Us. is a movement, a leadership conference, and an ongoing series of transformative conversations that support women in leadership. While the strength of Us. is in the network, all the content and conversation that will be led at Us. are deeply anchored in research.
The curriculum for Us. is informed by the Transformational Social Emotional Learning focal constructs identified by CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) and adopted by the California Department of Education.
SEL (Social Emotional Learning) can be defined as: “The process through which all young people AND ADULTS (emphasis added) acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.” (Transformative Social and Emotional Learning: In Pursuit of Educational Equity and Excellence. Jagers,Hoffman,Barthelus, Schlund.Summer 2021)
Recent research has expanded this definition of SEL to include a focus on how SEL can be a tool to address diversity, equity and inclusion as well. “TSEL” - or Transformational SEL, weaves into the 5 core SEL competencies identified by CASEL (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making) the following 3 focus areas:
The California Department of Education/CDE has released TSEL Competencies for Adults in these 3 areas.
Research Application to Us.
A main goal of TSEL is to promote equity - creating systems in which all members of that system are afforded what they need in order to succeed.Education leaders face unprecedented challenges and are leading under acute stress. The data tells us that the current climate is particularly challenging for women leaders. Due to societal expectations for women to be the primary caretakers at home and in the workplace, the need to support women leaders has never been greater.
Us. is an opportunity for women to come together to learn, refresh, network and leave with the tools needed to lead themselves and others.
The content for Us. is research based - leaning heavily on the research of Dr. Brené Brown in her recent book “Atlas of the Heart”, as well as research on the unique issues facing women in leadership positions.(Research pertaining to Women in Leadership has been reviewed by an outside expert on women’s issues: Dr. Amy Diehl.) Us. will address all of the TSEL Competencies for adults supported by the CDE listed above.
Specific Outcomes from Us.
Attendees will leave Us. with the following resources in order to bring the TSEL work back to their organizations:
A list of suggested activities to lead with their staff linked specifically to the TSEL Competencies.
A copy of the research based book: “Atlas of the Heart” by Brené Brown
Access to follow up Implementation Sessions with the Us. Community
Readings to expand their understanding of how to apply TSEL practices for the adults in their organization
Tools to support organizational examination of biases and inequities for all, with a focus on those facing women.
I'm Mickey and I'm a Certified Dare to Lead™ facilitator. I've coached leaders across the country through the Dare to Lead™ curriculum. Supporting women leaders is my passion. It’s my “why”. Facilitating Us. has been the highlight of a long career in leadership. My career has included some amazing opportunities to lead and partner with people to make a difference. I know the impact of leadership. I also know the personal challenges and limitations that leaders face. My goal in working with leaders is to help them to see in practical, usable ways that “who they are is how they lead”. Whether it’s personal exploration through coaching, facilitating a tough conversation, or speaking to a packed auditorium, encouraging self awareness as leaders is ALWAYS at the core of my work.
My work is anchored in years of experience and my never-ending exploration of leadership ideas, theories, and practical strategies that are out in the world. I love learning and thinking about what matters to leaders. Listening to what is important to others; what they want for themselves and the people they lead - ahhh! Yes. That’s what I love.
"Through the Us. experience, I found myself a member of a small group of thoughtful, committed female leaders who shared my commitment to change the world. Mickey Porter's facilitation reconnected me to my own values, and provided valuable practices which are now enabling me to use my energy more efficiently in achieving important goals."
— Dr. Amie Carter, Assistant Superintendent Novato Unified
The full impact of Us. has slowly been dawning on me over the two months that have elapsed since I participated. I navigate the same kinds of situations as I have for decades, but I see them differently, I respond more honestly, and I am prepared to take more of the risks necessary to move gender role dynamics forward. Us. was a true growing experience. — Kirsten, School Site Administrator
"After experiencing Us, I'm seeing issues of power, sexism, leadership and equity in my everyday work quite differently. I made connections with powerful female colleagues in such a short amount of time, through honest conversation and common experiences. I have continued to nurture these relationships and feel so grateful for the opportunity. Thank you!" — Us. Attendee