News and Events

Announcing our Keynote Panelists for Thriving Organizations Event (August 6, 2021)

POSTED ON July 12, 2021

The calls to re-imagine schools have inspired many of us in the youth development field to look internally. We reflect on where our organizations are currently at and the steps that we can take to make sure that all staff feel supported, included, and socially and emotionally well.

In April at Thriving as a Leader in Changing Times — our first event in our Thriving Leaders Series — we created a space to reflect and imagine. For our second event on August 6, we offer an opportunity to learn tangible practices and approaches that center racial equity so that your team or organizational culture can authentically support staff well-being.

Building an Organizational Culture That Supports Your Team to Thrive
August 6, 2021
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Button to register

Our day will begin with a panel of colleagues in the youth development field, moderated by ChrisTiana ObeySumner — Principal and Owner, Epiphanies of Equity. This inspiring keynote panel will have four leaders from two different organizations. We have asked our keynote panelists to reflect on the following questions:

  • What specific practices have made you feel a sense of belonging and well-being in teams and organizations, as you reflect on your own identity?
  • What are specific anti-racist leadership practices that you apply in your work with colleagues? What are examples of what this looks like in action?
  • What is the impact of these kinds of practices? How does it affect outcomes for the organization, your teams, or the community you serve?

Register today and join us on August 6th as we dive deeper into skills and practices that enable individuals to feel valued and teams to be their most creative and collaborative.

We are thrilled to announce our keynote panelists below, and we look forward to hearing how they create inclusive staff and team cultures. (Stay tuned for the next announcement of our workshop presenters!)

Opening Plenary: Anti-Racist Leadership Practices
Keynote Panelists
9:00-10:00 AM

Photo of Harmony Wright with a black solidarity mural in the background.
Harmony Wright
Program Manager
City Year Seattle, King County

Harmony graduated from Seattle Central with a BAS in Applied Behavioral Health. Since she was a child, she has been involved in community organizing in some way. In college, she co-founded the group Women of Color for Systemic Change, where they advocated for social change and provided a platform for other youth to speak their truth. She continues her advocacy today with her community and the youth she works with. Harmony has worked with youth for seven years. She has spent 3.5 years building youth-led, adult-supported race and equity programming with Seattle Parks & Recreation in the Youth Employment Service-Learning Department. She is now the Program Manager at City Year where she works with eight AmeriCorps Members (ACMs). With this work she provides space for ACMs to advocate for themselves, teaches them to create student-led spaces, and works with them to build academic and SEL support for students.

Photo of Tara Francis with a colorful mural in the background.
Tara Francis
Program Director
City Year Seattle, King County

Tara has had the privilege of working in various education and community-based roles, including working with Reading Partners and the YMCA. Tara is always focusing on impactful and equitable programming and culturally responsive practices. In her current role as Program Director with City Year, she supports five schools and their program managers, and she serves on the site impact leadership team leading site-wide visioning. Tara has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Washington and an MSc in International Development from the University of Edinburgh. Outside of work you can find her traveling, spending time outside gardening or mountain biking, and sharing good food with friends and family.

Photo of Elizabeth Hodges with a scenic beach view in the background.
Elizabeth Hodges
Executive Director
Communities in Schools of Seattle

Elizabeth Hodges joined Communities In Schools of Seattle as Executive Director in June 2019, bringing to the role nearly twenty years of progressive non-profit leadership experience as well as a strong commitment to youth development and underserved communities. A Seattle native, Elizabeth credits Seattle Public Schools with giving her the foundation needed to successfully earn her MSW and BA from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. Elizabeth spends her free time with her husband trying new restaurants, looking for great coffee shops, and enjoying local parks.

Photo of Nicole DiMichele with a scenic mountain view in the background.
Nicole DiMichele
Deputy Director
Communities in Schools of Seattle

Nicole DiMichele is the Deputy Director at Communities In Schools of Seattle, where she manages school partnerships and supports a team of front line staff tackling dropout prevention in Seattle Public Schools. Nicole has spent the past ten years working to build more equitable and connected communities through a combination of direct service, program management, and community organizing in Detroit and Seattle. Nicole holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Social Work and the Arts and Humanities from Michigan State University, and she holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan. She is passionate about equity in education and loves working at the intersection of school-community partnerships to ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. When she’s off the clock, you can find Nicole hiking through the PNW, making fresh pasta, or curled up with a cup of coffee, her cat, and a good book.