Alaine Jolicoeur has no doubts about who she is, and the importance her identity plays in her life and her work.
“My experiences have guided me where I am today, and I am proud to be an active advocate for educational equity. I am an African-American transgender woman of Haitian descent. I am Jewish, an educator, and unapologetically proud of every aspect of my identity. I cherish my beautiful intersectionality because they define who I am.”
But Alaine didn’t recognize how her identity affected her education growing up.
“Both my race and immigrant background negatively impacted my educational experience, and there were some particular moments where institutional racism shifted the trajectory of my education. I wrestled with those memories throughout my college career but didn’t really start to grapple with the wrongs that were done to me until I started at Teach for America (TFA).”
Alaine credits her time at TFA with helping her understand the inequities in the U.S. education system, particularly for low-income students and students of color. And she has used her LEE experiences to figure out how and where to tackle those inequities.
“I refused to sit on the sidelines while seeing the widening gap of inequities expand and have made it my mission to engage with all stakeholders to reach solutions for these issues. LEE has provided me with platforms to cultivate my leadership and propelled me to actively seek ways to fulfill my mission to advocate for educational equity.”
For Alaine, that means continuing to fight for racial and economic justice, LGBTQIA+ issues, and educational equity, and bringing her full self to the table.
If you are ready to explore the intersections of your identity to better understand how your experiences and values have paved the way for you to be a public leader in your community, apply to the LGBTQIA+ Diversity in Public Leadership Summit (DPLS). There you will join other LGBTQIA+ people of color in learning about ways you can use your work to create more equitable systems and policies for students and communities. Get ready to bring your full self and lead from all intersections of your ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other identities, as you pursue educational equity.