Party With a Purpose

How Reed is partnering with the community to address root causes of inequity in education.

By Sheena McFarland | February 22, 2023

The Portland nonprofit All Hands Raised held its annual Party with a Purpose on Thursday, February 16, and Reed College administrators were on hand to support the group’s mission to support equity in education.

With a focus on racial equity, All Hands Raised works with seven school districts in Multnomah County to collect data and then identify and remove barriers schoolchildren encounter. Reed President Audrey Bilger is a member of the nonprofit’s Partnership Council, which consists of executive-level leaders from business, education, government, and community-based organizations and provides strategic guidance and directs the data analysis and reporting."

“Ensuring students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed in their education is something I am passionate about, and I’m grateful to be part of this wonderful community of people working to make systemic changes for the better,” Bilger said.

About 600 people attended the event, which included hearing from K-12 students, a paddle raise, and entertainment from comedian Gina Brillon. In attendance from Reed were Bilger and her wife, Cheryl Pawelski; Dean of the Faculty Kathy Oleson and her husband Gordon Buffonge; Dean of Students Tawana Parks and her husband, Leetonio Parks; and Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications Sheena McFarland and her husband, James Houchins.