Layoff and March 15th letters – our version of March Madness

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2023

Yes, I know it's April and technically we are supposed to be well out of March Madness, but that couldn’t be further from the truth from educators and the educational community. We have a different type of March Madness which involves the decades old tradition of handing out March 15th notices, also known as pink slips, to employees in various levels of services for a myriad of reasons.

Sometimes they are for performance reasons, but often it is a matter of fit, style, power struggles, personality and characteristics that have little to nothing to do with job performance. That makes April the time when positions are shifting, being posted and educators that are unsure of their futures have the dual role of continuing their duties through the end of the year serving students and families while revising their resumes and interviewing.

To ease the tensions of this time of the year which is also riddled with the oh so fun world of standardized testing, final exams, end of year...

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A Journey to Liberation Holiday Tip #1

Uncategorized Nov 28, 2022

Importance of Interrupting Racist Jokes, Statements or Commentary

That time of year is coming, especially beginning with this week, when families will travel long distances and make arrangements to see one another and share a meal together in gratitude. With this time of year comes the ability to form lasting memories together. It is also a time when people with different viewpoints within the same family could lead to potential conflict. While I am not advocating for anyone to intentionally go into this time of year with their guard up, it is critical that if you know viewpoints may be shared that you do not agree with, you get prepared to address it or avoid it to ensure you and your family are not adversely affected by it.

Addressing racism, sexism, homophobia, antisemitism, anti-blackness or any other form of identifying oppression is never easy. While we advocate for calling in vs. calling out to avoid embarrassment and have maximum impact in changing mindsets, this is not...

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Courageous Family Leadership Reflection

Uncategorized Nov 27, 2022

"Dr. Shelley,

I realized that much of what I have learned was because of what I was exposed to coming up and while we are a conscious family, I have strived to keep my kids young as long as I could.

As we reflect on the month of October, I must share with you a parenting mess that we had to turn into a message. So, every year my girlfriend who is in love with Halloween creates a theme and wants her friends to participate in what she calls a Glamoween photoshoot and Ladies’ Day Lunch. Well, this year’s theme was The Black Panthers, so you already know I was pumped! I couldn’t wait to get online and order my stuff not only because I would finally be in town for one of these after many years living out of state, but come on now you know that this has me written all over for so many reasons!"

So we do our photo shoot and lunch tradition and I get home and show my 12-year-old daughter the pictures of me and her aunties in The Black Panthers photo shoot that...

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EARN: Couples Retreats and Family Vacations

Uncategorized Sep 06, 2022

When we first got married, we could only afford one vacation a year, and for a while there, we started to dread it because we would take the kids, of course, and it was anything but relaxing. After the stress of traveling with 4, 5, and sometimes all 6 kids, then getting to a resort or a cruise where we would still have to manage schedules, keep them entertained and fed, then try to squeeze in some fun time, it was more exhilarating for them than us. Most of our kids and my husband are extroverts, while my oldest son and I are introverts, so what is relaxing and rejuvenating for them is exhausting for us, and conversely, what we see as relaxing they view as dull. They wanted to be out around people partying and doing activities, and he and I brought a stack of work, books, and paperwork that we wanted nothing more than to be left alone to complete. Vacations have become this delicate dance of balancing and compromising to meet everyone’s needs. By the time we returned,...

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LEARN: How are you preparing your child for courageous leadership where they learn?

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2022

Recently, I read a LinkedIn post where a mother spoke about an incident with the students in her son’s upcoming high school classes. Long story short, an African American male student joined his first high school 9th-grade zoom meet and greet group. While awaiting the start of the meeting, a white appearing female student felt comfortably compelled to comment that he looked like a “weed-smoking drug dealer.” He calmly responded, calling out her racially charged comment only to then be gaslighted by other white appearing classmates as they logged on. It wasn’t until another white student called them out for terrorizing this young man that they remotely began to see the error of their ways. Many levels of analysis can be done on the background of this situation and how telling it is about our society when children behaving in a terrorizing way has become normalized.

That will be for another time.

As the focus of this series is about returning...

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LIVE: Is Your Family Leadership Truly a Priority?

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2022

5 Questions to support Courageous Goal Setting

As we all prepare for our children to return to the hustle and bustle of “normalized in-person” schooling, we, as parents and family leaders, are all considering how we will manage the shift back to school. On top of the “normal” challenges that this time of year brings as we wind down the days of sleeping in during the summer and trade them for busy mornings of getting kids and ourselves out the door with lunches, homework, and all of the things. We are doing this while still dealing with the aftermath (well, maybe) of the Covid-19 health pandemic, ongoing and new wars, a worldwide continued racial uprising combined with a fluctuating and uncertain financial outlook, and historic levels of political unrest and division. When considering that, mainly related to education which has been underfunded, marginally successful, and under full attack from all sides, there is little that will be normal about our precious...

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The High Price of Hate: You Can’t Have My Son or My Soul!

family leadership Mar 24, 2021

“We do not inherit the world from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” - African Proverb.

For a parent, losing your child to hate is by far the worst nightmare imaginable. We were spared this pain and used the experience to spark a flame for helping people address issues of oppression in the schools, workplaces, and now communities of families. The prices that operationalized hate costs organizations, companies, and families have always been high and are steadily rising. Whether in lawsuits, recruiting, training, or retraining employees, mental anguish, shortened lifespans, epigenetic trauma, or broken families, the high price of hate continues to impact us all.

We began on a journey to address the very seeds of systemic racism that we know exist in corporations, organizations, and institutions all around us after almost losing our oldest son to racialized hate in a former sundown community. Thankfully he is doing fantastic as a college student-athlete...

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How Has The World Acknowledged The Harm Of Slavery?

In the simplest terms, it hasn’t, which has caused an excessive amount of consternation and cognitive dissonance in America and around the world. As racialized violence continues to spread, it appears that the nation is still not ready to acknowledge the pain and harm caused by the enslavement of people of African descent. Recently, while reading Caste by _____, I came across a segment where it speaks to the challenges Nazi Germany was having in considering what to do about its “Jewish problem.” As they looked worldwide at how people were treating the undesirables in their communities, they spoke to the way America was lunching, burning, tar and feathering, and other heinous acts of brutality against people of African descent too brutal. As such, they chose to go with gas chambers as a more “humane method to dispose of the undesirables” in their communities.

Aside from the fact that human beings are being labeled as “undesirable,” it should...

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How Do You Know You're Not Raising a Karen?

"Family leadership is the education our children need most that the educational system was not built to provide!"

– Dr Shelley

How are you intentionally leaving your family for a legacy of anti-oppression in this pivotal time?
How are you talking, listening, and educating your children about our current moments in society?
How do you know you are not raising Ken's Karen's or victims?
My husband Arthur Holt and I are doing this through intentional efforts to live, model, and educate on the five pillars of family leadership Legacy:
  • Home leadership
  • Relational leadership
  • Personal leadership
  • Financial leadership
  • Professional career leadership
Knowledge, implementation, communication, and balance. We Are Better Together!
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Are You An Intentionally Anti-Racist Parent?

Understanding politics from the perspective of the historically oppressed and its relationship with our chosen profession is part of the hard work of addressing structural racism.

Teaching our children to think about issues from multiple perspectives is part of being an intentionally anti-racist parent. Maybe one of these 10 Best Political Books of 2020 by Black Women will help.
How are you doing on your HOMEwork?
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