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Leadership & Empowerment Team

 

Early this summer, a group of Mesquite ISD staff members formed the Leadership and Empowerment Team (LET) in an attempt to “remove any cultural-, gender- and race-related obstacles to ensure MISD students become the leaders they want to be.” The committee was formed after district leaders had conversations with students when the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests against racism and police brutality. LET includes staff, students, recent alumni, and representatives from the community and Mesquite ISD Board of Trustees.

LET is led by Daniel Norwood, the district’s social studies coordinator and an alumnus of Mesquite ISD; Jennifer Morris, director of professional learning; and Mesquite High School principal Gerald Sarpy.


Purpose:

  • To promote inclusion, justice, and equity in our school district.

  • To collaborate and identify initiatives that best support students.

  • To develop student leadership skills in overcoming obstacles 

  • To analyze student data in order to recommend school and/or community interventions.

  • Work with the district to engage community voices.

Desired Outcomes:

  • To promote equity within the leadership pipeline of the district.

  •  To communicate and promote the policies and positive work being done by the district around the issues of equity, diversity, bias, and inclusion. 

  •  To provide learning opportunities for campus leaders and teachers around the issues of equity, diversity, bias, and inclusion.

  • To cultivate campuses that ensure inclusion, justice, and equity and provide avenues for our students' voices to be heard 

  • To provide classroom opportunities for students to gain an understanding of social leadership and self-advocacy



The LET's talk Podcast: New Episodes Released Every Tuesday

Mesquite ISD’s newly formed leadership and empowerment team launched a podcast to support its goal of knocking down barriers of race, gender and culture “to ensure MISD students become the leaders they want to be.

The new podcast, “LET’s Talk,” will give team members and district leaders a venue to dig into topics of racial and gender equality as well as what the district is doing to address related issues. Who better to kick off this podcast as the first guest than our award-winning superintendent? After all, Dr. V inspired the LET's initiative to knock down racial, gender and cultural barriers to student success.

With three episodes recorded and two having aired, the podcast is already earning fans. The second episode's guest was Aimianne Bailey, the Mesquite High School librarian, a white high school librarian who grew up as a student in Mesquite and is now an outspoken advocate of anti-racism. “I was driving and sobbing simultaneously,” one MISD employee wrote on Facebook about the podcast episode featuring her. “So PROFOUNDLY important.” Another said, “I stayed up until midnight to listen. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.”

Through this new podcast, you will hear first-hand how MISD works daily to provide equitable learning environments for all. After all, LET's goal is to ensure students are on equal playing fields to propel them into the leaders they want to be.

Here’s an example of how the podcast proved its potential value already. This had to be added before the second two episodes aired. “Though this podcast episode was pre-recorded, we acknowledge that current issues and events such as the Aug. 23 Jacob Blake shooting are painful to our community and why our podcast conversations are necessary.”

Listen Here

Five Key Areas of LET

1. Student Leadership

2. Professional Development

3. Leadership Development

4. Human Resources

5. Communication