Empowering Children, Lifting Every Voice,
Building Bridges for Students, Families, Schools, and Community
Africans on the Eastside (AOE) is an ad-hoc group comprised of parents, youth scholars, community members and grassroots organizations who have come together to actively address the impacts of institutional racism and racial inequity, particularly on the east side of Seattle.
We strive to reinforce the TRUTH that English Language Learners, Immigrants, Black, Indigenous and other People of Color are valued partners in our communities and schools and need to be included in this work of building an inclusive, anti-racist society. The absence of these voices is a loss to the entire community.
AOE’s mission is to serve students’ diverse needs and their families as a unit through outreach and engagement, education, advocacy training, leadership opportunities and development.
We strive to cultivate greater respect for the language and culture of every member in our communities.
Meet the Team
Unveiling the Minds Behind Our Success
Discover the individuals who fuel our innovation and drive. Get a glimpse into the personalities shaping our journey
Founder/Community Relations Director
Community Relations Director
Africans on the Eastside is led by Adam Dibba, a Bellevue School District parent of three daughters (BSD alumnae), community organizer, advocate and lifelong volunteer.
Adam’s story began like many of yours. She grew up in Gambia and immigrated to the United States over 25 years ago. Adam did not know anyone in Bellevue and was very far away from her family. The culture was different, the food was different. She was an English language learner and there were few people around to help her learn to live in this new city. It was a struggle.
During this time, Adam reached out to her father for advice. Her wise father told her not to worry and encouraged her to serve others in the community, to help others with her compassion, love and respect for others. This work is her passion and what she continues to do with Africans on the Eastside.
Director of Operations
Karen Smith Fraser
Karen moved to the Puget Sound 13 years ago from the other Washington (DC) in 2008. Upon arrival to Bellevue, she was invited to serve on the Parent Action and Advisory Council, a diverse parent group charged with advocating for all students in the Bellevue School District, especially those deemed most vulnerable, which, too often, included immigrants, youth with special needs and BIPOC youth and families. Karen went on to volunteer in other capacities in and around Bellevue and now serves as Director of Operations for Africans on the Eastside.