We are launching our Virtual Coffee and Connect Series! We hope you’ll bring a cup of coffee (or tea) and join us.
Upcoming Hosts and Topics:
Eliminating Barriers in Education
Tuesday, May 5 from 10-11 AM
Featuring Steve Holmes, Superintendent of Sunnyside Unified School District and Ciara Garcia
Join Steve Holmes and Ciara Garcia for a conversation about the importance of equity in education. Steve will reflect on why zip-codes should not determine what quality of education children have access to. Steve Holmes is a homegrown alumnus of Sunnyside whose passion and commitment to his district is unparalleled.
Steve Holmes serves as Superintendent of the Sunnyside Unified School District, the second-largest school district in Southern Arizona with more than 16,000 students and a workforce 2,000 employees strong. Steve is a transformational leader with over 24 years of successful service in public education. He holds a Master’s in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University, where he is a graduate of the Urban Superintendents Program (USP); Steve is also a graduate of the University of Arizona and an alumnus of the Sunnyside District.
A champion for equity, Steve’s work focuses on urban ed reform and bringing about deeper learning practices. coherence and innovation to high poverty districts where an emphasis on low level programs, interventions, and narrow metrics have worked against this type of learning. Mr. Holmes has cultivated partnerships with industry partners to drive more resources to foster innovation and level the playing field by challenging the notion that affluent districts where students are born on third base is tantamount to hitting an academic triple.
Since taking over as the organization’s chief executive, the District has been recognized as a industry leader in open educational resources (OER), formative assessment, and design thinking. Mr. Holmes’ dogmatic approach to ‘the focus’ is heavily influenced by the work of John Hattie (The Politics of Distraction, 2015) as he challenges principals and other school leaders in Sunnyside to balance the academic role vs. societal expectations placed on urban schools.
As a father of two students in Arizona public schools, Mr. Holmes is a staunch supporter of public education and a leading voice in support of English Language Learners. Steve has provided clarity and insight in numerous national and international conversations, including as a guest keynote for the Ministry of Education in Chile, and as a panelist at the National Hispanic Caucus Conference where he spoke on policy implications for English Language Learners and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Mr. Holmes was also a key witness on behalf of the plaintiffs in the landmark case Flores v. Arizona. Steve is an active member of the community, serving as Co-Chair of the United Way of Southern Arizona Cradle to Career Partnership and as member of the Tucson Airport Authority.
Get To Know Make Way For Books, SVP’s Newest Nonprofit Partner
Tuesday, May 12 from 10-11 AM
Featuring Jenny Volpe, CEO Make Way for Books and John-Peter Wilhite
Join Jenny and John-Peter to get familiar with Make Way For Books and their important role in improving literacy in Tucson. Learn why Make Way For Books thinks a 2-Generation approach is the best way forward for families.
Why Relief Isn’t Enough: The Answer Lies in Recovery and Resilience
Tuesday, May 19 from 10-11 AM
Featuring Sofia Michelakis, Deputy Director on the Philanthropic Partnerships team for the Gates Foundation and SVP International Board Chair
Join Sofia and Ciara as they explore the long term impact of COVID-19 on nonprofits and philanthropy. The non-profit sector is in survival mode with reduced resources, yet there is a greater demand for increased services. Who will step up to support those who are supporting our communities?
Sofia is Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and serves on the Philanthropic Partnerships Team, which is organized under the belief that when people have the right tools, information, and inspiration, they will give more and give well. Sofia leads the Giving Pledge, an effort to engage with and encourage the world’s wealthiest people to commit the majority of their wealth to philanthropy, and to create a new set of assumptions around wealth and giving that will come to be regarded as a norm.
Prior to joining the Gates Foundation in 2013, Sofia served as director of philanthropy development at Social Venture Partners Seattle for many years and earlier practiced corporate law. She has a J.D. from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from Stanford. She also currently chairs the Board of Social Venture Partners International.
In addition to enjoying habitat restoration projects, Sofia and her family are a little obsessed with costumes, board games, and scavenger hunts. They are sheltering in Seattle and are designing a summer vegetable garden.
Self-Care While We Rebuild: How Taking Care of Yourself Helps Your Community
Tuesday, May 26 from 10-11 AM
Featuring Leslie Langbert, LCSW and Executive Director Center for Compassion Studies at University of Arizona
Join Leslie and Ciara to learn about how caring for ourselves creates the foundation for community wide recovery. Leslie offers us insights about how to mitigate the consequences of experiencing shared trauma and how we are stronger together when we care for ourselves individually.
Leslie has been teaching CBCT® (Cognitively Based Compassion Training) since 2014. Having studied directly with Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, Ph.D at Emory University since 2012, she has led more than 100 students through the CBCT® program, including adolescents in foster care, Native American youth, transgender youth, behavioral health professionals, early childhood professionals and parents of preschoolers. She has been a certified yoga instructor for more than 6 years with additional training in yoga therapy, and is a mindfulness meditation facilitator.
In addition to her role as Executive Director of the Center for Compassion Studies, Leslie is an instructor in the Care, Health & Society program of the Department of Sociology, offering the course CHS 460- Self-Care in the Helping Professions. She also shares wellness and mindfulness practices during the academic year with students, faculty and staff through various campus programs.
A licensed clinical social worker, Leslie has a background as a psychotherapist working with children, youth and adults, and has held leadership roles in the non-profit sector in Florida, Washington D.C. area, and New York City. She received both her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology and Master of Social Work degree from Florida State University.
Stay tuned for more!
This is the Zoom link you can use to access every week’s Coffee and Connect, it will be a standing Zoom link.
We will be emailing the link to all Partners, and you are welcome to pass it on to friends and colleagues if you think they would enjoy connecting to SVP and our Hosts.