Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon, Founder and Director of Colorful Pages

I am a biracial woman of color: my dad is Native Hawaiian and my mom is White/Norwegian. I was born in Hawai’i, but spent most of my life in Seattle, Washington. I graduated the University of Washington and the Seattle Teacher Residency with my Masters in Teaching. Now, I am a Grades 2/3 ELA and Ethnic Studies teacher (“Ethnic Studies” is a self-designated title) and Ethnic Studies curriculum writer for Seattle Public Schools. In 2020, I was awarded the 2020 Teaching Tolerance Excellence in Teaching Award.

Growing up, my parents ensured that I had access to many colorful pages that reflected my own Native Hawaiian identity, such as Popoki, the Hawaiian Cat. However, in my K-12 classrooms, those colorful pages were scarce and I faced discrimination and disenfranchisement.

My goal is to make sure students experience more empowering and empathetic experiences than I did. I created The Spectrum for Multicultural Literature and Colorful Pages using the research I completed in my undergraduate career and my experiences as an educator and student. I aim to give educators, families, and librarians a tool to analyze their libraries to fully cultivate crosscultural empathy and cultural empowerment in our students.

I have presented at several conferences, including the National Association for Multicultural Education about supporting pre-service teachers of color and the Leadership in Diversity conference and Northwest Teaching for Social Justice Conference about Colorful Pages.

When I am not teaching or advocating for social justice, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love watching movies with my husband and our corgi, ‘Īlio, and, of course, reading mountains of books!