Tara Dowd, Jennifer Werdell
Tara Dowd (pronouns she/her) is a systems change enthusiast, non-profit administrator, writer, and a thought leader focused on building equity. Her advocacy career spans from her debut at 14 years old, testifying at the school board on behalf of Indigenous students and Indian Education, through her tenure as the Executive Director of Excelerate Success of Spokane County United Way. And now most recently as the Deputy Director of JustLead WA.
Tara has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Native American Studies from the University of Montana and an MBA in Healthcare Management. She has a reputation for her tenacious advocacy on behalf of all youth, particularly Indigenous youth, for over 15 years in education, the child welfare system, and in juvenile justice system across the state. Tara’s identity as an Indigenous woman (Inupiaq) is deeply rooted in her knowledge of family and community. Her passion and fight for equity is informed by her and her partner’s experience raising three Indigenous children in systems that were not made for them.
Jennifer Werdell (pronouns she/her), Executive Director of JustLead Washington, is passionate about helping advocates, community leaders, and community organizations increase their capacity for doing good. Prior to joining JustLead Jennifer served as the Associate Director of Seattle University School of Law’s Access to Justice Institute (ATJI), where she collaborated with community partners to develop pro bono and social justice opportunities for law students and advised students engaging in public interest and pro bono work. Jennifer received her BA from Amherst College and her JD from New York University.