Karen Pillar

Director of Policy and Advocacy https://teamchild.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Karen-Teen-adjusted.jpg

I always knew I wanted to help others and be part of work that advanced justice. For as long as I can remember, I believed that the best way to do those two things was to be a lawyer. My parents and community taught me that advancing justice meant taking action to allow people who were differently advantaged, or some would say disadvantaged, overcome those differences.  In my own journey, I have come to reframe that notion of justice. My older sister, who was born with intellectual disability, helped me to understand that the notion of difference or disadvantage has more to do with systemic structures that create barriers for some, than it has to do with an individual’s situation. Working at TeamChild has provided me with an incredible opportunity to work alongside young people who are seeking that kind of justice – where systems change to respond to the unique humans that these systems serve. I have worked at TeamChild since 2001. Some of my favorite memories so far include working with former clients to create hiring panels to help TeamChild screen new staff attorney applicants; interviewing youth about school discipline practices in order to advance new school discipline policies; and learning new advocacy skills from the committed youth and parents of the South King County Discipline Coalition.

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