to serve as a Teach for America educator in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from Georgia State University with a master’s in teaching. As an educator, I realized that my classroom culture, curriculum, and resources were dictated largely by policy and legislation beyond my control. In turn, so were my students' trajectories. I worked relentlessly to break away from the norms of a traditional classroom and tried to give my students a unique experience and equal education. However, I continued to feel the restraints of the traditional ideals and laws in place.

This glimpse into how our legal system can reinforce or ratify disparities in various communities led me to pursue an education in law. I needed to understand the one thing that all of my efforts relied upon. I recognized that in all of my positions, both past and present, I stood as an advocate for a cause or people. With advocacy as a common thread, I knew that I needed the knowledge, access, and ability to stand strong in the face of the law, whether as an ally or opponent. A legal education at Seattle U School of Law gives me that opportunity.
She is currently the founder and principal for T.E.N Consulting:
T.E.N is an acronym that stands for The Equity Network.”  T.E.N Consultants LLC is a network of dedicated, passionate, and skilled equity consultants hired to help organizations develop the necessary systems and skills to implement equity strategies and operationalize equity goals and outcomes.

T.E.N works with organizations to identify root causes of inequities and co-create equity goals and outcomes. We conduct forensic analyses on organizational culture and systems (including practices, policies, and procedures), and present equity strategies and solutions that advance equitable outcomes. 
 She seems very qualified for the work ahead of her, especially around the Strategic Plan.

SPS will now have two people in senior leadership who were (briefly) in Teach for America; that would be Ms. Al-ansi and new director Brandon Hersey.

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