Co-Founder, Restorative Justice Coordinator
Tyra was born and raised in south Seattle, WA. She has a heart and passion to see her community grow and transform both individually and collectively. She is a people person who loves getting to know people and hearing their stories. She loves to cook, learn new things and walk around Seward Park. Tyra is a co-founder of WA BLOC, and previously worked at Rainier Beach High School from 2015-2017 as an Academic Mentor. Her hope and goal is that every student discovers their potential knows how to access tools to navigate living in their purpose.
Co-Founder, Operations and Finance 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 over a decade and is a founding member of Washington Building Leaders of Change (WA-BLOC). Laura has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Seattle Public University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Seattle University.
Makaelah was born and raised in the Seattle area. She is a Seattle University alumni, who studied English and minored in Sociology. She has been working with young people since she was fifteen and has mentored and cared for children from age 1-18! She has worked as a Servant Leader Educator with WA-BLOC for two summers and just completed her third summer as Site Coordinator. She recently began her current position as Programming Manager at WA-BLOC, working primarily at Rainier Beach. She is very passionate about writing, reading, modeling, and empowering young Black girls through her club at Beach called Black Girl Magic.
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.
Restorative Justice Liaison
Afam is an anti-racist community organizer and restorative justice practitioner. He immigrated from Aguluezechukwu, Nigeria at 8 years old and is a father, cancer survivor, fine artist, and martial artist. Afam has a background working in local and state policy, prison abolition work, and is a mental health case manager and advocate for those experiencing homelessness. He was the first in school Restorative Justice Coordinator in Washington State history at Rainier Beach High School and currently works within various faith and violence prevention communities. Afam wants to foster positive social change and believes that equality is an attainable goal. He works as a member of WA-Bloc’s Restorative Justice team and as their community liaison.
Communications and Development Coordinator
Sierra was raised in Tukwila and spent much of her 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. She recently completed her undergrad degree in Psychology at UW Seattle. She believes 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.”
Homework Center Coordinator, Curriculum Specialist
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.
Freedom Schools Site Coordinator @ Rainier Beach High School
Thea is an journalist, community organizer, and educator, residing and working in South King County. She is a committed and passionate advocate for equity and racial justice, homelessness prevention, and works to create spaces that foster creative community engagement. Thea has worked in the non-profit sector, specifically at Atlantic Street Center, as their Teens As Parents Program Lead, for the past year and is adamant about standing up for the voices and needs of our youth. Thea has been a part of our Wa-Bloc team for the past three years and will serving as our Site Coordinator for this years, virtual ACCC Liberation summer program. Thea attended Earlham College and completed her Bachelors of Arts in Social Work.
Freedom Schools Site Coordinator @ Emerson Elementary School
My name is Shelby! I was born and raised in South Seattle my whole life. Teaching and story telling is an important part of my life and helps me navigate who I am and where I am going. I love to write, read poetry, and create art in my spare time. I am currently an early learning educator and Pre-K teacher at South Shore PK-8. The most important thing in my life is grounding myself and teaching myself to love myself. Learning to give grace and be grace even though its really hard sometimes. I want all of the children I teach to see my authenticity and see my heart when they are with me. Ancestors roll deep and my shadow helps me see.
Hello! My name is Yobachinia also known as Yobach or Nene. I am from Seattle, Washington and I have been involved with WA-BLOC since I was a freshman in high school. I am now a sophomore in college, majoring in Nursing; also an entrepreneur on the side. I absolutely love my community and my people. I try my best to lead by example and uplift others while doing so.
Chelsea has been serving the Rainier Beach High School community since 2014 as the School Social Worker. Chelsea believes in young people and strives to be an unapologetic youth advocate in every space she enters. Chelsea’s mission is to help schools evolve into places of healing. She coaches both educators and scholars in trauma-informed and healing engagement strategies. Chelsea has been working to implement Restorative Justice at RBHS over the last several years, she believes that Peacemaking Circles are magical and have the power to transform both people and institutions in healing ways.