THE STORIES WE TELL Featuring Dr. Tawana Grover – FEBRUARY 2022

February is the month of renewed hope! It is the point in the school year when we say, we can make it! So hang in there, keep connected and don’t be afraid to shift your personal priorities to keep yourself well. Despite the continued challenges of yet another year of pandemic unknowns, there are a lot of great opportunities to stay connected in new ways while meeting new people. Take advantage of the myriad of online seminars, events, and asynchronous learning sessions, or just close down your computer and start reading Dune. It will clear your mind – I promise!

For you Dune lovers…the political climate today is a lot like the world of Arrakis – a harsh desert planet! Just listen to the back and forths about naming a black woman to the Supreme Court! Many Superintendents are embroiled with their legislators, so give them extra support, as this policy process can be yet another full time job for the next eight weeks. The policy conversations at the local and national levels are difficult ones. Divisive politics continues to rear its ugly head in many places, and the fallout to communities is great as much needed policies fall prey to partisanship that creates molasses in decision-making. Many states in our nation are still sitting on most of their federal relief funds while students and communities struggle and homelessness is showing up seemingly everywhere.

This is not meant to discourage you, but rather to inspire you to reconsider your alignment strategies. It’s time to strengthen your networks and speak with more collective voices on behalf of our nation’s neediest children and youth. As educators, we need to become much more comfortable developing our voice and becoming policy leaders.

This is why I am excited to share that Voice4Equity has partnered with several districts and organizations and is offering two types of policy network programs. The first one involves a Girls Policy Network. Yes, we must engage our high school aged young ladies in developing a policy mindset no matter what field they are going into. This will help them to think critically about decisions being made by public officials that affect them, their health, their opportunities, their access to the economy, and their communities.

The second program is a Women Leaders’ Policy Network. If you are interested in bringing these programs to your district or state, or if you are a company that wants to sponsor girls and women to participate in these powerful convenings, please reach out to me about programs that begin in the summer of 2022 and run through summer of 2023. Nothing moves me more than having a leader call me to tell me how she took “her own folding chair” to a new policy table to diversify perspectives. Your voice is powerful. Your voice within a network of women can tear down walls!

Talk about tearing down walls, our feature this month is a woman leader who tore down one wall in her state. She set out to be a great leader and advocate on behalf of kids, and in the process became a first – the first black woman Superintendent in her State. There are so many firsts that we still have to break through as women and especially as women of color. Enjoy Dr. Tawana Grover’s story. She is our featured Voice for Equity – someone you should meet and get to know.


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