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April 15, 2024

Community Agreements Energize Exchange Leaders

Leadership must be fueled by aligning our words and actions with our deepest-felt values.
– Josh Rifkin, Nature and Technology Specialist

Thanks to Exchange Editor-in-Chief Binta Dixon for today’s message.

The Zoom room was abuzz on April 1, when more than 75 Exchange Leaders gathered to meet one another, reconnect, and be in conversation about what it means to be a leader in early care and education today. Long-time Exchange Leadership Initiative (ELI) leaders alongside new voices and faces made for a space full of wisdom and possibility.

Our gratitude to Kathy Pomer, co-founder of GatherRound Consulting, and Josh Rifkin, Nature and Technology Specialist at the Early Learning School of the Denver Jewish Community Center, for helping us convene and inspire this group of leaders. Pomer and Rifkin are long-time thought partners, friends, and Exchange Leaders committed to serving and advocating for the field. They created a safe, intentional and welcoming space, anchored by GatherRound’s Community Agreements, including:

  • Be present mentally, physically and emotionally for the entire meeting or conversation.
  • The Platinum Rule: Treat people the way they want to be treated. To find out, ask them.
  • Challenge the idea, not the person. Address disagreement towards an idea, not towards a person.
  • Embrace Ambiguity: Trust that we may not know everything at every moment.

With a natural style, these thoughtful leaders made room and invited everyone in to ask big questions like: What are the conversations you want to have as an Exchange Leader? What do you hope for most in this time and for our field?

With more ELI conversations to come, we look forward to the ways our Exchange Leaders’ passions, presence and energy will continue to enrich Exchange articles, events and more with their commitment and passion for our field.

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