Join us October 18!

To all who are inspired by our vision of “inclusively built societies powered by collective wisdom, brave leadership, and rigorous action,” we invite you to join us for an evening of discussion, festivity, and community. 

The Evans School’s Public Leadership Awards & Celebration is our annual gathering to celebrate leaders catalyzing positive change in our communities and public systems. Your participation helps raise critical funds to support the school’s mission of educating leaders, generating knowledge, and hosting communities to co-create solutions to pressing societal problems.

The Evans School’s Public Leadership Awards & Celebration 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023 / 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101 

Please RSVP by October 3, 2023. We believe in a world where limited access to capital does not impede one’s ability to participate in civic and community life. We are offering a range of ticket prices from fully hosted to a “buy one, give one” option. More details on ticket levels below.


Here’s the most important thing to know about the ticket options below: we want you to choose the one that makes sure you can be in the room. It is not important to us who pays what. If your circumstances require you choose a hosted ticket to join us, please select that ticket option. By the same token, if you are able to purchase a ticket at a higher price, please do.

  • Buy One, Donate One, $250:  Help us to ensure the Evan’s 60th Anniversary event is an inclusive space by selecting our Buy One, Give One ticket option to secure one seat for yourself and one for a community member who may select our “hosted” (no charge) ticket option. Your ticket and the gifted ticket will include wine, salad, your choice of entrée, and dessert.
  • Individual Ticket, $125 Early Bird, $150 after 9/17:  You’ll enjoy a party and dinner in the lobby, featuring a variety of chef stations, wine, and mingling with guests. Tasty dessert and coffee will follow the main program!
  • Celebration Hosted Ticket, $75: Thanks for chipping in! We’re happy to provide hosted tickets to our guests who can most benefit from this ticket option. A hosted ticket holds no less or greater value than an individual ticket and comes with all the same perks.
  • Hosted Ticket, Complimentary :We’re so glad you can join us! We’re happy to provide hosted tickets to our guests who can most benefit from this ticket option. A hosted ticket holds no less or greater value than an individual ticket and comes with all the same perks. Note there are a limited number of tickets are available at this level and we ask folks to reserve these for those who otherwise may not be able to attend.
  • Event Host, $1,500: Celebrate together! This option includes tickets for yourself and 9 guests, our special thanks acknowledged in the print program. You and your guests will enjoy dinner, wine, dessert along with an inspiring program!

More sponsor levels available (see information at the bottom of this page).

Evening at a Glance

We’re shaking things up this year! Join us at our new venue, Town Hall Seattle, for a party in the lobby and powerful program in the Great Hall. When you arrive, you’ll delight in dinner, drinks, and mingling in the lobby – a chance to try food from a range of chefs’ stations and move about visiting with fellow guests (standing and seated table options available). The main program will be held in the Great Hall, where you’ll sit together with friends to enjoy an engaging panel discussion with the 2023 Public Leadership Awardees and hear powerful stories about work happening at the Evans School. The evening will wrap up with dessert, coffee, and farewells in the lobby. 

  • 5:30 p.m. Doors open, champagne welcome. Complimentary valet parking available (see details in FAQ below)
  • 6:00 p.m. Dinner and drinks in the lobby (beer, wine, and non-alcoholic options provided) 
  • 7:00 p.m. Program begins in the Great Hall 
  • 8:15 p.m. Dessert, coffee and goodbyes in lobby 

2023 Public Leadership Awardees

Last year, the Evans School launched a new tradition with the presentation of our annual Public Leadership Awards—an opportunity to honor individuals aligned with the Evans School’s purpose to inspire public service and democratize public policy. We are proud to announce this year’s Public Leadership Awardees.

Community Catalyst Awardee

Pa Ousman Joof

Systems Changemaker Awardee

Anne Levinson

Dean’s Leadership Awardee

Dr. Brent Jones

Research proves grassroots leadership is a critical component of any community’s wellbeing. The Community Catalyst Award recognizes a leader whose efforts impact not just any community, but one which they call home, too. This individual is celebrated for their consistent efforts to foster collaboration, amplify local voices with special attention to historically underrepresented groups, and maintain proximity to those who are impacted most by their work.

