Listening to Black Women: What Conditions Enable Black Women Deeper Learning Leaders to Thrive?

ELP is excited to share our Den Talk for this year’s Deeper Learning Conference- Listening to Black Women: What Conditions Enable Black Women Deeper Learning Leaders to Thrive?

Deeper Learning Coach, Alcine Mumby, will be hosting and spotlighting the wisdom of 3 Black women leaders: LaShawnna Harris, Sabrina Moore, and Kai Mathews. All three are alumni of ELP’s Deeper Learning Leadership Forum.

This will be a Kiva panel where Black women systems leaders from various levels of the deeper learning movement with embodied knowledge and expertise will share their wisdom on creating conditions for Black women and Black learners to thrive in this community. Participants will take notes as they listen deeply, scribing exact words and phrases that resonate with them, then reflect on the shifts and new learning created when they listened to understand to Black women. This promises to be a transformative den experience for participants as they seek to practice the foundational equity skill of listening to disrupt/dismantle their own beliefs about deeper learning, leadership, and equity for liberation.

Kai Mathews

Dr. Kai Mathews is the MTSS (Multi-tiered System of Support) Director at UCLA’s Center for the Transformation of Schools. In this position, she co-leads a statewide pilot aimed at improving school climate and conditions. Dr. Kai (as her students call her) has dedicated her life to creating innovative and equitable learning environments for underrepresented populations. She is an educator, researcher, and creative strategist who is passionate about innovative reforms and practices in K-12 and higher education. With over 10 years of practical work and research experience with students, teachers, and administrators in various school districts around the country, her areas of expertise and passions include educational equity; culturally responsive, inclusive, sustaining education; Project-Based Learning (PBL); Universal Design for Learning (UDL); Blended Learning (BL); and Design Thinking.

As a former 8th grade teacher at High Tech Middle, Chula Vista, Dr. Kai prides herself in creating immersive, project-based learning environments that push, uplift, and teach the whole child and allows students to engage in critical inquiry, social advocacy, and divergent dialogue.

She has a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with a specialization in K-12 education from the University of San Diego, an M.A. in Communication from Ellis University, and a B.A. in English with a minor in Creative Writing from Spelman College.

Sabrina Moore

Sabrina “Bri” Moore, is an Oakland native. She has been a student, teacher, and is now an administrator in service of students and families in Oakland.

Sabrina “Bri” came to education as a career changer. She remembers the day she made the decision to leave a 15 year career with AT&T Telecommunications for teaching. She was in the midst of obtaining a masters degree and remembered her high school teacher telling her “if you get a masters degree you can be a teacher.” She quit a few months later to do just that and has been pushing for Oakland students ever since.

Her orientation towards school leadership began during her time with Teach Tomorrow in Oakland as a facilitator of professional development and providing mentoring and coaching support to new teachers. “I was encouraged as a new teacher to take risks, to try new approaches and to share my successes and failures with my colleagues,” recalls Moore. “If offered an opportunity to learn something new as a teacher, or as a teacher leader, I never said no- I took all opportunities offered to me to continue to learn and grow.” The same has been true of her in administration. Seeking every opportunity to learn, grow and improve for kids.

She is currently pursuing a doctorate of education in social justice from California State University East Bay in hopes to become the future superintendent of Oakland Unified School district.

When asked to describe her leadership style, Bri says she sees herself as “an anti-racist liberatory leader who is unapologetically Black, Proud and pushing for kids that look like me, come from where I come from and deserve way more than we get”, she is also dedicated to speaking truth to racism so we can see a change to systems, practices and policies that stay perpetuating hate and marginalizing folk.

Bri currently serves as the principal at MPA Primary, facilitates diversity, equity and inclusion professional learning for several organizations, provides adjunct professional learning for new principals and is a new principal mentor for OUSD. She works from one core value, “Kids First” and believes everything else is secondary. She loves what she does so much, even on the worst day she’s SMILING!

Sabrina believes that teaching and leading changes lives and with the best team possible strives for excellence in education. She is driven by the dream of seeing, “kids like me be whatever they want – no excuses and every opportunity to Live their best Lives.”

LaShawnna Harris

LaShawnna Harris is the Founder and President of Creative Station LLC a NYC based education consulting firm. She received a B.S. in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, M.S. in teaching from the Fordham University and a M.S. in school building leadership from Mercy College.

LaShawnna previously worked as an elementary school teacher, math staff developer, assistant principal, founding principal, new principal coach and most recently as the Senior Director of School Improvement for the New York City Department of Education.

As the founding principal of PS 330Q, it was her vision that all students would learn in a supportive environment that focused on their academic and social-emotional development, so they could pursue and achieve their dreams. LaShawnna was noted in the Huffington Post article, “Why School Culture Matters, and How to Improve it” by Michael Haberman that showcased her work with Morrison Healthcare through the school’s PENCIL partnership to improve school culture.

She has a passion and commitment to supporting school leaders with school improvement. Her strengths are facilitating small group professional learning community sessions on managing complex change, strategic planning, collaborative problem solving and improved systems and Operations.

Register for the session using this link:

For more information about the Deeper Learning Conference and to register, click here.

Learn more about Deeper Learning Coach, Alcine Mumby, in her “I am ELP” highlight.

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