Professional Development Resources

Thanks for attending Bringing Gender and Racial Equity to SEL.

Many of you mentioned in the chat that you’d like to attend a professional development webinar again and bring your colleagues. Details about the next free event can be found here.


Attend a professional development training or workshop.

Join us soon for a 2-hour online workshop. All workshops include 4 lessons you can use right away.

Our next workshop is Addressing Compassion Fatigue on May 17.

Join us June 26 – June 28 in Oakland to create a community of belonging, growth, and collaboration in a professional development training designed for youth-serving professionals at schools, after-schools, community based organizations, summer camps, or sports coaches. Scholarships available. 

Professional Development Training & Workshops

If our current offerings don’t work for you, we can customize a professional development training to meet your staff’s needs, whether you’re looking to run a single workshop, a half-day, full-day, or multi-day training. Reach out to to explore a custom training for your community.


Resources from the webinar:

Can’t make it to a training or workshop? Here are the resources mentioned in the webinar.

Try our FREE Social-Emotional Check-ins for Distance Learning (or In-person Learning) to jump-start conversations and connections with the youth you serve.

Read our Ready To Lead findings on how race, gender, and income impact identity and leadership development.

  • Teachers report that it is very important for students to develop their leadership capacities.
  • Black and Latinx girls scored highest on the leadership scale compared to their peers of other races. 
  • Personal Experience with Gender Bias
    • Girls who experienced gender bias named classmates/peers as the usual culprits 
      • Over 50% for girls of all races
    • Named teachers or administrators as the perpetrators of gender bias
      • 30 – 40% for girls of all races
    • This is significant because adults have responsibility and agency on campus to establish brave spaces, create classroom environments where girls feel safe.


  • In the study, more than half the teachers had never had professional development training in leadership or gender equity. 
    • → There is a need teacher training that focuses on healing centered social emotional learning, that is gender and culturally responsive. 
  • Schools serve as key touchpoints for Black and Latinx girls and their leadership development. They are the primary places where girls, gender-expansive youth, and youth have the opportunity to develop SEL skills. 
    • → When school is a place where girls’ teachers view them through a deficit lens (too aggressive, trouble makers, problematic), bias will be baked into SEL programs.
  • Girls are the experts in their experiences.
    • → Those who are closest to the problem are closest to the solution. This is why we co-design with girls and gender-expansive youth themselves.

Read about our upcoming research on how AAPI girls and gender expansive youth define leadership.

Latest Free Downloads:

Fostering a Brave Space

  • Foundation of brave space
      • To foster vulnerability, connection, community & trust-building (and eventually belonging)
      • To challenge, expand “dominant” and hierarchical thinking/practices
  •  Girls Leadership’s working definition of brave space
    • A space that encourages mutual learning and accountability, where participants can feel comfortable sharing and growing. This space is inclusive to all identities and centers those voices and experiences who have been historically marginalized. Participants honor each other’s experiences and opinions with respect to achieve a place of understanding.
  • Why brave spaces (instead of “safe spaces”)
    • For folks who’ve been historically marginalized, some spaces never feel safe
    • Safety can translate to being complacent and not rocking the boat (at the expense of folks already holding the biggest emotional burden)
    • Learning requires taking risks – we need to constantly learn and grow to build equitable systems/spaces

Racial equity is a process of eliminating racial disparities and improving outcomes for everyone. It is the intentional and continual practice of changing policies, practices, systems, and structures by prioritizing measurable change in the lives of people of color. Source, Race Forward

Gender equity is the process of being fair to women and men. To ensure fairness, strategies and measures must often be available to compensate for women’s historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a level playing field. Equity leads to equality. Source, UN Population Fund

According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, gender equity is “Provision of fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women, men and all genders.”

Transformative SEL critically examines root causes of inequity, to support the development of collaborative solutions that lead to personal, community, and societal well-being. Source, CASEL


“The first right question is not what do I need to do, but rather: how do I need to be/who do I need to become?” – DR. SHAWN GINWRIGHT

Knowing yourself makes you a better leader.

    • Girls Leadership’s definition of leadership: 
      • “Leadership is making others and situations better as a result of your presence, and making that impact last in your absence. This work can begin at any age, and doesn’t require a title or role.”


Community Contract Creation

  • We ask girls to share what they need in the space to be able to show up as their full selves. 
    • Give time to think about it, each girl shares what she needs. Every student’s voice matters.
  • We ask girls to share what she expects in the space 
    • Processing time to check in with herself, and then share.
  • From their shared needs and expectations, they create statements that start with “We agree…”
    • Work in pairs or small groups to do this.
  • Multiple ways of doing this activity. We were virtual and used jamboard as a free tech tool via Google. Use tools/ resources available to you. Like all activities, tweak it to make it work in your community.
  • As facilitators, we are a part of the community agreements. 
  • Why is this important? 
    • Creating a trusting environment is one of the most important factors in building community, belonging. 
    • When conflict arises, this gives you and your young people a foundation to rely on. This is how we agreed we want to interact with one another. 
    • When we co-create agreements, it is one way to center the voices and needs of all your students. Think of the student who is furthest away from power either because of intersections of their identity, their skill level or their status within the school or community. If they have an opportunity to co-create the culture, then all your students are better served.

Further reading:

We Want to Do More than Survive by Bettina Love 

The Four Pivots: Reimagining Justice, Reimagining Ourselves by Shawn A. Ginwright, PhD

Eloquent Rage by Brittany Cooper 

How Girls Achieve by Sally A. Nuamah

Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown

Designing for Belonging by Susie Wise

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D

Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood is a study from the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality on the “adultification” of black girls.

Learning for Justice (formerly known as Teaching Tolerance) helped us frame our curriculum for creating healing-centered environments in distance learning. You might find this resource helpful as well.

For educators developing curriculum that builds upon practices of cultures that are not their own, consider reading “Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students” by Zaretta Hammond.

Some of you asked about Liberatory Design — an equity-centered design process developed at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

There was a question about how to pitch a Girls Leadership program to admin/leadership that might dismiss the idea of programming/training that’s “just for girls.”

The magic of the curriculum and training is that it is designed to interrupt gender and racial bias in our spaces. We know that rigid gender expectations and racial inequity harm everyone. By centering the voices, experiences, and identities of students who have historically been silenced in our development of curriculum and training, we are creating more expansive and inclusive environments for everyone.