ImpactTulsa March 2020 Monthly Newsletter

ImpactTulsa Joins Area Schools

in Taking Preventative Measures Against COVID-19


A video update from ImpactTulsa Executive Director Carlisha Williams Bradley on the State School Board’s decision to move to remote learning and how ImpactTulsa is supporting schools and community organizations at this time.

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In Uncertain Times, Organizations Must Work Together

Partners, Supporters and Friends of ImpactTulsa,

In this time of uncertainty, leadership matters now more than ever. We are grateful for ImpactTulsa’s Leadership Council Chair, Mayor GT Bynum, and Leadership Council Member, Dr. Bruce Dart, for leading, guiding and protecting Tulsans through this evolving pandemic.

In these challenging times, ImpactTulsa is continuing to work to align resources and bring partners together to craft creative solutions to unique challenges. Last week, ImpactTulsa hosted a School District and Nonprofit Partner Collaborative Session to work across sectors to thought partner, align resources and offer support to one another in this time of transition. Participants were invited to select one of four breakout rooms to engage in topic-based discussion. Below is a brief summary of the conversations that happened in each of the rooms:


  • Education and Distance Learning: This group discussed challenges and identified resources for access to technology, teacher capacity, curriculum options, and delivery of services. The group identified suggested next steps to support one another with resource sharing, collaborative planning by content/grade and/or shared bank of ideas/lesson, and support with teacher training in distance learning.
  • Food and Meal Options: This group learned about food policy advocacy and mobilization being led by Hunger Free Oklahoma to increase meal access and coordination. The group identified resources related to meal access & transportation, strengthening staff/organizational capacity, information access, and resource mobilization for children and families.
  • Family Resources: This group discussed current challenges supporting families with mental health services, childcare, transportation, technology, and basic needs. The group focused on the critical need for the community to make resources accessible to families who experience domestic violence, undocumented immigrants, non-English speaking families, students with special needs and/or disabilities, and those without access to the internet.
  • Communications: Effective communication strategy during this time of crisis requires intentional planning, access to tools and technology, and the ability to share the most relevant news in clear and concise ways to meet the needs of students and families. This group shared their current challenges and organizational best practices as they respond rapidly to the daily developments of COVID-19.


In addition to the weekly resource email from ImpactTulsa, we will continue to convene and facilitate space for these groups to work together virtually over the course of school closures. Weekly sessions will begin the week of April 6th. If you or someone you know would benefit from these ongoing conversations, please email


These are not the only areas where ImpactTulsa hopes to help partners work together and align resources. Be sure to stay tuned to our social media channels and weekly emails as ImpactTulsa will be announcing additional services in April. Those will include professional development opportunities and resources for teachers, schools, non-profits, and community members.


These are tough times that require our collective effort and impact. We are being led by example as our Tulsa area leaders showcase the passion, dedication, and resilience our community is known for. We look forward to continuing to unlock the power of our community as we find innovative ways to overcome these challenges in partnership with you.



Carlisha Williams Bradley
Executive Director


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Carlisha Williams Bradley will be honored by City Year Tulsa at their virtual Women’s Leadership Luncheon on April 1

You are invited to participate in this year’s Women’s Leadership Celebration – ONLINE! This Wednesday, April 1, City Year is celebrating the work of City Year AmeriCorps members and honoring Carlisha Williams Bradley across social media.

City Year Tulsa will be sharing video posts at 9:00am, 12:00pm, and 3:00pm CDT on social media, in addition to regular prompts for everyone to share their experience and their dreams.

Find More Information on the event here.


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Welcome to new Continuous Learning and Improvement Specialist
and Director of PR and Communications



Lauren King joined the ImpactTulsa team as a Continuous and Learning Improvement Specialist after moving from her home state of Illinois. She has over 12 years of experience working in the Chicagoland nonprofit sector as a program evaluator and community organizer. She spent 9 years doing behavioral health program evaluation at Children’s Research Triangle and then joined Youth Guidance as the Quality Improvement Manager. Previously, Lauren was an Adjunct Instructor and taught Diversity and Community Engagement to graduate students at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she earned her MA in Forensic Psychology. She earned her BA in psychology and criminal justice from Bradley University.

Lauren values community involvement and has served on the YNPN Chicago Executive Board (2012-2015) and also served on the steering committee for the launch year of the Chicago Chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. In addition, she co-founded  All A-Board Alliance, a nonprofit organization aimed at cultivating meaningful civic engagement among young professionals through associate board service. Lauren is also an Education Pioneers and YNPN Leadership Institute Alum.



Bailey McBride joined the ImpactTulsa team as the Director of Public Relations and Communications. Bailey is a Tulsa native and former educator who brings more than ten years of communications experience to her role. She spent the previous three years as a Director of Marketing and Relationship Management at the Outdoor Channel. She joined the network in early 2016 after a year and a half working in media sales and analysis in Sydney, Australia. Prior to that, Bailey worked for a boutique marketing agency and the Associated Press’ Oklahoma City bureau. She spent the first three years of her career as a journalism teacher.

Bailey completed her master’s in business administration with a specialization in strategic communications at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She received her B.A. in journalism, physical anthropology and Spanish from the University of Arkansas. Bailey loves to travel, and has visited more than 30 countries so far. She is passionate about animals, conservation and social justice, and was the founder of Indivisible Tulsa, a local chapter of the nationwide organization that encourages regular, iterative, and increasingly complex actions to elect local champions and fight for progressive and inclusive policies.


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Equity in Education: Student- and Family-Centered Approaches

Equity in Education Blog Series: Part 3

by Dr. Laura Latta


Since the mid 1800s, schools in the US have embraced standardization (Alcocer, 2019). In many school systems, the content that children learn, the way that the information is shared, and how deeply it is understood are all standardized as content learning standards, curriculum, and standardized tests. The primary motivations for standardization in school systems are to protect students’ educational experiences and ensure that all students, regardless of where they live, have comparable school experiences resulting in similar learning outcomes.


However, every student brings a unique set of experiences, talents, resources, and needs that influence his or her learning. Two people can experience the same lesson and walk out of the room with very different levels of understanding. Standardization assumes that if every individual is exposed to the very same sets of instructional conditions (also assuming that every teacher teaches the exact same way), the result will be that all students walk away with the same level of knowledge.


This post poses important questions for the reader to consider: Does the logic of standardization take into consideration the individualized nature of effective teaching and learning?  Moreover, can standardization and equity co-exist?


Read the rest of the blog post here.


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Have questions? Email us! 
Carlisha Williams Bradley, MPA, Executive Director
Darla Liggins, M.Ed., Senior Director of Strategy and Operations
Jessica Smith, M.S. Ed., Senior Director of Education and Collaborative Action
Delia Kimbrel, M.A.; Ph.D., Director of Research and Analysis
Laura Latta, M.Ed., Ph.D., Director of Post-Secondary Partnerships and Research
Bailey McBride, MBA, Director of PR and Communications
Andrea Stacy, Director of School District Support
Lauren Thiesse, MPA, Manager of Continuous Learning and Improvement
Lauren King, MA, Enhanced CLI Specialist
Curcio Smith, Collaborative Action Network Coordinator
Dan Botting MAE; MPP, Senior Data Analyst
Vanessa Dinh-Nguyen, Education and Collaborative Action Project Manager