Woo Williams-Zou has served as an educator and youth advocate in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 21 years. Her own experiences with racism growing up inspired her to explore multiple pathways toward promoting love, healing, and social justice by improving learning experiences for young people from oppressed and marginalized communities who are hurt by systemic oppression.
Prior to earning her teaching credential, Woo attended law school at the University of California Hastings College of the Law where she focused on legal and educational advocacy for youth in the juvenile justice and foster care systems. She has been an active member of the California bar since November 2006. Although she became an attorney with aspirations of transforming oppressive systems from the inside out, she ultimately decided that education was the best avenue to accomplish this goal. She earned her teaching credential and taught English and Humanities in San Francisco, CA. She helped found a high school in Berkeley,CA, and served in the roles of Humanities teacher, Staff Representative on the Board of Directors, Director of Instruction, and eventually Principal. In her time there, Woo led the development of the Humanities program and curriculum, the school's professional development program, the policies, systems, and processes needed to support operationalizing a school, and spear-headed the WASC accreditation and A-G course approval processes. Woo later accepted a principalship at a middle school in Alameda, CA, where she worked to support the school to deepen its focus on educational equity through data-based inquiry, peer coaching, distributed leadership practices, and racial literacy development and collaborated with the community to establish a restorative justice program.
Ever looking to deepen and expand her work, Woo joined the National Equity Project as an Associate in August 2019, and is blessed to work with leaders, schools, districts, and organizations across the United States in the pursuit of promoting equity and social justice through consulting and coaching leadership and team development. She leads professional development across the country in the areas of educational equity, racial justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, facilitation, liberatory design, and coaching. Woo is also excited to rejoin (she is a PLI alum, cohort 14) the PLI community, this time as a lecturer, to support the development of equity leaders in California schools.