It has been almost two months since the horrific death of George Floyd, and I already sense a collective eagerness to “move on” and to “get back to normal.” It can be comforting to return to routines, systems, and a world that we know. It can be comforting, that is, if you are white, like I am. But “back to normal” will not bring us closer to racial equity. The “fierce urgency of now” reminds us that “this is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. implored more than 50 years ago.

I will be the first to admit that change is hard. It takes intentionality, focus, and discipline. I also know that change takes all of us, as individuals and as a collective. And true change must start from inside. For my local school district, for my community, and for NSBA, that change begins with me. I’m inviting you as locally elected school board members to hold me accountable.

I am focused on three dimensions: learning, reflection, and action. One of the tools I am using is the YWCA’s 21 Day Racial Equity Challenge, which provides some structure to my learning. It also forces me to consider uncomfortable ideas and concepts like white privilege, unconscious bias, white fragility, complicity, and systemic racism. Each of these terms makes me squirm, a sign to my brain and my heart that these are exactly the places for me to explore. Learning can help change the mind; courageous reflection can help change the heart. And with the heart and mind together, we can then take action to make positive changes.

As I work through this journey within myself, I lean on the amazing team at NSBA and my local school board, many of whom are already further along this path. We are learning together, reflecting on where we are and how we will make authentic and meaningful changes. I can imagine these changes will affect how we operate internally and how we deliver our programming to our members. I invite your thoughts, ideas, and resources. You can send me a direct note at

Education is about recognizing and valuing the vast human diversity on this earth as well as understanding the wide societal disparities across our country and the globe. How can we teach our students about injustices in our world without shining a light on injustices in our own neighborhoods? There is much antiracism work to be done in our schools and our local communities. We must amplify the courageous work of organizations that have long been committed to ending structural racism as well as drive our own efforts to help make our schools, our communities, and our nation more equitable places.

Expect to hear from me again. This work does not end here.

Around NSBA

A group of high school students paint on canvases during an art class.

2023 Magna Awards Grand Prize Winners

School districts rethink and reinvent education for their students, staff, and communities.