Jerrell G. Davis

Co-Founder & Restorative Justice Director

Jerrell G. Davis is a proud product of the South End of Seattle. He passionately serves Rainier Beach and Seattle as a whole in community development, the arts and education at all levels. Jerrell has been a Servant Leader Educator at Rainier Beach for 2 years, and was a Servant Leader Intern (2) and Site Coordinator (1) at WA-BLOC’s CDF Freedom Schools the last 3 summers. Jerrell is the one of the cofounders of WA-BLOC, a member of Seattle Peoples Party, and also known as the budding hip-hop artist “Rell Be Free.” Jerrell has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Business Economics from Seattle Pacific University and has aspirations to radically transform Education.

Laura Wright 

Co-Founder & Programs Director

Laura is an educator, community organizer, and competitive amateur boxer, residing and working in the South End of Seattle.  She is a committed and passionate advocate for equity and racial justice, co-founding the first two Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools in Washington State and works to create spaces that magnify personal narratives, challenge societal injustices, and foster creative community engagement.  Laura has worked in the non-profit sector, specifically at Rainier Beach High School, for eight years and most recently is a founding member of Washington Building Leaders of Change (WA-BLOC), a grassroots youth education and social justice leadership organization that began in 2016. Laura has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Seattle Public University and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Public Administration from Seattle University.  

Darozyl Touch

Co-Founder & Rainier Beach High School Teacher 

Darozyl Touch is a South Seattle raised, Khmer American activist-educator who is passionate about creating spaces for scholars to be their authentic selves, explore meaning, and affirm their identities. She earned her baccalaureate degree in Political Science with departmental honors from Seattle University and is currently in a Masters in Teaching Program at the University of Washington. Darozyl strongly believes educating young people is Soul Work that knows no boundaries, requiring the synergy of heart, mind, body, and spirit to educe the gift of knowledge mutually reciprocated between both the scholar and the educator.

Makaelah Smith

Rainier Beach High School Site Coordinator 

Makaelah was born and raised in the Seattle area. She is a Seattle University alumni, who studied English and minoring in Sociology. She plans to obtain her Master’s in Teaching and become a high school English teacher in Seattle Public Schools and later plans to become an administrator. She worked as a Servant Leader Educator with WA-BLOC for two summer and has previous experience working with students through other educational programs such as Seattle U’s Redhawk Mentoring Program, Jumpstart, the Youth Tutoring program, and her current position as Programming Manager at WA-BLOC. She is very passionate about writing, reading, and empowering young women of color.

Sierra Parsons

Homework Center Co-Coordinator 

I was raised in Tukwila and spent much of my youth running around the track at Rainier Beach High School running for the Rainier Beach Community Center’s track club before transitioning into competing for SeaTown Express, home to many track athletes from in and around the South End.  I am currently finishing my undergrad degree in Psychology at UW Seattle and plan to apply for law school this fall.  The work I do for WA-BLOC is important because it intentionally decolonizes modern teaching and works to move us away from Eurocentric teaching pedagogues which ultimately undermine Black and Brown scholars.  Our youth deserve to be uplifted and encouraged to learn and explore education authentically and unapologetically.  WA-BLOC’s Summer Freedom Schools and the work we do year round provides space for our youth’s essential growth both inside and outside of the classroom and offers experiences that are seldom provided by the current institutions and systems in place. 

Lakeisha Kelly

Homework Center Co-Coordinator 

Keisha has been an educator with the Seattle Public Schools for 5 years. Born and raised in Seattle, Keisha has been working within her community faithfully. Keisha was a Servant Leader Educator with Freedom School’s WA-Bloc in the summer of 2018 and plans on continuing to be a part of their organization as she believes in their mission and everything they are accomplishing. Keisha is an aspiring poet and writer and will bring her passion and creativity along as she co-coordinates Rainier Beach’s after-school Homework Center.

Julia Ismael 

Restorative Justice Coordinator

Julia Ismael commits to equity in all aspects of her organizational work and does it with compassion. Julia also values opportunities for inter-generational learning and believes strongly in the agency and leadership of young people. She has nearly seven years of practice keeping peacemaking circles with an emphasis on race and equity issues. Julia also co-founded Africatown Center for Education and Innovation and recently served as Seattle Central College’s Student Involvement Coordinator where she supported students organizing. She holds an AA in Philosophy and a BA in Leadership and Organizational Studies and often presents at conferences about the ethics of care, the time it takes and its cost. And, she smiles a lot. 

James Williams

Restorative Justice Coordinator

James Williams is a Father, Community Organizer, and Lifelong learner.  He moved to Washington State from New Orleans, LA in 2011.  James has spent much of his adult life as a labor organizer(helping people start unions) and as an educator(working with programs such as Youth Build and the International Baccalaureate program at RBHS). James currently serves as one of WA-BLOC’s Restorative Justice Coordinators at Rainier Beach High School.  He was introduced to Restorative Justice in 2013 by powerful young organizers from the No New Youth Jail movement.  James was intrigued and immediately wanted to learn more because he saw restorative practices as a better way to move forward and something that could replace the punitive school discipline system which wrecked the lives of many peers during his own school experience. James is honored to be part of the family WA-BLOC & RBHS family and a proud member of the Rainier Beach community.  Everyday, he is inspired by the people, history, creativity, and resilience that make Rainier Beach the rich and beautiful place it is today.

Hinkwei Tus

Academic Advisor & Case Manager

Hinkwei Tu was born and raised in South Seattle. They are a recent graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Social Welfare and Diversity. They will be applying to Master’s programs for Social Welfare and Public Policy. They were a WA-BLOC CDF Freedom Schools Servant Leader Educator during the pilot program in South Shore. Hinkwei believes taking care of the Self and mindfulness is crucial to the outcomes of intentional work and ultimately – change. They love art and supporting local creators, so you might them at art walks, events, and showcases! 

Jordan Butler

Operations & Development

Jordan Butler has been serving the Rainier Beach community since 2015. Since moving to South Seattle, Jordan has worked in various community driven capacities including CDF Freedom Schools Site Coordinator with WA-BLOC.  As he continues to grow professionally he pushes the scholars he works with to do the same. Whether it be giving advice and preparing students for post high school endeavors, or building relationships with community partners, Jordan is committed to the future of the Rainier Beach community and its students.