The role of a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging practitioner in an independent school is dynamic and multifaceted. You engage with every school constituent—including students, families, faculty and staff, and trustees—to plan and execute strategies that create organizational change.

AISNE’s DEIB Practitioners Cohort is a yearlong program aimed at DEIB leadership development in New England schools. Over a series of virtual and in-person meetings, you will discuss the current opportunities and challenges of the field, share your professional triumphs and tribulations, and receive leadership coaching aimed at creating enduring system change in your community.

You will learn alongside peers, led by acclaimed educational leader Martha Haakmat, who has worked with independent schools nationwide on comprehensive and systemic DEIB action planning, leveled training, and assessment. Martha will lead your cohort through topic presentations, case studies, discussions, and peer problem-solving.

Your fellow learners will consist of Directors of DEIB and other similar roles from around the region. It will be a place to forge and fortify deep professional relationships, engage in generative conversations, find support and creative feedback for your ideas, and explore the current and future landscape of the profession.

Topics covered include:

  • Exploring best practices in DEIB leadership
  • Interpreting and using quantitative and qualitative data
  • Strategizing engagement and stakeholder relationships
  • Co-creating the growth of DEIB in independent schools
  • Examining your leadership self-journey

The DEIB Practitioners Cohort is an 8-part program. Martha will lead 4 of these sessions with rich presentations and learning resources. The intervening sessions will create space for peer presentations, networking, and group support to build a powerfully connected regional group of DEIB leaders.

Invest in yourself and your community and reinvigorate your commitment to the values of DEIB work.

Dates & Registration

The DEIB Practitioners Cohort is an 8-part program, 5 sessions on Zoom, and 3 in-person. Your registration includes admission to all sessions, as well as access to learning materials and resources.

Cost: $499.

This cohort is included in the AISNE DEIB Practitioner Pro Pack, a bundle of professional development events discounted by 20%.

2024-2025 Dates

  • Session 1 | Tuesday, 9/24, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM | Virtual, led by Martha Haakmat
  • Session 2 | Wednesday, 10/23, 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM | In-Person, Sheraton Framingham, MA, led by Martha Haakmat (Breakfast Included)
  • Session 3 | Tuesday, 11/19, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM | Virtual, peer-led
  • Session 4 | Tuesday, 12/10, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM | Virtual, peer-led
  • Session 5 | Tuesday, 1/28, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM | In-Person, Wentworth by the Sea, New Castle, NH, led by Martha Haakmat (Lunch Included)
  • Session 6 | Tuesday, 3/4, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM | Virtual, peer-led
  • Session 7 | Tuesday, 4/8, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM | Virtual, peer-led
  • Session 8 | Tuesday, 5/6, 12:30 – 3:30 PM | In-Person, Location TBD, led by Martha Haakmat (Lunch Included)


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 NAIS Institute for New Heads, has served as an independent school trustee, and has been a member of various committees for the National Association of Independent Schools (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. Martha has led various programs for AISNE, including its Heads of Color leadership development cohort and workshops at AISNE’s annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference and Heads of School Retreat.

Join Your Peers

Last year’s cohort included esteemed New England DEIB leaders, including:

  • Ivy Alphonse-Crean, Director of DEI, Dedham Country Day School
  • Jaleesa Anselm, Director of DEI, Tenacre Country Day School
  • Jill Anthony, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Fay School
  • Eddie Buggie, Director of Inclusion & Community Life, Cushing Academy
  • Eddie Carson, Dean of Multicultural Education, The Governor’s Academy
  • Nerelly Checo, Asst. Principal, Director of Admissions & DEIA, Nativity School of Worcester
  • Caleb Collins, Director of Community & Diversity, Belmont Hill School
  • Rick DaSilva, Director of Community & Equity Affairs, St. Mark’s School
  • Alejandro Desince, Assistant Head of School for DEIB, Cambridge Friends School
  • Akilah Edgerton, Dean of Diversity & Inclusion, Berkshire School
  • Delonte Egwuatu, Chief Engagement and Inclusion Officer, Beaver Country Day School
  • Magdalena Gilman, Director of DEIB, New Hampton School
  • Laniesha Gray, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Shady Hill School
  • Elizabeth Grumbach, Lower School Faculty & DEI Practitioner, Moses Brown School
  • Kate Henderson, Associate Director of DEI, The Rivers School
  • Dennis Hill, Director of The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Boston College High School
  • Kerryn Hinds, Director of DEI, The Chestnut Hill School
  • Linda Hughes, Director of DEI, Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • Shanez’e Johnson, Assistant Upper School Dean for Equity and Inclusion, Bancroft School
  • Craig Jones, Director of DEIB, Bancroft School
  • Paula Lima Jones, Dean of Equity & Inclusion, Miss Hall’s School
  • Mattie Edwards Kemp, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Justice, Pennfield School
  • Jenny Jun-lei Kravitz, Director of DEI, The Rivers School
  • Rachel Nagler, Director of Community, Equity, and Inclusion, Dana Hall School
  • Terri Ofori, Dean of DEIB, Brooks School
  • Orlando Patterson, Associate Director of Community & Equity Affairs, St. Mark’s School
  • RoseMarie Wallace, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging, Tabor Academy
  • Ann-Marie White, Director of Diversity & Equity, The Putney School
  • Will Yarbrough, Assistant Director of DEI, Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations and transfer requests must be sent via email to Cancellations received up to 10 days before the start of the event will receive a 100% refund, less a $100 administrative fee. Transfers of registrations from one person to another are permitted up to 3 business days before the start of the event, or the first event of a series of events.

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