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Our Mission

To empower children of exceptional talent and potential from racially underrepresented and economically under-resourced communities in order to transform independent schools and society.  

Board Secretary Alma Medina, Founding Executive Director Manasa Tangalin, Board President Mark McKee


Independent School Alliance is the leading access organization in independent school admissions counseling and placement for students in grades K-9. Independent School Alliance recruits, educates, counsels, and advocates on behalf of families from racially underrepresented and economically under-resourced communities seeking to gain access to independent schools of Greater Los Angeles.


For almost 40  years, Independent School Alliance has assisted thousands of young people and their families in achieving their dream of quality education despite racial, cultural, and socioeconomic disparities. We stand firmly in the purpose of our mission that education is the antidote for the inequities of the world.


Our member schools play a vital role in shaping the leaders of our city, state, and nation. Graduates of the Independent School Alliance go on to enroll in some of the most prestigious colleges and universities across the country. Through our collaborative efforts and shared objectives with community partners nationwide, we are committed to ensuring that the Independent School community reflects the diversity and cultural richness of the world beyond its walls. Our initiatives are designed to empower Independent School Alliance students with exposure to leadership opportunities and social-emotional development, with the ultimate goal of fostering school communities that not only educate the next generation of leaders but also nurture them to be better human beings.


We acknowledge our responsibilities as leaders, builders, connectors, and caregivers within the independent school community. Equipped with the skills and experience necessary, we are dedicated to addressing and challenging the responses, practices, and policies in our schools and the broader community to achieve equity. To enact lasting systemic change, we recognize the need for deep personal and individual work, extending our efforts from the individual and interpersonal to the institutional and structural levels of the system. With this mission in mind, the Independent School Alliance remains committed to diversifying independent schools in the Greater Los Angeles area for the next 40 years and beyond, as we have done over the years. The Independent School Alliance operates with an annual budget exceeding $1 million, which is funded through individual charitable contributions and philanthropic initiatives led by our Board of Directors and Advisory Council. Our headquarters is located in Culver City, CA, and we stand firm in our unwavering commitment.


Executive Director Dr. Dana Coleman 


2023 Impact Award Honorees José E. Feliciano & Kwanza Jones,
Executive Director Dr. Dana Coleman, Honorees Behdad Eghbali and Julia Harris

2023 Scholarship Recipients Karen Garcia, Zoie Brogdon, Reid Mahoney, Adrian Crick 


Executive Director Dr. Dana Coleman 

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