13. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Independent School Marketing with Valaida Wise and Jen Cort

In this episode, we talk with Val and Jen about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in independent schools, what it means to practice DEI, justice, and access without being performative, and how working with a consultant can help independent schools be leaders of change.

About Valaida Wise and Jen Cort:

Dr. Valaida L. Wise is the President of Dr. Valaida Wise Consulting, LLC. The firm supports schools and other organizations in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, governance, and leadership. She is also a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD where she teaches diversity, equity, inclusion, and issues of social justice. Her research interests center on exploring the lived experience of families of color in independent schools and the application of a broaching framework in organizations. An educator for more than 25 years, Dr. Wise has served as the Head of School of several independent schools in the Washington DC region. Additionally, she serves on the board of several professional organizations and independent schools.

Jen Cort is a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice consultant working with schools and organizations in multiple countries. As an educator and clinical social worker, Jen has served as an assistant head of lower school, head of a middle school, and senior administrator as well as a counselor in lower, middle, and upper schools and private practice. Jen works with groups to create sustainable and systemic change and to live out their missions regarding diversity and inclusion. ​ Jen has keynoted at national conferences, hosts a diversity institute, is a frequent contributor to publications, and her work has been quoted in Racing Toward Diversity, Insights, NAIS Independent Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, New York Times, and more. Jen is the host of an internationally syndicated podcast Third Space With Jen Cort.

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