Samantha Kobbah’s experience as a student and an educator have convinced her that perceptions of race and class continue to be the most critical institutional barriers to achieving educational equity. She says, “Among far too many leaders, there seems to be a clear distinction between what some students deserve in an education setting and what’s good enough for students in underrepresented communities.”
LEE members of color, like Samantha, who know what it's like to learn and teach in multiple settings, bring a critical lens to the work of educational equity. When Samantha noticed the disparities between different schools as a student, she vowed then and there to be a part of the change. “I witnessed firsthand how systemic inequities in the education system can impact a child and the community as a whole … From then on, I knew I wanted to join the fight for educational equity, I just wasn’t sure which path to take.” That’s why LEE has created a new fellowship — the Emerging Equity Leaders Fellowship — designed to prepare LEE members like Samantha to move from entry-level policy, advocacy and organizing roles into higher levels of leadership.
While teaching in Cleveland, OH, Samantha participated in LEE fellowships that helped her identify how to move forward in her policy career. “It was through meeting with legislators from various sides of the political spectrum, writing and presenting testimony to the legislative body, and engaging with multiple stakeholders that I solidified that I want to pursue a role in government affairs,” she explained. LEE helped provide the leadership coaching, programming and network of peers and decision makers that are now propelling Samantha into her next role. “LEE continues to provide ongoing coaching and career support as I develop professionally.”
Samantha is committed to doing the work and with LEE, knows that she can become even more impactful. “Until providing the most quality educational experience for all students — regardless of race or class — becomes the priority, we have an immense amount of work to do.”
Want to take your leadership to the next level like Samantha? Ready to move from an entry level role to the mid-level? Then consider applying to the Emerging Equity Leaders Fellowship, a new fellowship specifically for our members of color interested in new policy, advocacy and organizing roles. Learn more here.