In July 2019, Ed Trust gathered more than 70 educators of color from across the country in Baltimore to participate in our three-day convening, Hidden Heroes: Building a Diverse Educator Workforce. There, teachers took a deep dive into the concerns of retaining teachers of color, created action plans, and were inspired to use their own voices to be a catalyst for change.

One Hidden Heroes attendee, Merisha Leak, an English teacher at West Charlotte High School in North Carolina, immediately utilized the skills she learned in the “Telling Your Story: How to Write Op-Eds and Blogs” session at the convening. She was inspired to write about her experience and the importance of having a safe space for teachers of color to be their true, unapologetic selves. “I cannot tell you the power that lies in that – to be able to be in the same space with people and know, even feel that they too know what it feels like to feel threatened in white spaces,” she wrote in a post on Medium.