DR. CHRISTINA KISHIMOTO | JUNE 2023
As the CEO of a business deeply devoted to the empowerment of women in the superintendency, I am inspired by the bold action of so many women who have positive and inclusive learning environments as their North Star. As Pride month begins, I would like to bring to light a vital topic that resonates with the principles of our community – the importance of LGBTQIA+ equity and representation in educational leadership.
Education, in its very essence, is a journey of discovery, personal growth, and learning. Our roles as educators and leaders extend beyond the classroom walls, shaping the attitudes, values, and beliefs of the next generation. Amid today’s increasingly polarized society, where culture wars stir up controversy and distract from the things that really matter, it is essential that we continue to uphold the tenets of respect, understanding, and inclusivity.
LGBTQIA+ equity and representation matter greatly in the superintendency, with good reason. Our students are diverse in their identities, experiences, and perspectives, and by the way, so are our staff. Students need role models who reflect the variety of the human experience, including those who identify as LGBTQIA+. Representation allows LGBTQIA+ students to see themselves mirrored in positions of power and authority, helping them envision a future where they, too, can lead and make a difference. It teaches all students that diversity and inclusivity are strengths that we celebrate and champion.
LGBTQIA+ equity signifies that our schools are safe welcoming spaces that belong to all students. It emphasizes that we value all our students and staff, and we will not tolerate discrimination or bias, or for that matter, erasure. By promoting equity, we reinforce that each individual in our community is seen, heard, and valued.
As education leaders, it is our responsibility to address these conflicts proactively, and we can do so by taking decisive steps to ensure the progress the LGBTQIA+ community has made in the past decade is not eroded and that the movement for intersectionality, acceptance, and inclusivity progresses with greater urgency than ever before.
Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto