10 Years: A Prepared Journey



Born of the Civil Rights & Black Power movements, I went on to graduate from an HBCU. By birth, education, and calling I am prepared to speak up for racial justice, educational equity, and when necessary interrupt systems that disrupt them.

Ten years ago, I had an unforgettable conversation with our then head of lower school, Sandy Shaller. He was quite distraught over the fact that an upper school student, who began their indy school journey in the lower division, was now being asked to leave. Sandy and I talked at length about the rewards and challenges an independent school poses for students of color and the narrow road their families find themselves navigating for an elite education. It has been ten years since he declared, “I wish I had a bible I could give parents of color for the journey.”. I left that meeting tasking myself and others to provide a resource that would prepare the way for families of color.

Resources Independent School Education, also known as RIISE or  4RIISE, celebrates its 10th year building bridges between families of color and the culture of independent schools. We have not done it alone. Families of color lift up our community by taking the chance on applying and enrolling in independent schools as they prepare the next generation of doers and changemakers. The commitment of member schools supports their goal of institutional equity, inclusion, and diversity.

We are prepared to assist families with awareness and access to viable ways to achieve social-emotional balance in predominantly white and affluent academic institutions. Our rich network of thought-leaders and stakeholders are also prepared to support and elevate academic and developmental excellence with PK-12 independent school education.

We’ve learned a lot over the past 10 years. Revelations, both heart-warming and sobering, have helped RIISE assemble ten key strategies for embracing opportunities and challenging systems for overall success. To celebrate, we are revealing ‘What We’ve Learned’ in 10-short blog posts (starting April 5) at 4RIISE.org.

We are super honored and thrilled to walk with you. Thank you for your engagement and advocacy.

Ten years. It’s just the start!


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