Martinez Fellowship Hopes to Support Emerging Leaders

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Martinez Fellowship hopes to support emerging leaders of color to build upon their current program support through a leadership track.

We already know that there aren’t enough teachers of color in Washington state schools. The current percentage of teachers of color in the state is just under 10%, while in comparison, students of color account for 40% of public school district’s population. TAF is already working to improve those numbers through our Martinez Fellowship program where we provide professional development, classroom support, and early career coaching to teachers of color. We aim to help them navigate the intricacies of teaching while minority – and still being cognisant of the individual demands of a culturally diverse classroom to bring about equitable learning experiences.

But, what about the next step for minority educators who desire to take their expertise to the next level and affect change within education on a larger scale?

We’ve learned something else.

There isn’t much support available for emerging leaders of color within education in the state. So far, a network doesn’t exist where minority teachers, administrators, and district leaders can come together to discuss how to improve diversity, equity, and cultural inclusion within their school and district. There is a blaring need for a safe place where leaders can discuss how diversity issues impact their work and future career goals. Teachers, who many times find themselves in positions of influence or unofficial leadership roles are sometimes left unsupported which oftentimes leads to burnout.

That’s why we’re interested in expanding the Martinez Fellowship program to include a “leadership development” track that will target our fellows with three or more years of teaching experience with hopes of attracting other minority members of the education community to participate as well. One of our goals within the fellowship program, is retaining teachers of color for at least five years, and supporting individuals that desire to affect the education system on a greater scale through leadership.

Please join us on Thursday, April 27th, 2017 for our first Martinez Educational Leadership Forum where you’ll have the opportunity to connect with leaders of color in our region and share your experiences navigating the education system to influence equitable change. It will be held 6:30-8:00pm at the TAF Bethaday Community Learning Space. We invite you to join in the conversation and invite those who might be interested in developing this work. Light appetizers will be provided.

RSVP here.

For more information, contact Cassandra Rodriguez at

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