Pa Ousman Joof is the founder and Executive Director of the Washington West African Center (WAWAC). Since founding WAWAC in 2017 from his living room as a volunteer-run organization, he has worked to build the organization’s capacity, which now offers 10 key programs and serves more than 5,000 community members annually with a staff of six and a program center in Lynnwood. WAWAC provides culturally relevant services to the West African community in Washington, offering an After-School Program and Summer Camp for children, monthly Grandma hangout for seniors, Weekly Food Drive (Washington West African Market), Emergency Transportation, Language Interpretation/Translation, Outreach and Advocacy, A Drop-In-Center with case management with support for the West African community to apply for resources, including scholarships, jobs, unemployment, medical insurance and other government benefits.

Prior to founding WAWAC, like many immigrants, Pa worked various menial jobs and faced many struggles including eviction, disconnection of utilities, and no means to buy food or diapers for his children. Pa Ousman struggled and lived in fear of being deported for 18 years, only becoming a US citizen on September 7, 2022. These experiences inspired Pa Ousman to establish WAWAC to provide the services and support he needed but could not find as an undocumented immigrant to his people. Currently, Pa sits on several boards, including the Snohomish County Racial Equity Housing Advisory Board, City of Lynnwood Parks Love Co-Design team and Washington State Department of Health Collaborative Thought Partner, where he champions and advocates for Racial Equity.

The Systems Changemaker Award recognizes a leader with remarkable sensitivity to the future and courageous determination to do what is necessary today to inspire a better tomorrow. They use strategic and pragmatic leadership as a medium to create change. And while their individual influence can move mountains, this changemaker intentionally shares power and responsibility. They understand systems change is most achievable when conducted as a collective effort and are a trusted convener and facilitator of collaborative action.

For nearly two decades Judge Anne Levinson (ret.) has been an advisor to governments, non-profits, and foundations on issues including child welfare and juvenile justice, police accountability, campaign finance and disclosure, gender based violence, and gun violence prevention. Learning from research and the experiences of those most impacted, Judge Levinson leads multi-disciplinary reviews, builds coalitions, and recommends ways to redesign and improve systems, strengthen laws, policy, and training, and ensure effective implementation. She shepherded creation of a first-of-its-kind regional unit to more effectively implement court-ordered firearms removal from DV abusers and those at risk of harm to self or others; and comprehensive reforms of laws on protection orders, unlawful firearm possession, and oversight of law enforcement.

Previously, as a judge, Anne founded and presided over the country’s first municipal mental health court. She led consumer protection reforms and partnered with others to stop efforts to deregulate energy markets as chair of the Utilities and Transportation Commission. She chaired the Public Disclosure Commission, spearheading passage of legislation to strengthen the state’s Fair Campaign Practices Act, and co-chaired a bi-partisan blue-ribbon commission that recommended creation of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. She served as a Special Assistant to Mayor Royer and as Deputy Mayor, Chief of Staff, and Legal Counsel for Mayor Rice, where she led several initiatives, including developing the first families & education levy, the first self-managed transitional housing for the homeless, the first transitional housing for women, enacting domestic partner benefits, reform of finance and contracting systems, and helped lead efforts to address the AIDS epidemic.

One of our state’s first openly LGBTQ public officials, she advocated for state laws providing rights and protections for LGBTQ individuals and families and chaired several campaigns that defeated attempts to roll-back those laws. During the litigation about relocation of the Sonics, she put together an all-female ownership group and led the negotiations to secure the Seattle Storm’s future in Seattle.

Anne graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Kansas and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law. She is also a graduate of the University of Washington Cascade Institute’s Senior Management Program.

The Dean’s Leadership Award celebrates an individual or group committed to equity, radical courage, and uncompromising servant leadership. This leader is not afraid to run against the grain where required to support human dignity, embrace diversity, and foster democratic ideals.

Dr. Brent Jones is a visionary educational leader committed to fostering the success of all students through transformative cultural shifts and the revitalization of PreK-12 educational systems. As the superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, he oversees Washington state’s largest school district and champions an environment where every student can flourish.

With an extensive background in the public sector, Dr. Jones has cultivated a profound expertise in strategic planning, community engagement, change management, and human resources. His leadership roles span across notable institutions including King County Government, Kent School District, Seattle Colleges, Green River College, and the Seattle Public Schools system.

Notably, Dr. Jones has been instrumental in propelling Seattle Public Schools towards greater equity and innovation. He masterminded the implementation of a district-wide racial equity strategy, forging impactful public-private collaborations to expedite student advancement. Furthermore, his leadership culminated in the integration of racial equity considerations within collective bargaining agreements, the establishment of the Civil Rights Compliance Office, and pioneering initiatives in talent development and recruitment aimed at enhancing workforce diversity and employee engagement.

