In 2019, the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) convened a series of leadership conversations focused on creating a culture of professionalization in afterschool, which included a discussion of the need to build a leadership pipeline and to foster more diverse leadership, starting with a focus on supporting and retaining leaders from minoritized racial and ethnic backgrounds. These leader-focused discussions were a natural next step in NAA's long track record of commitment to equity and advocacy for the professionalization of the afterschool field, including through the development of Core Knowledge and Competencies for Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals, and by annually honoring the Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders.
NAA is now elevating the importance of building a diverse leadership pipeline through the launch of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) in spring 2020, with grant support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and in partnership with the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC) and Development Without Limits (DWL). NAA also engaged Policy Studies Associates (PSA) and Public Profit as learning and research partners. This brief, researched and authored by PSA and leveraging interview and survey data from Public Profit, results from a collaborative effort intended to frame efforts to embrace, support, and retain afterschool leaders of color.