Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.

Leadership Pathways

We are proud to continue our journey toward racial and social justice with a new program to identify and support members of color in Association leadership.

Institutional and structural racism have prevented too many of our educators of color from accessing training, support, and opportunities to become the leaders our Association–and our students–need.

As an organization, we continue to challenge ourselves to do better, to become more socially and racially just, and to model the changes we ask our schools and communities and country to make. Part of that work includes being more intentional about creating structures that allow all members, regardless of race or background, to become Association leaders. In partnership with our Affiliates, we are piloting Leadership Pathways, a new program that specifically focuses on members who identify as Hispanic, Latinx, Chicano, Native, Indigenous, American Indian, Black, Asian, Pacific/Islander, Native Alaskan and/or Native Hawaiian.


The Pathways program will:

  • Facilitate participant growth and shared learning through open dialogue about their leadership experiences
  • Provide veteran leaders of color additional opportunities to grow their leadership and serve as peer coaches
  • Create and institutionalize a systemically sustainable and structurally efficient collective learning model to support the development of the next generation of Association and education leaders of color, as well as support for veteran leaders.
  • Increase in the number of leaders of color assuming formal and informal leadership in the Association and professions.

Theory of Change

The Pathways program is grounded in the NEA Leadership Competency framework. We expect that through intentional and explicit targeting and results-based collaboration with NEA State Affiliate leaders, as well as providing access to learning and experiences, accompanied by direct coaching support, we can establish and codify leadership “pathways” and begin to build for the future while nurturing and strengthening the present.

The First Cohort

A “Cohort” of approximately 40 leaders of color has been selected in partnership with affiliates. They were identified through self-nomination and through recommendations shared with governance and staff leaders. Participants represent all NEA leadership levels, from Foundation through Agenda Driving. In addition to working on specialized leadership experiences, they will experience existing NEA conferences, including the Minority Leadership Training/Women’s Leadership Training (MLT/WLT), National Leadership Summit, and the Conference on Racial and Social Justice (CRSJ).

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.