Teach For America Names New Chief of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness
Dr. Barbara Logan Smith, Executive Director of TFA Greater Delta, Will Lead Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness
October 9, 2020
NEW YORK, October 6, 2020—Teach For America (TFA) announced that Dr. Barbara Logan Smith has been named chief officer of the organization’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness (DEI). As Chief of DEI, she will serve as an advisor to the CEO and a senior leader in Community Impact and Operations. Logan Smith currently serves as executive director of TFA’s Greater Delta region and will transition into her new role later this month.
TFA has a deep commitment to foster greater equity, diversity, inclusiveness, and belonging, and this role will help better serve students and communities by ensuring these commitments are integrated at every level of the organization. Logan Smith, who has decades of experience in education and in building and leading diverse teams, will help TFA more fully live into its longstanding commitment to DEI while also stewarding related learning and accountability measures across the organization.
“TFA’s pursuit of educational equity and excellence for all children requires centering DEI in everything we do,” said TFA CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard. “We must ensure our work —from our strategy to our capacity-building to our accountability structures—is grounded in serving our students and communities with equity and justice. Barbara embodies the best of Teach For America as she lives out our core values and operates with integrity in all she does and leads. Her commitment to DEI, her strategic mind, kindness, rigor, reliability, learning orientation, determination and proximity to our mission make her just the right person to lead us forward in this work.”
As executive director of the Greater Delta region, Logan Smith significantly increased representation of Black, Indigenous and people of color on her regional leadership team, led TFA educators, known as corps members, to achieve demonstrable academic growth in their classrooms, and built lasting community partnerships across the Mississippi Delta and Arkansas regions. Logan Smith also supported organization-wide initiatives, including co-leading a DEI action plan process to help TFA understand where and how its actions as an organization can more fully live into longstanding DEI commitments.
Logan Smith brings to her new role extensive leadership experience in education, leadership development, and diversity, equity and inclusiveness work. She began her career in K-12 education, including serving as a middle school administrator at Oliver Wendell Holmes School in Milwaukee, before going on to earn a doctorate with a focus on leadership, learning and service. Throughout her career she has been a change agent to ensure that youth are prepared to thrive in the context of the 21st century.
“As I look to the horizon, I am convicted about two things for Teach For America,” said Logan Smith. “First, our children and our network have never needed us more. And second, I believe we can work together to transform our organization into a future state in which every member of our community serves as learners and leaders who have clarity about and operate within our aspiring anti-racist expectations. We can create a sense of belonging and connection, loving and rigorous support and accountability to live into those expectations and constant reminders that we only exist because of our shared commitment to creating a different world of access and agency for our kids, our networks and the communities that grant us the opportunity to be in partnership and work with them and their children.”
TFA is grounded in a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusiveness—it is an essential element of the work in the cause of educational equity for all children. TFA works in communities where students face tremendous barriers to success that stem from systemic racism and inequity. TFA brings great talent and diversity to the classroom and has helped diversify the teaching workforce in the United States. Today, more than 50 percent of TFA corps members identify as people of color, compared to fewer than 20 percent of all teachers nationally.
Read more about Teach For America’s core values and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusiveness.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with urban and rural communities in more than 50 regions across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America is a force of nearly 60,000 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence, and to lead. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.