Natalie Wheatfall-Lum, J.D.
Since Natalie (she/her/hers) joined The Education Trust—West in 2014, she has supported the organization’s policy research, analysis, and position development, primarily in K-12 equitable funding and accountability. Natalie’s work is grounded in understanding the experiences of those stakeholders directly impacted by education policy decisions: parent, student, and community advocates. Before her current position, Natalie was an Education Pioneers Graduate Fellow with Ed Trust—West. Before working in education policy, Natalie practiced law, gaining experience in various civil rights issues, including LGBTQ equal rights, fair housing, and immigration. While in law school, Natalie worked as a student attorney in Howard University’s Civil Rights Clinic, representing clients in employment, housing, and education discrimination cases. A proud product of two of California’s higher education systems, Natalie earned an A.A. in Transfer Studies from San Diego Mesa College and a B.A. with honors in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Natalie earned her J.D. from Howard University’s School of Law.
“I started public school in California in a diverse, working-class neighborhood. After transferring districts in 8th grade, I graduated from a predominately white, upper-middle-class public high school. In this new setting, I experienced the privilege of increased resources while encountering the disadvantage of low expectations for students of color. At a young age, this experience opened my eyes to the injustices inherent in California’s public school system. I have been passionate about ending these inequities ever since.”
- Oakland, CA