Letter from the Executive Director

Dear IRT Community,

I hope you are healthy and well. Our current moment requires that we do more than ever before to live up to our values.

At the IRT, we are steadfast in our resolve to advance diversity in education, and proud to advocate for and support our alumni in their work. Their commitment to making education a tool for radical imagination has and will always guide us. Their research that challenges assumptions of our histories and creates better futures motivates our efforts. More recently, the transformation of the virtual classroom–securing the ability for students to learn amidst pandemic–inspires our organization to improve our community building. We believe the IRT has tools to meet this moment and we are ready to work alongside you.

As Executive Director, I am here to champion inclusive teaching visions and strengthen our community of educators. I’ve shared various links on our Facebook and private pages for how you can support the current movements towards gender, racial, ethnic, and economic justice. We encourage our alumni and scholars to share any readings, syllabi, petitions, or examples of work. These tools will be linked here. It is important to me that the IRT and our wider family of schools and organizations practice the values we seek to hold. We hope your past and present engagement with the IRT bolsters your individual and collective actions in the days ahead.

We remain steadfast in our vision of a socially just world where education is a tool for liberation. Join us.

Take care,

LaShawnda Brooks
Executive Director, IRT

Executive Letter, April 2020

Brooks photoNow, more than ever, relationships matter.

During the last few weeks, we have witnessed an unprecedented acceleration towards the unknown. Even still, I remain inspired and calmed by the radical spirit of educators and our students. Throughout the last few weeks, I listened excitedly as IRT Scholars reported admissions offers and funding awards. I am enthusiastic as you inch closer to your matriculation decisions.

We encourage you to reach out to us and connect. We are grateful for those of you that are convening on Facebook, Almabase, and reaching out to us via email. With campuses closed for revisits, more IRT students are seeking additional resources as they make their final decisions. Please consider reaching out via Almabase, especially if you would like to advocate for your alma mater.
Continue reading “Executive Letter, April 2020”

Executive Letter, January 2020

Brooks photoThe Institute for Recruitment of Teachers application is open, and we encourage you to share with your networks. This year our team traveled throughout the United States, stopping in California, New York, and Georgia to support our recruitment initiatives. Spearheaded by Monica’s recruitment efforts, our team’s collaboration with our consortium institutions planted the seed for our hopefully fruitful recruiting season. Our application is open until March 1st, so please spread the word!

Continue reading “Executive Letter, January 2020”

Executive Director, October 2019

Brooks photoThe start of the school year is one of my favorite times of the year. The energy and buzz, the excitement, and the anticipation of a fresh start. Of course, we all love the summer. And this summer, I had the pleasure of witnessing my first full summer workshop. I am thankful to the tremendous faculty and staff, who work tirelessly to support our students.

Our Interns and Associates are inspiring. After observing your growth throughout the workshop as well as the advising process, we are all rooting for you.

Another reason why I love the new school year is that it allows us to reflect on our past learnings, and put them immediately into action. These are lessons for all of us. As a staff, we are excited to support 130+ Scholars in their graduate admissions process. Further, we are grateful for our alumni, and we are preparing to launch an alumni networking site this fall.

As we reflect on our previous year, we look forward to our new class. We are excited by your ideas and dedication throughout this process. I am eager to continue to meet all of you and to continue to support the IRT. Together, we can work to ensure that this new school year will be a great one.


Executive Letter, June 2019

Brooks photoThe time has come.

In just a few short weeks, the IRT will welcome our next class of interns to the Summer Workshop.

After a spirited season of recruitment and an intensive application review season, we are finally ready to announce our largest class ever. More than 160 scholars were selected from 100 institutions. We are thrilled to facilitate the development of the next cohort of education leaders.

Thank you and IRT for being forces of uplifting change for rising equity scholars and professionals. I am truly achieving my dreams because of IRT.

Nathalie Quintero, IRT ’18

The IRT staff has made tremendous headway in supporting our consortium. This year, we’ve added two new partners, the University of Washington and Notre Dame. It is my hope that this class will utilize this consortium to their full advantage.

Finally, the staff is working towards connecting our alumni in new ways and we will be highlighting more of these initiatives in future posts. As Chera, Leislie, Viviana and countless others show every day, our alumni are researching, teaching, connecting and mentoring — making change that is not only personal but structural as well. These connections make change even more possible. As we begin to welcome our newest class of students, I am excited to connect them to this vast network.





LaShawnda Brooks
Executive Director, IRT