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Equity Based Leadership Institute – Frequently Asked Questions

What do you mean by diverse teams?
Expanding capacity for equity leadership best happens in cohorts of participants who are diverse across many dimensions. As you form your teams please give consideration to these dimensions of culture and identity: gender, race, ethnicity, first language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socio-economic background.

What is the minimum size of a team?
We would like each school to send a team with a minimum of four participants. We think this encourages a greater variety of perspectives and a stronger critical mass for bringing the work back to the school. On a practical level it also means that should someone need miss a session or to drop off the team, there is still strong representation from the school.

What if team members have to miss a meeting?
A hallmark of this project will be building a transformative learning community in which the relationships among participants will play as important a role as the content. Each participant’s stories and perspectives will become a vital part of the learning, and when anyone is absent the whole community will be affected. That said, we know it is impossible to predict when emergency personal and professional situations will arise. We would like participants to enter the cohort with the intention of attending of all the meetings.

What if we do not have the resources to fund the $600 fee for each of our team members?
This fee is on a sliding scale and can be paid in installments. Additional financial support is also available based on need. Contact Rona Wilensky for more information about this.

What is expected of school teams between meetings?
As educators know, application of new knowledge and perspectives is the most powerful reinforcement for learning. The Institute‘s intention to transform school teams’ capacity to effect change in their school communities must connect to the needs of the schools, to the issues that arise, and to the lived school culture. Following each gathering we will ask school teams to engage in at least one activity (collecting some new data, learning more about the community they serve, keeping the rest of the staff up to date, etc) using some suggested protocols that support the connection between awareness, understanding and action. All such work will be directly connected to the Institute goals of improving school culture and eliminating disparities in achievement and discipline.

Image result for nature meeting spaceWhere will meetings be held?
We have selected the location for our June meeting: Montclair Civic Center in Denver on 12th Street and Oneida. For our other sessions we are looking for spaces that have access to parks or natural areas. We are working to find meeting spaces in the Metro area that are supportive of engaged learning and also provide a nurturing environment that supports self care. While we will choose spaces that allow for electronic connectivity we hope that participants will unplug from digital distractions and reap the benefits of building strong interpersonal relationships.

What follow up support will be provided at the end of June 2020?
By the time we get to the end of the Institute each school will have a well developed Action Plan with which to start the 2020-21 school year. Any follow up support will be tailored to those individual plans. We will be seeking funding that will help support that implementation. Together we will design an ongoing Community of Practice that continues to connect participating schools to each other. We aspire to offer additional Institutes to new cohorts of schools and hope that some members of this first cohort will want to continue their involvement as mentors.

Other questions? Contact Rona Wilensky at

Click here for details of the 2019-2020 Leadership Institute including dates and course fees

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