2018 WEA Human and Civil Rights Award Winners
Every year WEA’s Human and Civil Rights Committee recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions in the areas of community partners, cultural awareness, international peace and understanding, and student involvement.
These awards are open to individuals, organizations or groups whose efforts have made a difference to communities within Washington.
Congratulations to this year’s winners and their investment in our students, schools and communities.
Student Involvement: Mack Strong TEAM-WORKS
"Strong Body, Strong Mind, Strong Character" is not just a motto but a defining principle for Mack Strong TEAM-WORKS. Founded by Mack Strong, a retired Seattle Seahawks player, and his wife, Zoe Higheagle Strong, the organization helps youth develop strong character, learn important life skills and make healthy lifestyle choices. Mentors work with students at Chinook Middle School in SeaTac, academically and socially, encouraging students to reflect positively and critically on their future and their role and value in their community. The mentorship is frequent and personal; adapting to cultural differences and challenging students to give their best.
Elaine Akagi – Cultural Awareness: Edmonds Educators of Color Network
The Edmonds Educators of Color Network (EECoN) formed to attract, support and retain educators of color in Edmonds, as well as shine a light on institutional racism. The network is working with the district’s Human Resources office to change recruiting practices and messages, and forming a mentor program to pair experienced educators of color with new hires of color. EECoN also provides networking opportunities so members of color don’t feel so isolated, and members share strategies to advocate for staff and students of color.
International Peace and Understanding – Danielle MacDonald
Danielle MacDonald’s official title is guidance counselor, but she is so much more at Rose Hill Middle School in Redmond, where she started the school’s Multicultural Club, plays an active role in the school’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) team, organizes parent/teacher socials for families, and supports students in various other ways. Colleagues say her positive attitude is evident in the way she treats students, from helping a student plagued with domestic issues to assisting a new student trying to fit in. She has brought various cultures of Rose Hill together, making the school a culturally inclusive environment.
Community Partners – Teachers of Color Foundation