Joan Beasley Attends Georgetown University Leadership Academy

August 17, 2017

Dr. Joan Beasley

On June 22, 2017, Center for START Services Director, Joan Beasley, PhD, completed an intensive, four-day Leadership Academy in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  

The academy, offered by Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC), was developed to advance and sustain cultural diversity and cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) in networks supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). It aims to provide leaders with opportunities to increase confidence and expertise, share with and learn from other leaders, and offer the additional support needed to become agents of change to advance and sustain cultural diversity and CLC within their own organizations. 

The Leadership Academy is more than a four-day training, it is an intensive course of study that begins three months before and extends one year after the on-site learning experience in Santa Fe. Prior to coming together, leaders engage in preparatory training and self-evaluation to both increase their knowledge of cultural and linguistic competence and form an understanding of their own personal biases.  

On Monday June 19, a diverse group of 35 leaders came together from across the country to begin the on-site portion of their training. The group included new UCED directors, directors from LEND and National Family Voices, other leaders in the field of I/DD, self-advocates, and parent advocates. Participants were grouped in small cohorts and guided through an array of learning opportunities using multiple learning styles including peer group discussion, short lectures, writing, coaching, experiential exercises, and leadership assessment. 

“The concepts of informal and formal leadership and the challenges both roles face has never been such a clear and important part of my thinking," shares Joan Beasley about the impact of the CLC. "I am now able to describe the role of the START Coordinator not just as adaptive and collaborative, which we have always practiced, but as informal, and what it means to the work of a leader who is trying to influence change without the designated authority.” 

Dr. Beasley has already applied several of the concepts learned into her work. She incorporated the concepts of advocacy vs leadership and discussion vs dialog into her presentation for the first session of the newest START Professional Learning Community (PLC) in Georgia and included formal vs informal leadership concepts into training materials for START Coordinators and START program leadership. In addition, Cultural and Linguistic Competence, concepts of adaptive leadership, advocacy, facilitation and promoting dialog are on the agenda for the Center for START Services leadership summit coming up this month. 

“I returned to work with three more states asking for our help. Knowing that I am now better equipped to lead our team through this challenge makes me feel most grateful.” 

About the Leadership Academy 

The Leadership Academy is conducted as part of the Leadership Institute, a partnership between the NCCC and organizations that represent a broad sector of the I/DD network implemented to serve as a catalyst for change to address a) the lack of capacity across the network to support individuals that lead efforts to advance and sustain CLC and b) the lack of diversity in leadership. 

For more information please visit the Leadership Institute and Leadership Academy webpages.