(February 2023) On February 15th, community leaders from Lynn joined school leaders from KIPP Massachusetts on a virtual panel discussing what it means to be a Black Leader in 2023.
The panel consisted of KIPP Massachusetts Executive Director Nikki Barnes, KIPP Academy Lynn Elementary School 4th grade Assistant Principal Shavonne Floyd, President of the NAACP North Shore Branch Dr. Kenann Mckenzie and Founder and President of North Shore Juneteenth Association Nicole McClain. The panel was moderated by KIPP Lynn’s Family and Community Engagement Manager Julielys Ortiz-Leger.
Our panelists gathered as Black leaders in their communities to discuss what that means to them and the work that they do every day. The panelists bonded over sharing stories of their ancestors, what brought them to the field of education, and how they are helping pave the way for future generations of Black leaders.
“Being a black leader for me meant a lot of responsibility. Not only my role and the impact I want to make but also who will be coming to fill these seats behind me. I don’t take that lightly.” Shavonne Floyd said, also mentioning that growing up, she did not have any Black teachers or leaders in her school until she went to college.
The women discussed the theme for Black History Month 2023, which is Resilience, and how that shows up in their work. A common thread from the evening was prioritizing laughter and rest, because as Dr. Mckenzie puts it, “It is really a life saving activity to allow yourself to exhale.”
The full panel can be viewed here on YouTube.