AISNE Leadership and Racial Justice Fellows program logo. A mixture of five flower petals joined to make a circle.


Promoting and building racial justice in schools requires skilled and knowledgeable leaders. How can you develop your toolkit to reach your potential as a racial justice leader?

AISNE has created the Leadership & Racial Justice Fellows to provide you with an expansive space for leadership development and enriching learning focused on racial diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. You will join a like-minded cohort of emerging racial justice leaders facilitated by a team of experts in anti-racist organizational development during a deep, personalized, and experiential 3-day program.

The rigorous agenda will ask you to commit to courageous conversations and reflection on areas for personal and professional growth with leaders from across New England. You will build a supportive team through movement activities, facilitated group dialogues, and individual reflection.

Your program faculty will help you come away with:

  • An understanding of your leadership style and the ability to leverage your personal strengths to lead collective change for racial equity in your school.
  • An appreciation for how your own racial identity development creates opportunities for leadership.
  • An outline of what meaningful, lasting change for racial equity looks like in your school.
  • Techniques to sustain yourself as a joyful, energetic, and impactful leader of racial justice.
  • Ways to give and receive productive feedback on racial justice issues.
  • Solutions for technical and situational leadership challenges needed to advance your anti-bias/anti-racism work.


***SOLD OUT***

If you would like to join our wait list please email Eliza Alexander. You will be notified should a space become available.

Your registration includes:

  • Curriculum
  • 2 nights of hotel accommodations
  • All meals
  • Learning materials
  • Any pre- and post-program asynchronous and/or virtual sessions.

AISNE Leadership & Racial Justice Fellows
July 29 – 31
Hale Intrepid Academy
Hotel: Four Points Sheraton, Norwood

$1,800/$2,800 | AISNE Member/Non-Member, applications received by June 1.
$2,000/$3,000 | AISNE Member/Non-Member, applications received after June 1.



Space in the AISNE’s Leadership & Racial Justice Fellows is strictly limited in its inaugural year in order to create an inspired close-knit cohort of anti-racist leaders.  

AISNE warmly welcomes participants of all races, genders, religions, orientations, and abilities to join the Fellows program.

This program is designed for experienced and new heads of school, those who are considering headships, or other forms of top institutional leadership.

Program Faculty

Erica Pernell, Fellow Program Director
Erica Pernell is the Director of Intrepid Academy at Hale, a semester school for Boston Public School students focused on experiential learning and outdoor leadership. 

Erica has worked at the intersection of equity and education for over 15 years, including nine years as a teacher and administrator in independent schools. She partners with schools and organizations to create more equity and justice in education, and works as a consultant, speaker, and strategist in the Greater Boston area. Taking a solutions-oriented approach, Erica uses a growth mindset to empower individuals and communities to examine current issues, imagine ideal outcomes, and take steps to make transformation real.


Jadihel Taveras, Lead Faculty
Jadihel (Jadi) Taveras is the Head of School at Esperanza Academy, an all girls middle school with a 12 year commitment to its students. 

Before his tenure at Esperanza, Jadi served as Dean of Multicultural Education at The Governor’s Academy and Associate Dean of Students at The Putney School. Jadi has led the development and implementation of restorative justice, a culturally responsive curriculum, and programmatic expansion at Esperanza Academy. In 2020, Jadi committed to his first term as a member of AISNE’s Board of Directors. In addition, he currently serves on the board of The Mariposa Foundation, Kimball Union Academy, Marigold Montessori School, and The Lawrence Partnership. Above all, he’s obsessed with spending time with his three beautiful children.


Melissa Lawlor, Lead Faculty

Melissa Lawlor serves as Upper School Director of Equity and Inclusion for Milton Academy, a K-12 program with students from more than 30 countries.

Prior to her work at Milton Academy, Melissa worked as Director of Equity and Inclusion at Brewster Academy. Melissa previously worked as an English and Psychology teacher and Associate Director of College Counseling at Brewster. She has also worked as a teacher and advisor at Millbrook School, an online producer for, and a producer at WGBH-TV. Melissa is the co-founder of the Network for Independent School Equity (NISE), a regional affinity group dedicated to the professional development of faculty of color and LGBTQ+ faculty at independent schools in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.