#EdTalk: Mosaic Fellows Convene at Four-Day Retreat in Smithville, Tennessee

This past Decem­ber fif­teen excep­tion­al edu­ca­tion lead­ers from across the state of Ten­nessee came togeth­er in rural Smithville, Ten­nessee.  Over the course of four days, the Mosaic Fel­lows learned about one anoth­er, and began to explore their own jour­ney and role as edu­ca­tion lead­ers of col­or.  The Mosaic Fel­low­ship is a trans­for­ma­tion­al strat­e­gy to devel­op and con­nect edu­ca­tion lead­ers of col­or to enact change and ele­vate their voic­es to ensure equi­ty and excel­lence in edu­ca­tion in Ten­nessee.

I think this was a pro­found expe­ri­ence for every­one involved,” said Vil­maris González, engage­ment & lead­er­ship devel­op­ment man­ager at Conex­ión Améri­c­as. “The rus­tic set­ting in rural Ten­nessee was the per­fect back­drop for our Fel­lows to step away from their dai­ly work and ful­ly immerse them­selves in the Mosaic expe­ri­ence,” González con­tin­ued.

The Smithville meet­ing is the first of four sem­i­nars that will take place over the next year. The Mosaic Fel­lows are part of an inten­sive expe­ri­ence that fea­tures thought-pro­vok­ing read­ings and dis­cus­sions about lead­er­ship, diver­si­ty, and impor­tant issues in pub­lic edu­ca­tion and social change.The Mosaic Fel­low­ship is designed to deeply inter­ro­gate and wrestle with the his­to­ry and tra­jec­to­ry of edu­ca­tion with­in Ten­nessee and lever­age the fel­lows’ exist­ing skills, knowl­edge and expe­ri­ences in order to cre­ate change for stu­dents in Ten­nessee.

Togeth­er, the Mosaic Fel­lows form a com­mu­ni­ty of tal­ent­ed lead­ers whose aim is to devel­op inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to com­plex and entrenched edu­ca­tion­al chal­lenges in Ten­nessee. This tal­ent­ed group of lead­ers of col­or are reimag­in­ing and improv­ing pub­lic edu­ca­tion in Ten­nessee, and rep­re­sent com­mu­ni­ties that are cur­rent­ly under­served by our pub­lic schools.

Ten­nessee has seen remark­able trans­for­ma­tion in our edu­ca­tion land­scape over the last decade, yet we still have large groups of stu­dents who are being left behind. It is our col­lec­tive respon­si­bil­i­ty to ensure that a diverse group of lead­ers are help­ing shape and inform solu­tions to our com­plex edu­ca­tion­al chal­lenges,” said Gini Pupo-Walk­er, Senior Direc­tor of Edu­ca­tion Pol­i­cy and Pro­grams at Conex­ión Améri­c­as, “We believe that to cre­ate real and last­ing impact we must have lead­ers equipped to lead the change we want to see in our edu­ca­tion sys­tem. Our goal is to build a cadre of skilled, con­nect­ed, and empow­ered lead­ers that can help move all of Tennessee’s stu­dents for­ward.”

For more infor­ma­tion about the Mosaic Fel­low­ship, vis­it www.tnedequity.org/mosaic-fellowship.

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