Thank you Carla Haith, Tresa Wilson, Roxanne Leff, and Latasha Chambers for your authentic stories and lessons learned.
Their journeys echo my own and those of many people of color.
* No awareness of independent schools.
* Attending a job fair to promote diversity.
* A mentor/sponsor who never forgot about them.
* A job offer that led to another and another.
* An experience at PoCC that solidified their love of independent schools.
* Connections with others on their journey.
* Friendships of support that developed from these connections.
* Professional development that propelled them to move into administrative positions.
* Long-term plans that named their trajectory.
Two themes resonated for me: Connections and Mentoring/Sponsorship.
Each of these woman of color spoke to the people they met along the way who served many roles. These connections developed into friendships, but more than that, they developed into a community of people who serve as a sounding board when issues come up. I am grateful to the People of Color in New York (POCIS/NY) group, the Latin@ Educators in New York Independent Schools (LENYIS), and the Sisters of Color groups to which I belong.
Someone already connected with an independent school reached out, made follow-up calls, or pushed these women to consider a new career path. Mentoring is supporting a person, but sponsorship is when you advocate for a person. The combination of the two is essential.
Thank you to my mentors and sponsors who have guided me through my 27 years in independent schools.
Dr. Sandra Chapman
Latina, Lesbian, Educator, Mommy of two. Committed to enriching her life with a diverse village of people who will share their stories.