Dayna Muñiz who joined PEDC in 2022 and is the Associate Director of the Penn Coalition for Educational Equity.
PEDC’s mission is to increase the diversity of the educator workforce & create a culturally relevant and sustaining education system here in PA. How do you push this work forward in your personal and/or professional capacity?
At the Penn Coalition for Educational Equity, we have provided member districts with equity focused technical assistance and professional learning opportunities for almost twenty years. As the Associate Director, I deeply believe in providing services that leverage what Dr. Malik Muhammad calls the change equation: connection + challenge = change. To that end, I work with our Director, Tomea Sippio-Smith to stay in close contact with our districts to create a yearly program that addresses their needs. Educators in our member districts participate in robust, research-based learning opportunities with colleagues from across our network that are also committed to advancing educational equity. We bring nationally recognized experts that provide challenging content that educators can engage with in a trusted community of colleagues.
As a doctoral student at Temple University, my research focuses on equity leadership and the supports needed by equity leaders to advance their work in their districts.
Have you worked on any projects or initiatives that positively impact the recruiting, mentoring, retaining, or promoting the well-being of BIPOC teachers? If so, how?
In addition to the strong networking emphasis in our professional development programming, DVCEE (Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence and Equity) has hosted an Educators of Color Recruitment Fair for the past 19 years. In the more recent years, we have expanded our recruitment supports to include a job board, an event board, and a resume database to connect BIPOC teachers with member districts. In terms of retention efforts, we provide targeted support to leaders through our Workgroups for Equity Directors, HR Directors, and Building Leaders. Our workgroups are designed to provide a nurturing community of educators that are in the frontlines of equity work in their districts.
Why are you passionate about increasing educator diversity?
I am passionate about increasing educator diversity because I strongly believe in the positive academic and social impact that BIPOC teachers have on children and their families. As we know, this is supported by research, but I also draw from my experience as a student and a parent and can bear witness to the life-changing impact that BIPOC educators can have on students’ lives.
Panel at the 202 UCEA Annual Convention - Equity, Backlash & the Road Ahead: Staying the Course of K-12 District Equity Leadership (left to right - Dr. Decoteau Irby, Dr. Ann Ishimaru, Dayna Muñiz)
What challenges are you experiencing in this work?
Are there any regional (or statewide) specific challenges you are facing?
As others have mentioned, the educator pipeline issues have impacted our ability to support districts in their recruitment work.
What are some of your needs?
We welcome the robust expertise in the group and would love to highlight your work for our membership through our offerings, please reach out. On a more immediate level, we’d love support in sharing the call for our Educators of Color Career Open House on March 9th, 2023 from 4:00-6:00pm. Please see the flyer below.
Are you affiliated with any other organizations working towards addressing the recruiting, mentoring, retaining, or promoting the wellbeing of BIPOC teachers?
We are connected with Villanova’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Educators of Color Network, the Teacher Academies at some of our regional IUs and technical high schools, the Pathways 2 Teaching GYO program in Colorado, and others.
With members of our Equity Director Workgroup in 2021
Have you used any of the PEDC available resources & toolkits? If so, how?
We were fortunate to have Laura Boyce from Teach Plus share the 2021 ESSER guide with our membership. We have also directed district leaders in the tri-state region to the PEDC recruitment toolkit as a support as they design their recruitment efforts.
How can people connect with you and continue to follow your work?
Email: Tomea Sippio-Smith, Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: Dayna Muñiz – Associate Director – email@example.com
Brochure: Our work