Dr. Jones has deep community roots and is a proud product of Seattle Public Schools and the University of Washington. He has earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Education Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Jones’ unwavering dedication to educational excellence, combined with his dynamic leadership, has left an indelible mark on the landscape of education in Washington state. His commitment to equitable, innovative, and inclusive education continues to shape the lives of students and educators alike.

Sponsorship & Event Hosts

Sponsors and Event Hosts are key partners in the success of this annual event, helping to welcome new friends to the Evans community and fueling our ability to inspire public service and democratize public policy. 

What’s an “Event Host?” It’s like a Table Host without the table! You’ll receive a total of 10 tickets for you and your friends to enjoy the event. During dinner you’ll connect with your guests while also mixing and mingling in the lobby (there’s no assigned table seating). During the program, you’ll be able to sit together in the Great Hall and enjoy the music, speakers, and stories. It’s going to be fun!  

Sponsors receive 10 tickets as well as some other fun goodies. Check out our sponsorship levels. If you have any questions, please contact or 206-685-2882.


Town Hall is centrally located in downtown Seattle at 1119 8th Ave (the corner of 8th and Seneca). Attendees for the Public Leadership Awards should use the 8th Avenue entrance. The doors are accessible via a ramp and lead, at-grade, into the lobby level. From there, patrons can access an at-grade elevator serving all three levels of the building, as well as an all-gender, ADA restroom. 

Valet Parking 

The Evans School has arranged complimentary valet parking for registered guests attending the 2023 Public Leadership Awards event. Final details about navigating to the valet parking will be sent to attendees in advance of the event and updated on the website soon.  

Public Transit 

The Evans School is committed to environmental sustainability, and we encourage everyone to use public transit whenever possible. 

  • Metro Route #2 (serving Downtown and Madrona Park) stops right next to the building. 
  • The University Light Rail station is a four block walk or ride to 3rd Ave. 
  • Metro Route #12 (serving Interlaken Park, First Hill, and Downtown) stop on Madison St. just three blocks south. 

Ride Share 

If you are using a ride share service to attend, there is a 3-minute drop-off and loading zone is available across the street from the 8th Avenue entrance.

ADA Seating

All areas within Town Hall are ADA accessible. For the casual dinner portion of the event in the lobby, there will be seating available, and we can reserve space specifically for you upon request. For the program portion of the evening, the Great Hall has fixed accessible seating. If you have a specific accommodation request, please contact  


Town Hall has restrooms for all genders and bodies. Their building features 17 all-gender restrooms on the lobby level, as well as ADA-accessible restrooms on the lobby and Forum level. 

Hearing Loop

Town Hall’s Hearing Loop system has been installed in the Great Hall where the program will take place. These enable audience members with T-coil hearing aids to experience our events at full volume by having sounds from the stage’s microphones transmitted directly to their hearing aids! Headset are available and free-to-use, please reach out to us in advance of the event so we can arrange this for you: 


The Evans School will arrange for ASL services upon request. Please contact us at least two weeks prior to the event: 

If you are sick or have any symptoms associated with COVID-19, we ask that you please stay home. A full refund will be provided for the cost of your ticket(s) should you cancel your registration by October 3, 2023. After October 3, 2023, we are not able to offer a refund, but we can transfer the ticket(s) to another attendee or convert the cost of the ticket(s) to a charitable donation to the Evans School.

Yes! Cameron Catering has prepared a delicious set of offerings at the Chefs’ stations and buffet that include ample vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. If you have any specific dietary needs or allergies, please reach out and let us know so we can ensure you eat well at the event:

For those who have joined us for past Fellowship Dinner or Anniversary events please note that we are shaking up the format a bit this year! When you arrive, you’ll delight in dinner, drinks, and mingling in the lobby – a chance to try food from a range of chefs’ stations and move about visiting with fellow guests. There’s no assigned table seating during dinner, but there will be high- and low-top tables that accommodate about four people per table, as well as some counter-style areas for folks to gather and eat. Please contact us in advance if you have accessibility needs:   

The main program will be held in the Great Hall, where you can sit together with family or invited guests. You’ll have ample time to find one another and settle into a seating location that suits you (note that sponsors will have reserved seating). The program will feature an engaging panel discussion with the 2023 Public Leadership Awardees, live music, and powerful stories about work happening at the Evans School. The evening will wrap up with dessert, coffee, and farewells in the lobby. 

Pro Tip: Though you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your friends in the lobby or Great Hall, it doesn’t hurt to start a text thread to help coordinate!