Cultivating Caring, Critical, and Courageous Change-Makers in Our Communities through Learning to Action: Advanced

By Joel Jr Llaban, ISS Director of DEIJ; Margaret Park, Educational Leader, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Consultant, Facilitator, Educator; and John Burns, ISS Chief Innovation Officer

Originally published in ISS NewsLinks, Volume XXXX, February 2024.

ISS DEIJ Learning to Action Institute

Learning to Action: Advanced is a comprehensive and transformative virtual program for leaders in international schools and organizations dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. As educational leaders within the Learning to Action program, we embark on a journey, not merely a course but a transformative experience for individuals and teams dedicated to advancing equity, inclusion, and justice in our own educational contexts.  

Embracing Depth in Learning 

In our advanced leadership sessions, we immerse ourselves in an exploration of essential skills, concepts, and strategies. These sessions confront critical issues — anti-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice — in educational settings. Each strand becomes a pathway: one to equitable recruitment, another to culturally responsive leadership, and the third guiding transformative initiatives within schools and organizations. These sessions are led by diverse facilitators who offer their experiences and expertise with the cohort.  

Translating Vision into Action 

Within our school-based or geo-based design teams, theory meets reality; concepts meet contexts. Here, we aim to translate ideas into tangible plans and outcomes grounded on the needs and realities of our communities. We hope that these learning aren’t simply living in abstraction, but they’re blueprints for real change, striving for environments genuinely equitable and inclusive as a consequence of intentional actions designed by leaders. Lily Zheng, author of DEI deconstructed, emphasized that “accountability is important’.  

They added, “diversity, equity, and inclusion work in organizations is about achieving diversity, equity, inclusion as tangible outcomes at a scale beyond the individual.” It’s this hands-on collaboration that fuels real transformation within our schools.  

Nurturing Community and Collaboration 

Our Coaching, Collaboration, & Community (CCC) Hours is a dedicated space nurturing collaboration, coaching, and mutual support. Here, we share more than ideas; we share experiences, challenges, and successes. These sessions, thoughtfully placed between learning strands, allow us to reflect, refine, and grow together. 

Learning to Action transcends traditional professional development; it’s a catalyst for agency and action. It doesn’t confine participants to being recipients of learning but empowers them as active agents of change. Within school teams, the program fosters an environment where responsibility for action is embraced. Here, participants aren’t just expected to show up; they’re entrusted and encouraged to create and drive their own initiatives. “…eliminating structural barriers resulting from historical and present-day inequities”, and “integrating a clear and unyielding focus on outcomes.” (Zheng, 2023) 

The Equity Design Collaborative provides a framework for change-making using design thinking. It values autonomy and recognizes that real change stems from the dedication and action informed by their leaders and communities. 

Contact Us

ISS provides innovative professional development, school audits, and candidate recruiting for international schools around the world. Interested in learning more about how ISS can help with your needs? Drop us a line below and we’ll happily get back to you!

Diversity Collaborative

Connect with Joel Jr Llaban on LinkedIn or @JoelJrLlaban on X; Margaret Park on LinkedIn or @MargaretLPark on X; John Burns on LinkedIn or @j0hnburns on X. 

Learn more about the Diversity Collaborative or join by using the button below.