Who is KairosPDX

KairosPDX is reshaping the system that has failed our increasingly diverse youth. Our approach to dismantling structural racism includes policy advocacy, professional development services, and hands-on learning through our flagship community school and family engagement programs. In addition to academic performance, we prioritize cultural, social, and emotional growth, preparing our children for compassionate leadership.

Founded by a diverse group of leaders who understand the pivotal role that education plays as a gateway to opportunity, KairosPDX was birthed in 2012. We know that many came before us, and fought for the right for all kids to learn, to receive a quality education in schools that see their brilliance.

We are faced with a reality that there still exists two worlds, split on socioeconomic and racial lines. We are faced with a persistent achievement gap that perpetuates inequity and the denial of opportunity that so many fought and died for.

We believe we can do better, and that we can provide a model that narrows that gap and develops young people who know they can change the world for good.

Our Mission

The mission of KairosPDX is to eliminate the prolific racial achievement and opportunity gaps by cultivating confident, creative, compassionate leaders exceeding academic expectations at each developmental milestone. 

Our Vision

Our vision is to engage and empower children and families through a liberating education by which each individual is freed to bring their very best to their own goals and dreams. We are crafting a new narrative around children and families of color placing strength, excellence and achievement at the fore.

The KairosPDX Learning Academy is a K-5 community school.

The Family Engagement Team works to bridge the gap of communication

KairosPDX Government Affairs

KairosPDX Training Academy

Early Learning

KairosPDX Early Learning Academy

Upcoming Events

Shop KairosPDX 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is here and our  Gift Guide is here just in time to get things started! This year’s edition includes several local businesses, and each purchase gives back to KairosPDX, helping further our mission. Discounts are available with select businesses for a limited time! 

Save the Date! Feb 9, 2023

Heart & Sole Fun Run Oct. 6th

We are excited to announce our first ever Heart & Sole Fun Run. On Thursday, October 6, 2022 in the morning, our KairosPDX student leaders will be participating in a fun run. The Heart & Sole Fun Run helps raise money to support the programs at KairosPDX throughout the year and support things like the costs of class field trips and building technology. Our goal this first year is for 100% community participation by spreading the word about the event and enthusiastically running on the day. We are hoping our school overall can get at least 500 gifts of any size! Yes!! We can do this.

From now until Monday October 10, we are collecting funds online. You can throw your support behind a particular classroom or support KairosPDX as a whole. There will be fun rewards based on participation for our leaders as we reach some milestones along the way. 

The day of the run, there will be plenty of fun and cheering. We need and count on volunteers to help us make this event fun, safe and successful. You do need to be on the approved school volunteer list to assist us in this position. Please visit this link to become a volunteer.

Back To School Shopping Fundraiser

In partnership with the Historic Mississippi Business Association (HMBA), eat, drink, and shop your favorite Mississippi Avenue businesses with 10% of proceeds going to KairosPDX, eliminating prolific racial and achievement opportunity gaps. Click images below for participant info.

News & Awards


Zalika spoke at a panel for supporting leaders in literacy. Watch her inspiring talk for the SMART Reading Summit here:


Zalika’s play starts at 2:27:45


Learning Academy Information Sessions

If you are interested in your child attending KairosPDX Learning Academy Public Charter School, please attend one of our virtual Information Sessions.


KairosPDX receives “In the City, For the City” Partnership Award from Warner Pacific University on April 14, 2018


KairosPDX Receives the Emily G. Gottfried Human Rights Award for Outstanding Organization on December 7, 2018


KairosPDX Co-Founders, Marsha Williams, Zalika Gardner & Kali Thorne Ladd receive the 2019 Women of Excellence Award for Education from the Portland Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on May 18, 2019


KairosPDX landed on Portland Business Journal’s ‘Most Admired Companies in Oregon’ list within the nonprofit sector for the second year in a row! This year we made the top 10, and will be honored on Thursday, December 5, 2019, check out the full list


KairosPDX received Portland Monthly Magazine 2019 Light a Fire Award in the category of Exceptional Community Contribution. During the Gala, the audience voted for one of the awardees in the seven

"Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot wait. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow.’ His name is ‘Today.’ “ ~ Gabriela Mistral

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