The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) is proud to announce that two staff members have been selected for the Equity Lab's transformative Nexus Fellowship. Leslie Wilson and Cindy Baumert join the 2022-23 cohort of the prestigious fellowship, comprised of 16 individuals representing eight organizations from across the U.S. They join a growing national network of non-profit, philanthropic, corporate, and civic leaders looking to address race and equity issues in their communities.
Having two staff members participate in the Nexus Fellowship reflects NCFL's commitment to building equitable and inclusive learning spaces that prioritize the voices of families furthest from opportunity.
“We need more agents of change if we are going to interrupt the systemic racial inequities that permeate our laws, policies, and organizational practices,” says Michelle Molitor, founder and executive director of The Equity Lab. “We are thrilled to support this group of courageous, bold leaders from around the country who seek to steer their organizations—and our country—toward a more equitable future.”
The Nexus Fellowship is a year-long personalized leadership program that prioritizes equity, deliberately combining the best in leadership, equity, and management training. In addition to four week-long residencies, Fellows receive dedicated coaching, a virtual learning community, and resources to help drive transformational change in themselves, their organizations, and their communities.
As a Senior Training Specialist at NCFL, Leslie Wilson primarily provides technical support and professional development to the Family and Child Education (FACE) program, a initiative funded by the Bureau of Indian Education that supports American Indian families. She also lends her expertise in early childhood education to support a variety of NCFL Family Literacy and Family Learning programs. Leslie brings over 23 years of education experience in early childhood education and family engagement to NCFL. She has taught and worked with learners of all ages and their families both domestically and internationally. She holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education, a Masters in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and an administrator certification.
As NCFL's Manager of Seed Projects, Cindy Baumert supports various family leadership and community engagement initiatives. She brings a strong background in family and community engagement as the former director of a statewide parent leadership program in Kentucky and the co-author of The Missing Piece of the Proficiency Puzzle: Recommendations for Involving Families and Community in Improving Student Achievement, a report commissioned by the Kentucky Department of Education. Cindy has 20 years’ experience as an education policy advocate at the local, state, and national level for students who have learning disabilities and students who receive free and reduced-price meals, and their families. Prior to her career in education advocacy, she owned a software development company and was an IBM marketing representative. Cindy holds a Master's in Engineering from the University of Louisville Speed Scientific School.
The Fellowship pushes leaders and organizations beyond the conversation of racial equity and into the work of sustaining racial equity in practice. Participants and their organizations receive expert training in four key areas: self, adaptive leadership, technical leadership, and the equityXdesign process. Fellows had to demonstrate support and commitment from their organizational leadership at the highest levels to be selected for the fellowship.
NCFL congratulates Leslie and Cindy!
For more information about the Nexus Fellowship and the Equity Lab, visit theequitylab.org.