Message from IPA Executive Director Dr. Jason Leahy

By Jason Leahy posted 06-04-2020 11:57


As our country responds to the horrific murder of George Floyd, I want to reach out to everyone but specifically to my African American IPA teammates and to our African American IPA members.  I know that I cannot fully understand the impact this has had on you and your loved ones.  His killing is another tragedy in a generations long line of tragedies, injustices, and abuses of power and privilege.  For it, I am sorry, and I grieve with you.

To this end, I spent time reflecting over the weekend on how I (and the IPA) can do better by you.  For my part, I personally commit to being more humble, more empathetic, and listening to more voices, especially from those to whom I have not traditionally listened and may make me uncomfortable.  For example, I began listening to the audio book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds over the weekend.  Catered to a young audience, it is a rewrite of the book Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, which provides a perspective on racism and antiracism that you will not find in traditional history books.  I will be passing on Reynolds’ book to my teenage kids when I am done to help engage in these important conversations with them.

For the IPA, we will continue to build on our diversity and equity efforts to insure our organization is inclusive and that the IPA team, our leadership, and our professional learning providers are representative of our entire membership.  Further, we will continue to work to insure our professional learning offerings and advocacy efforts promote social justice and equitable systems that support all of our school leaders, their students, and the communities they serve.

What I have shared above is just a small example of the extensive work I am (and the IPA is) responsible for to end racism and injustice in our country.  Obviously, there is much more to do.  I am committed to it and welcome your input and collaboration as we move forward. 

As always, please reach out to me if I can be of service to you.  I am grateful for you and your leadership.