Affinity Connection, Identity Exploration, and Leadership Coaching, Collaboration, and Support

Exclusively for Heads of AISNE Member Schools!
Join us for this multi-part virtual learning experience facilitated by Martha Haakmat, centered on being a Head of Color in predominantly white schools and leadership structures. This cohort is designed to engage each participant in conversation, community, and development. AISNE first established this cohort during the 2021-22 school year. This year the cohort will continue to offer support, encouragement, and leadership growth, and will build on members’ collective experiences. We plan to welcome and onboard new Heads of Color who choose to join this year’s cohort with the group who participated last year and are returning for more collaboration and collective wisdom this year.


Seven synchronous sessions:

  • Thursday, September 15 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM
  • Thursday, October 13  | 12:00 1:00 PM
  • Thursday, November 17 | 12:00 1:00 PM
  • Tuesday, January 24 | 12:00 1:00 PM | In-Person! 
  • Thursday, February 16 | 12:00 1:00 PM
  • Thursday, April 13 | 12:00 1:00 PM
  • Thursday, May 11 | 12:00 1:00 PM

Presented virtually via Zoom meetings. The January 24 meeting will be in-person prior to the AISNE 2023 Heads’ Retreat.



If you have a question about this cohort, please contact us at This is a seven-part workshop. Your ticket reserves your spot for all seven sessions.


About the Cohort

Discussion is important—in our schools and in the world. Discussion in affinity spaces and working together as a cohort helps provide support to one another.  This cohort is designed to help each person work to develop and hone their identity and leadership. 

AISNE recognizes the unique opportunities and challenges of being a head of color in predominantly white schools and leadership structures. As an organization committed to structural change for equity and inclusion, we want to create a space and offer support for the building of this heads of color peer network.

From this cohort experience, you can expect to:

  • Carve out time for individual reflection and goal setting.
  • Devote time for collaborative goal setting for the group (in the first session). This will be an opportunity to share what you want and need from this time together, both from the cohort facilitator, Martha Haakmat, and from peers.
  • Share current successes and/or dilemmas at the start of each cohort session. Your input helps to surface priority topics for the group. 
  • Engage in topical “mini workshops” as needed/desired. This is an opportunity for brief information presented with group processing and application to our various school communities.
  • Create the time, space, and opportunity for resource sharing.  Heads can share information, techniques, and ideas.


About the Facilitator

Martha Haakmat is an experienced educator who has spent her 36-year career teaching and leading in New York City independent schools. She brings a depth of understanding and perspective to her work, having held various faculty and leadership positions in a wide variety of school communities. Coming from her most recent service as a head of school, Martha worked specifically on enrollment, marketing, and finance in a changing admissions landscape, and she developed strategic planning expertise, which included diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goal setting and ongoing systemic work. She is now the Executive Director of Haakmat Consulting LLC, providing leadership coaching and support for DEI strategic planning for schools and other organizations.

Martha is a former lower, middle and upper school educator, Diversity Director, and Middle School Head. She was a faculty member for the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS ) Institute for New Heads, has served as an independent school trustee, and has been a member of various committees for (NAIS), the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), the Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY) and New York City Guild of Independent School Heads. She was also the founder and director of Educators for Growth and Empowerment (EDGE), a diversity consulting team with regional and national recognition.

Martha currently serves on the Board of Trustees for NYSAIS, the Brearley School, and Early Steps. She is also a lead presenter for the NAIS Institute for New Heads and is a credentialed Montessori administrator.

“My vision is a world where schools and organizations are built upon and ‘operating from’ strong foundations for equity and justice, and where the people in them are inspired to be their best selves.” ~ Martha Haakmat


Cancellation Policy

Virtual Events
Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to Cancellations will receive a 100% refund less a $25 administrative fee. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 24 hours before the start of the event, or first event of a series of events.

In-Person Events
Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to Cancellations received up to 14 days before the start of the event will receive a 100% refund less a $25 administrative fee. Cancellations received within 14 days of the start of the event will receive a refund less a $100 fee. This fee covers the cost of our minimum commitments with our hotel partners; thank you for your understanding. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 24 hours before the start of the event.

Not an AISNE Member?

Become part of a network of more than 260 schools across New England. Enjoy opportunities for your entire school staff and faculty to connect with and learn from peers, and engage in high quality professional development. AISNE is here to support your school’s excellence and continuous improvement.

Join today or renew your membership.