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History Of PABS

The Parent Alliance for Black Scholars (PABS) was started in 2015 as the result of a collaborative effort involving several Bellevue School District (BSD) parents, community members and staff who saw a need to better support the Black community and scholars in BSD.  The first “Black parent group” meeting was held on April 30, 2015 during which the discussions highlighted the needs of the Black students and community in BSD and the need for a strong, sustainable self-governing group to ensure the success of our students. After a series of meetings which involved development of the mission and vision statements and core values, and determination of the name of the group, PABS was formed in the fall of 2015. The name was intended to be inclusive of all students and families who identify as Black regardless of their origin. Therefore, caution was taken to avoid specifying a particular group like African or African American. Additionally, “parent” recognizes that all children are not raised by their biological parents but their village fills in the gap. This transcends biology, race and ethnicity so anyone who is an ally to Black students in BSD is welcome.   


With mission, vision, core values and organizational structure established, the first board of five BSD parents was formed in December 2015:

  • President: Kimberly Walker (2015 – 2017)

  • VP Operations: Nina Jennings (2015 – 2016)

  • VP Programs: Gjanje Smith Mathus (2015 – 2017)

  • Secretary: Tara Jones (2015 – 2017)


Other parents and community members who were instrumental in the founding of PABS include:

  • Donnalyn Thomas

  • Michelle Williams-Clark

  • Joy Egbejimba 


BSD staff who were instrumental in the founding of PABS include:

  • Shomari Jones, Director of Equity and Graduation Success, who remains a strong ally and supporter of PABS and our mission.

  • Krischanna Roberson, Supervisor of Equity, who has since moved out of Washington state.

  • Genisha Wea, Assistant Principal (middle school)

  • Rich Brown, Jr., Bellevue High School Counselor


The Way Forward

PABS has continued to deepen its work within the district and community as the needs of Black students and parents have increased within the school district. The PABS board continues to expand its membership to help fulfill its goal to educate, advocate, empower, and mobilize with and on behalf of Black Bellevue School District students and parents. It takes a village to raise a child, and it will take our village to ensure the success of Black scholars and families in BSD.

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