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Educational leadership and gender equity advocate. Writer and Southerner.

It’s hard to overstate the depth of care that teachers hold for their students. Their passion has been exemplified by their responses to COVID-19, as they support overwhelmed parents to keep children safe and learning at home, recreate lessons digitally, and find solutions to teach, track and engage the millions of children who have no internet connectivity.

Educators are also — as they are so often called to do — supporting children facing non-academic threats to their learning and safety. This includes hunger due to lack of school meals, confinement in unsafe spaces under lockdown, and mental health challenges caused…


If you stop at the limits of your innate talent, your life will never expand in the ways that you dream.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Like most people who love vision boards and a good five-year plan, I have spent much of January reflecting on my dreams and goals. The result is an ambitious, inspiring vision for the future; I have a sacred dream, a fun list of 40 by 40 milestones, and a shortlist of goals and self-care must-dos for the year.

For the most part, I feel confident about the plan I’ve laid out. …


At the 2019 Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, I spoke on a panel (third from left) about how gender equity in STEM is necessary so that girls and women can help solve challenges that disproportionately affect them. Photo credit: Jessica Fleuti.

Every day, thousands of teachers, social innovators, school leaders and policymakers in the Teach For All network observe first-hand the particular challenges facing girls. As UNESCO’s recently released 2019 Gender Review of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report makes clear, despite some progress, much work remains to ensure that girls and women receive the education and access to health, safety, and employment they deserve.

Access rightfully takes up a lot of space in the report and in girls’ education overall. Girls are disproportionately affected when beliefs about the role of girls and women in society lead to early marriage or…


What is the relevance of International Day of the Girl in 2018?

As many countries approach parity in school enrollment between girls and boys, and as some countries are seeing women overtake men in enrollment and achievement at colleges and universities, it could be tempting to ask if it’s still necessary to devote a day to girls. At Teach For All, our work is dedicated to ensuring that ALL children can fulfill their potential, and to creating a better ecosystem of support for all kids. …


Dad (far left, standing) with his most of his brothers. I’m certain his beloved Budweiser is in that red cup.

He was furious. Dad was always ready for a good laugh, so the look of disgust on his face was new to me. He sat up straight on the edge of the couch with a beer in one hand and the remote control pressed angrily in the other, all 110 pounds and 5'5" of him leaning into bitterly flicking the channel away from the offending program. I was about ten years old and completely delighted to have learned something new about my father: he passionately hated the Dallas Cowboys.

It therefore seems fitting that the last conversation I had with…


When one of my best friends told me that she had been sexually assaulted during a job interview, my first reaction was to rage. Yes, I raged against the man who had put his hands on her and asked her to do disgusting things. But I also raged against my friend — against her sitting there, against her decision not to report him and tear his company down, against her “letting him do it.” I cried, I shouted, I fumed. She sat there. My fear and powerlessness, my rage that was unlike anything I’d ever felt before, consumed me.

A…


Surely the most serious accusation leveled against Beyoncé and her visual album, Lemonade, is that she exploited the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others when she placed them in her video, trading on their tears to generate controversy and sales. Similar accusations were made when she included footage from Katrina-wrecked New Orleans in the video for “Formation.” Katrina was over 10 years ago; Martin was killed in 2012. In the years since, Bey has mostly been presented as having fairly mild political or race-related opinions. …

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