Building Bridges to Inclusive and Equitable Education

How do Inclusive Leaders contribute to our communities in ways that “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”?  (United Nations SDG 4). 

How do Inclusive Leaders “provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower them to contribute actively to sustainable development”? (Earth Charter). 

This post was collaboratively written by Inclusive Leaders from around the world who spent two months sharing leadership on a guided online group expedition:  Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential. 

By exploring the field of Inclusive Leadership, we are learning that one person’s actions to build bridges of inclusion and respect vibrate out to touch many. Building Bridges to education is priceless for our children because educated children grow into leaders who impact the whole world.

Many Inclusive Leaders are concerned about children and their families in under-served  communities where accessibility to affordable/government owned schools is poor and where so many primary school-age children drop out. Poverty and unfair distribution of basic materials and services such as roads and access to clean water is so unjust and excludes so many children, youth and adults from accessing education.

How do Inclusive Leaders think globally and act locally contribute to the Earth Charter and the United Nations’ goals for sustainable, inclusive and equitable education?

Some Inclusive Leaders organize events and contact potential donors to raise funds for uniforms and school supplies.

Some of us roll up our sleeves to help build schools, bridges, roads, and running water so that children can safely and hygienically go to school.

When storms and floods wash away roads, bridges and pollute our water sources Inclusive Leaders are prepared to roll up our sleeves again and re-build.

Some Inclusive Leaders use the power of journalism and photography to document what is needed and what we are doing.

“This is one of my efforts. Through my journalism and my Facebook publication, the MP for this area donated 260 desks to schools in the area who are sitting on the floor.” (Mark Sandow, Ghana)

Ethical witnessing amplifies the voices of people who live in rural communities to reach right around the world to the leaders of our countries and of the United Nations. “I joined a protest today because of the love for Mother Earth! It’s boundless.” (Joanita Babirye, Uganda)

Once these basic needs are met, we can reach beyond the physical bridges that children walk on to apply Inclusive Leadership’s Building Bridges steps as a metaphor for doing anything that would support the practice of being inclusive.

Many Inclusive Leaders are founders and directors of Non-Government Organizations that focus on guiding children from the risks of street-life into educational opportunities that are safe, secure, empowering and inspirational.

 We do this by bringing together politicians, religious leaders and non-government organizations, with youth groups, women’s groups, families and orphans through advocacy, encouragement and support. Together we can set up schools in under-served communities.

Once children are in school, then it is up to teachers, educational assistants, and mentors to be Inclusive Leaders who guide children and youth to learn much more than reading and math.

Inclusive and equitable quality education means teaching students to peacefully co-exist. We help children learn to care for each other and care for the Earth by becoming involved in life-long learning opportunities.

We guide students toward ways of advocating for inclusion. We facilitate groups and clubs that engage children in photography, journalism, environmental leadership, goal-mapping, home-work, social skills learning, public speaking, theatre, music, art, and inter-faith studies.

Every day, we do all we can to make schooling exciting and great place to be for the kids. We think about new ways to motivate our children to learn and understand whatever content it is that they are working on.

By engaging children and youth in Building Bridges toward their education they can become confident of their safety and security.  Children who are safe and secure grow into youths who are preparing to become sustainable leaders in their communities, thereby transforming society into a heart-centered and mutually caring entity. 

We invite you to join with other champions of diversity and inclusion from around the world in 2019 to Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential. For more information go to our Inclusive Leadership for Our Global Village Online Learning Platform.

The co-authors of this collaboratively written article are:  Tosin Taiwo, Mark Sandow, Momodu Sesay, Patti Lucas, Mohammed M. Kelleh, Muhammad Almahroof, Felix Iziomoh, Ebenezer Afful, Temo Sasau, Joanita Babirye, and Lindsay Beal

We co-wrote this article by participating in an Inclusive Leadership Discussion Forum. Our words were sorted and edited into a collaboratively written essay by Linda Hill.

Photo Credits:

Photo 1 UN Website. Photo 2: Inclusive Leadership. Photo 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 by Mark Sandow. Photos 5, 12: Mohammed M. Kelleh. Photo 10, 11,13: Joanita Babirye. Photo 14: Tosin Taiwo, Photo 15: Cowichan Intercultural Society. Photo 16: Paul Atsu.

Everyone who co-wrote this article is involved in diverse aspects of supporting children, youth and adults to access inclusive and equitable life long education. A few of us have websites. Click here to learn about:

Tosin Taiwo’s Street2School Initiative in Nigeria

Mark Sandow’s Community Watch Dog efforts in Ghana

Mohammed M. Kelleh’s Basket of Hope Initiative in Liberia

Felix Iziomoh’s International Centre for Leadership Development  in Nigeria

Lindsay Beal’s Health through Creative Arts initiatives in Canada

Paul Atsu’s Incubation TV in Ghana