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Amazon Awards TAF $150,000 to Fund New Initiative To Sustain Retention of BIPOC Educators Across Washington State

SEATTLE, WA, June 23, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Today, Amazon contributed $150,000 to Technology Access Foundation (TAF) in support of its work to serve and empower Black communities. This donation will allow TAF to grow its budding Network for EdWork program designed to build culturally responsive learning environments and communities with trained BIPOC teachers, education leaders, and strong allyship support.

“The Network for Edwork is TAF’s newest branch of programing created to support the sustainability of BIPOC educators through the active dismantling of institutionalized racist structures and practices, replacing them with tools and behaviors to help create inclusive and equitable learning environments,” said Heather Lechner, Executive Director of Education, TAF. “The grant and its impact will manifest in fostering environments that are not only conducive to BIPOC leaders surviving but to thriving within educational spaces. This shift will cause an increase in the number of BIPOC teachers who enter leadership as well as the number of BIPOC leaders who stay in education in Washington State, thus improving the educational experience for all students.”

This donation is part of a total of $1 million that Amazon is contributing to Black organizations in Seattle, with a focus on the Central District. These organizations are active on issues like equity and social justice, youth development, arts and culture, upskilling and workforce, and sustainability. These funds will allow these organizations to continue their support for vital programs that support youth of color in their education and recreational activities, build community connections and the arts, provide food assistance, and assist small businesses.

“We are pleased that we can help the outstanding organizations that are providing such important assistance in the Central District and throughout Seattle,” said Taylor Hoang, Senior Manager, External Affairs at Amazon. “Their work has been even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic as more people have needed assistance. Amazon is committed to working side-by-side with community partners to address inequity and support crucial local initiatives.”

The Amazon Black Employee Network is excited to support these worthy organizations in Seattle,” said Amazon Black Employee Network President, Anthony Cole. “It is important that we aid our local communities as we emerge from the pandemic. These donations will benefit the Seattle BIPOC community and create opportunities for individuals in Amazon’s hometown.”

TAF is a nonprofit that is redefining public education for students, teachers, and education leaders of color through STEM education, equity, and policy. Their targeted 360-degree approach addresses longstanding historical inequities within the education system and empowers all students, teachers, and administrators to lead and succeed.

In an effort to create systemic change, TAF approaches education through various levels of impact. They co-manage TAF@Saghalie, a 6-12th grade public neighborhood STEM school, partner with existing schools to implement the STEMbyTAF School Transformation, recruit and retain teachers of color through their Martinez Fellowship program, and support education leaders of color and allies through personal and professional development in liberation pedagogy. TAF’s programs currently impact over 25,000 public school students.

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