Dear Flamboyan Community,
It’s been three months since I assumed the mantle as Flamboyan’s DC Executive Director. Transitioning into this role after three years leading our external affairs and communications work, I have had the benefit of experiencing Flamboyan at a time of strategic growth. And I am passionate about leading this work! As we center students and families most impacted by the systemic inequities that exist in this country by embedding real and authentic family engagement in schools and school systems, I am thinking deeply about what’s ahead for us at this moment of inflection. I am writing to update you on upcoming plans at Flamboyan and announce exciting news for our future work, including role openings on our team.
One thing I can’t get out of my bones is how we show up for communities in deepened ways with a realistic view of what they have lived through during this pandemic. There is the stark reality that many members of the communities with whom we work never had the opportunity to shelter in place with remote work for as long as we’ve had the privilege to do here at Flamboyan. For some, it wasn’t an option at all. Most of the educators we serve made their way back to school many months ago and most schools are expected to resume full-time in-person teaching and learning in the fall. We are determined to be ready to meet our partners wherever they are. It is with that in mind that we have made the decision to resume in-person work in the coming weeks with the utmost care and safety. The details of how that will happen are developing, but I want to share with you three things on my mind as I think about what is ahead: purpose, proximity, and people.
Undergirding our work in both DC and Puerto Rico is our purpose to ensure students most impacted by inequity are prepared to succeed in school and beyond. I believe this calling requires us to take an activist’s spirit and mission-oriented mindset. The work created in our DC office – to catalyze REAL Family Engagement within schools, school systems, and communities across the nation – is one that, looking ahead, means we will build on the strong foundations we have formed over our decade-long history.
For Flamboyan – as I imagine like many of you – this pandemic has been an apocalyptic event. It has revealed to us that, we must be working in much closer proximity to communities and one another as our work is highly relational. Our resolve to live out our purpose of making a difference for students most impacted by inequity means that we will draw closer to our communities, be embedded within them, and walk hand in hand in solidarity and in action with educators, leaders, and families. We will build on the community grantmaking work we launched during the pandemic, continue infusing anti-racism and anti-bias focus throughout our trainings and National Fellowship, and invest in surrounding our partner schools with differentiated supports through a deepened approach to our Family Engagement Partnership programming.
As we look forward, grounded in our purpose and with a commitment to being in proximity to the communities in which we work, we are investing in the team – our people. When I started in this role three months ago – and we made the decision to resume our in-person operations – we charged our staff to think deeply about how the pandemic has changed their lives. Personally, it has vastly changed how I am thinking about how I want to live, play, and work. For several of our team members, it has done the same and we find ourselves in a time of transition. Over the next nine months, we will unfreeze hires that were paused during the pandemic, hire new team members due to staff transitions, and continue investing in growth as part of our strategic priorities.
We are excited to announce the launch of seven (yes seven!) roles on our operations, external affairs, and program teams. If you have an activist’s spirit, share an unwavering commitment to anti-racism, and are ready to create community change, I want to talk to you! Please apply to one of these roles today. Not only are we hiring with zeal and care, but we are also hard at work to ensure our internal transitions are as seamless to our partners as possible. If you are currently a school or district Flamboyan partner, please be on the lookout for direct outreach from a Flamboyan team member in the next week or two.
I must admit, I find myself motivated during times of change, which is why I am drawn to times like the one in which we find ourselves now. I see them as opportunities to create a path forward that both honors the incredible contributions of the village that has gotten us to where we are and an opening for creative pathways to meet our aspirations.
At Flamboyan, we are in a season of forward. I know that by grounding in our purpose, with a deepened proximity to our partners, and a commitment to ensuring our people have what they need to do their best, we will support our partners in ways that achieve our mission to ensure students thrive.
|Executive Director, DC