WKAR Director of Education Selected for Racial Equity Leaders Cohort

Nov 13, 2020

WKAR’s Director of Education joins a Racial Equity Leaders Cohort that will focus on increasing racial equity across the multiple sectors that comprise the early childhood system. 

EAST LANSING, MI; Fri. Nov. 12, 2020 – WKAR Director of Education Robin Pizzo has been selected to serve on the Michigan Early Childhood System Racial Equity Leaders Cohort. The Michigan Department of Education Office of Great Start has partnered with School Readiness Consulting (SRC) to implement this cohort to focus on increasing racial equity across the multiple sectors that comprise the early childhood system. The cohort is designed for teams of 2-5 individuals that represent a single organization or represent multiple child and family-serving organizations within a single community.

“I feel deeply honored to be selected to the Michigan Early Childhood System Racial Equity Leaders Cohort,” said Robin Pizzo, WKAR Director of Education. Prior to joining WKAR, Pizzo was Director/Student Success Coach at Lansing Community College; before that, she spent many years in the K-12 educational arena in various capacities, including teaching.

Eight teams (39 individuals) were chosen from the 44 teams (163 individuals) that applied. Teams were selected based on the level of diversity, connection with the local community, and potential to have a direct impact on children and families, and the teams' awareness of, interest in, and experience with racial equity in early childhood systems. 

The cohort is designed with sustainability in mind to support teams in integrating the content into their daily work, current roles and responsibilities, as well as program and/or community goals. Joining Pizzo on the Ingham County team are Andrea Ryan, Karen Hoene, Ladawn Caldwell and Dana Watson.

“Robin and the team from Ingham represent a diverse, cross-sector team that supports children and families in their community in a variety of meaningful and crucial ways,” said Katina Kearney-Edwards, Ph.D., School Readiness Consulting Principal Associate.

Additionally, the cohort creates positive environments where families’ cultures, languages and circumstances are respected and celebrated as key drivers of children’s wellbeing and optimal development. 

“Engaging in critical conversations about race and equity with colleagues serving families and children is vital to impacting positive change throughout our communities,” said Pizzo.

From November 2020 - September 2021, the cohort will participate in virtual learning opportunities, job-embedded coaching and peer collaboration.

“This work mirrors our mission and strategic plan at WKAR, and I'm excited to strengthen the resources and supports with what I gain as a part of the cohort,” said Pizzo. “Children deserve our best effort to make the state of Michigan a place where they will thrive."