Sunday, 3.8 Building Equity from the Inside Out: Advancement’s Crucial Role in Strengthening Community
Martha Haakmat, Haakmat Consulting Advancement practitioners can play a crucial role in building, strengthening and sustaining diverse, equitable, inclusive school communities. This demands work beyond a theoretical understanding of racial equity and calls for systemic anti-racism in practice, along with the required knowledge, skills and dispositions, as well as policies and procedures, which are rooted in equity. Advancement practitioners in this general session will be engaged participants in activities and conversations for an investigation of their own practices. The goals of this session are to build awareness of the ways whiteness and white supremacy culture in advancement offices work against school missions for equity, and to build anti-racist strategies and action steps into development and communications practices. Whether you are new to thinking about your work with an equity lens or are a veteran of deep-dive learning and reflection, this session is a unique opportunity to consider in a personal, real-world context, how your daily work connects to and supports your school’s equity mission.
Tuesday, 3.10 Managing Uncertainty: The Need for Strategic Agility in the Advancement Office
Kathy Pearson, Ph.D. Today’s not-for-profit environment is no longer described as having an “ebb and flow”, but rather a permanent “whitewater” condition, particularly for the advancement function within independent schools. This increased speed of change in fundraising, communication methods, and marketing channels has made the traditional planning process inadequate and in need of more dynamic planning. This session presents the case for adaptability in strategic planning and provides a pathway to building the capability to be nimble in the areas of fundraising, alumni relations, and development.
Martha Haakmat will be our keynote speaker on Sunday, March 8th. Martha is an educator and strategist who has spent her 32-year career in faculty and leadership positions, most recently as a Head of School, in a wide variety of NYSAIS school communities. As Head of School a Martha worked specifically on enrollment, marketing, and finance in a changing admissions landscape, and she developed strategic planning expertise including diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goal-setting and ongoing systemic work. Martha is now Executive Director of Haakmat Consulting, providing leadership coaching and support for DEI strategic planning for schools and other organizations. In addition to her experience as a teacher and leader in lower, middle, and upper school grade levels, Martha has served as an independent school trustee and as a member of various committees for NAIS, NYSAIS, the Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), and New York City Guild of Independent School Heads. She was also the founder and director of Educators for Growth and Empowerment (EDGE), a diversity consulting team with regional and national recognition. Martha currently serves on the Board of Trustees for NYSAIS and Early Steps. She is also a faculty member for the NAIS Institute for New Heads and is a credentialed Montessori administrator.
Kathy Pearson, Ph.D. will be our closing speaker on Tuesday, March 10th. Kathy is a strategist, Systems Thinking expert, and authority in decision making. She is President and Founder of ELS, a firm focused on executive development and learning across industries. Kathy is also a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and has served as an adjunct Associate Professor in the Operations and Information Management Department at The Wharton School, both at the University of Pennsylvania. In this academic capacity, Kathy taught operations management courses in the MBA program and Executive Masters of Technology Management programs as well as Probability and Statistics, Simulation Modeling, and other courses for the department and the University. An award-winning educator, Kathy works extensively with mid- to senior-level executives, where she teaches on a variety of topics including Executive Decision Making, Strategic Agility, Change Managing, and Execution.