Leading the Way: Women's Leadership Conference Champions Mentorship, Advocacy & Community Engagement

Wed Mar 06 12:19:00 PST 2024

Championing mentorship, advocacy, and community, the Women’s Leadership Conference ignites empowerment for women in education.

The Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference, hosted by the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) at Almansor Court, set an inspiring tone for Women’s History Month on March 1, 2024. This year’s theme, 'Leading the Way in Education,' inspired solidarity, uniting women and allies in the pursuit of gender equality and empowerment in education.

Attendees engaged in a day filled with insightful experiences, from thought-provoking keynote speeches to dynamic panel discussions, interactive workshops and engaging sessions led by visionary thought leaders in their fields. Throughout the event, participants gained valuable insights and practical strategies to foster personal and professional growth. Distinguished speakers, including Dr. Denise Jaramillo, Dr. Melissa Moore, Dr. Darneika Watson, Dr. Nicole Wesley and Dr. Julie Mitchell, shared expertise on leadership development, career advancement, work-life balance and overcoming challenges in education.

The keynote address by Dr. Angela Cooke-Jackson, a professor at California State University, Los Angeles, and an Independent Health and Behavioral Science Consultant, underscored the importance of grounding leadership in lived experiences. She highlighted, “Leadership begins with understanding our own experiences and cultivating self-awareness. It is through this introspection that we build meaningful relationships and drive lasting change,” underscoring the transformative potential of self-reflection in leadership.

Dr. Cooke-Jackson emphasized how, as leaders, their value of mentorship, advocacy and community engagement in driving lasting change. She discussed how early experiences shape worldviews, often inundating individuals with negative scripts that hinder self-discovery. Reflecting on pivotal life events, Dr. Cooke-Jackson noted their role in self-discovery, nudging attendees towards a deeper understanding of themselves and their potential for growth.

Dr. Debra Duardo, Superintendent of Schools for Los Angeles County, expressed enthusiasm for the conference's camaraderie and empowerment. She remarked, “Today was more than just a gathering; it was a blending of brilliance and passion. Let's carry this inspiration forward, lighting the way for a brighter, more inclusive future for women in education.”

The Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference showcased the collective power of women and allies in shaping the future of education. As participants left Almansor Court, they carried with them a renewed sense of purpose and determination to lead towards a brighter, more equitable tomorrow.