Excelerate Success will ignite sustainable social and systemic change by leveraging community voice and power to identify and confront opportunity gaps. Through individual and collective transformation, we work to create learning spaces that honor the unique identities and lived experiences of every person.
To a dependable communication system that promotes events and oppurunities, share success stores, and continually invites new partners to the network.
To a strong data capacity that collects and shares meaningful data that helps systems do better and that shifts away from the achievement gap fetish that fails to produce community wide change.
To hearing from and amplifying the voice of the communities most marginalized in our community. By believing in and understanding the lived experience of those most impacted by systems we believe that those systems can fill opportunity gaps.
Tara Dowd is a systems change enthusiast, writer, and a thought leader in building and creating equity in Spokane since her advocacy debut when she was 14 years old testifying at the school board on behalf of Indigenous students. She is extremely proud to be working on behalf of the community as the Executive Director of Excelerate Success, which she sees as a driver for sustainable social change. Tara has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Native American Studies, she has an MBA in Healthcare Management, and she is known for her advocacy on behalf of all youth, particularly Indigenous youth, for over 15 years in education, the child welfare system, and in juvenile justice. Her identity as an Indigenous woman is deeply rooted in her knowledge of family and community and her passion for equity is informed by raising three Indigenous children living in a world where Indigenous people are often forgotten. Her hope is that Excelerate Success can be a catalyst to the kind of change that all children need to feel loved, included, engaged, and supported at every level of their educational journey.
Michaela Brown is a deeply curious, over thinking, heart in hand historian who has been a part of the Excelerate Success team since the partnership’s inception in 2014. Born and raised in Spokane, WA she feels divinely placed and called to serve her hometown. During her time at Gonzaga University as an ActSix Scholar, she was fully immersed in multicultural student activism and inclusion efforts. Her formal education in history and general passion for multi-cultural education and identity development lead her to Excelerate Success, in a crazy, random, serendipitous kind of way. Outside of her fulltime work with Excelerate Success, she participates as a race equity trainer with the Greater Spokane Progress Racial Equity Committee. She also serves as a board member for the Spokane Eastside Reunion Association (SERA) and is an active member and volunteer in her Church Community.
Leslie Crane is a social worker, artist, and data use enthusiast who has been doing school community partnership work in Spokane since 2012. She is excited to join the Excelerate Success team supporting educational equity in Spokane County. Leslie has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from EWU and a lifelong interest in social and economic justice. Her interest in educational equity is connected to creating communities where all people are valued, supported and treated with respect. Raising two children and watching them navigate their school and community has inspired her to contribute to building communities that are equitable, inclusive and diverse, because that kind of community benefits all of our children.