Dr. Nicole Evans

Leading for Equity: The Embracing Equity Leadership Residency

5 minute read
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“I have participated in diversity, equity and inclusion development for over 20 years. Embracing Equity, by far, has been the most transformative work that I have completed.

I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn deeply.

— Dr. Nicole Evans, Principal

In my seventeen years serving as a principal, I have faced a variety of challenges in my commitment to centering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within my school and my leadership practice.

My primary challenges were in gaining the support and buy-in of critical stakeholders and in determining an implementation plan for systemic change.

Educational leaders must first gain the support of staff, families, board of directors, and often a district-- all of whom require a foundational understanding of the importance of integrating DEI practices before a leader is given the “OK” to move forward. And once support is gained, leaders are often times overwhelmed with where to begin the work.

To date, few educational organizations have meaningfully approached DEI work beyond hiring external consultants for drop-in professional development, utilizing more recently available “equity toolkits” such as diverse book lists,  engaging in classroom discussions of current events in the news within a social studies block, or checking the box of ‘multiculturalism’ through feasts and festivals.

Without a network of support and a solid plan for implementing DEI practices, this work has the tendency to “fall off” of leaders’ plates when they are faced with competing priorities. I contend, however, that diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice mindsets, practices, and structures ARE the plate on which all other priorities lie, live, and build upon.

By centering diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice, educational leaders have the opportunity to develop an organizational vision that guides the systemic change required to foster educational equity and create learning environments in which all children thrive.

So what needs to happen? What is our call to action as leaders?

I Invite YOU to Join Embracing Equity for the inaugural Leadership Residency!


As an alumni of their online and in-person programs, I believe Embracing Equity needs to be in as many schools as possible and I am pleased to be a part of the inaugural cohort of the Leadership Residency as a coach and facilitator.

This Residency is a game-changer.

It speaks directly to the challenges I faced during my time as a school principal. We will give you the tools you need to develop a brave, anti-racist community within your organization, to plan and facilitate sustained DEI professional development for your team, and to transform your organizational culture, climate, and structure for equity.

And, most importantly, you’ll be digging into this work with the support and coaching of the Embracing Equity team alongside a cohort of leaders who share your same passion.

It is time to move past awareness and create real work that is actualizing self-care for adults (racism is emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining) and gives folx a place to dismantle and interrupt systemic oppression in a nurturing cohort of leaders who share a commitment to educational equity.

I hope I’ve piqued your interest and that you will consider joining us at the Embracing Equity Leadership Residency this year! This is a movement and we will keep working, disrupting, and embracing as an expression of our commitment to justice.

Applications Are Open for the 2020-2021 Cohort through NOVEMBER 30TH


About the Author

Dr. Nicole Evans (she/her) has been in the education field all of her life. She grew up in the home of an educator and was always following her role model, her dad, around while spending many hours in his classrooms. Dr. Evans has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Harris-Stowe University, a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Maryville University. She has been an Assistant Principal and Principal for the past 17 years. Dr. Evans is a leadership coach and facilitator with Embracing Equity.

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