Our Voice Academy is a multi-day event and community aimed at empowering educators of color to gain greater visible leadership and recognized expertise. This program gives these underrepresented educators support and a networked community to pursue public speaking, publication, and other publicly seen positions of recognition.

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warns us of the danger of the single story - that when we allow a single narrative to become pervasive, we further stereotypes and build walls between one another. Our Voice Academy helps marginalized voices tell those untold stories, and empowers those who are shaping our future - our educators - to gain increased cultural competence and deeper empathy.

The program focuses on three primary thematic areas: Access, Empathy and Leadership.

ACCESS: Increase access to expert platforms to gain visible leadership and more diverse representation

EMPATHY: Increase empathy and cultural competence for all educators by sharing untold stories of marginalized communities

LEADERSHIP: Build leadership by empowering voice, refining vision, and exploring how to mobilize movements

Read what past participants have to say about the Our Voice Academy experience.

Over the course of three cohorts to date, over 50 educators of color have been empowered to share their stories and better advocate for equity in education. By raising cultural awareness and competency for more educators, they are creating a movement to increase equitable practices for all students.

Cohort 1: December 2017 | Minneapolis, MN

Cohort 2: July 2018 | Chicago, IL

Cohort 3: August 2019 | Chicago, IL

Cohort 4: July 2020 | Location TBA

Our Voice Academy is excited to partner with ISTE to provide OVA fellows with additional training and guidance around public speaking through the ISTE Community and TED Masterclass program. Select speakers will be chosen to speak at #ISTE2020. ISTE shares the goals of OVA to elevate the voices of underrepresented educators.