Educators of color across the nation are being BOLD! We’re Building Opportunities for Leadership Development within our school communities and ourselves. The movement began this summer with the 2016 inaugural BOLD Summit hosted by The Galloway School.
Always at the forefront of diversity practices and progressive ideals, Galloway launched BOLD to address the large deficit of leaders of color in independent schools. Of the approximately 1600 independent schools in the United States, currently less than 4% of them are led by an educator of color. Fortunately, the growing landscape of private education in this country is creating unprecedented opportunities to change this statistic. The Summit aims to equip educators of color with the tools and confidence needed to become the BOLD leaders of the future. As a program participant and member of the Galloway community, I was proud to see the message of inclusivity that we share with students also being spread deliberately among faculty here and beyond.
The Summit aims to equip educators of color with the tools and confidence needed to become the BOLD leaders of the future.
This year’s conference welcomed thirty-three teachers, administrators, and heads of school, all of whom brought their own passion and enthusiasm to the week’s agenda. Together we formed a cohesive unit through conversations, games, and team-building activities. It turns out that nothing brings a group of people together quite like a spirited Lego competition or a challenge to escape a war-themed room of riddles in less than sixty minutes! The high energy of the cohort was consistently palpable and undeniably contagious. Moreover, the ability to have fun and be our authentic selves with one another translated well into productive workshops, where we could share our experiences and uninhibited learning with the group.
One of my favorite workshops was a lesson in various leadership styles supported by whole brain psychology. In this seminar, I learned more about my own personality and way of thinking and how I can best communicate with and lead others, based on their personality and preferred thinking. It’s an approach that I’ve since worked to apply not only in any leadership roles that I may have, but also in my classroom management and teaching.
Other breakout sessions from the conference included a look into the daily, behind-the-scenes activities of a school administrator, strategies for managing adults, and fundraising. Such valuable information was coupled with personalized mentorship from current heads of school, and advice for the hiring process from top-name recruitment firms, which altogether gave participants a strong foundation on which to take their first BOLD steps moving forward.
BOLD 2016 was an overall amazing experience! I believe that at the end of the week, we all left feelings empowered with fresh ideas and goals, as well as newfound knowledge and encouragement for achieving them. Throughout it all, we were also able to build genuine connections that expanded our social and professional networks. By offering minority educators practical career development in the present, BOLD is not only making it possible to promote qualified candidates into leadership roles, but also working to create learning environments rich with diverse perspectives, talents, and individuals.
Check out our video from the conference below!