What I Learned About America’s Enslavement of People Shaped My District’s DEI Efforts
by PRP Group, on 02/20/2023
As the superintendent of a board of cooperative education services (BOCES), I was deeply concerned when I received an affirmative-action complaint from a Black teacher alleging that she had been harassed by a white colleague. Although an outside investigator determined there had been no harassment or other wrongdoing, I found myself wondering if there was something I had missed in my own biases or those of my staff that made our organization less welcoming to people of all backgrounds than it could be. My search for answers led both me and my leadership team to drastically change how we approach diversity, equity, and inclusion in our BOCES.
Learning to Level-Set
When I don’t understand something, I tend to do a lot of reading to figure out what I am missing. In this process, I came across an article in the Harvard Business Review about Mike Kaufmann, the CEO of a health organization who had been in a similar position before he pushed his company to become one of the leading DEI proponents in their industry. People of all races and backgrounds are now eager to work there because of the hard work they’ve done to be a genuinely welcoming and inclusive workplace.