EQUITY TRANSFORMATION SPECIALIST
Leidene C. King has served as an urban educator for nearly 20 years in various capacities, from teaching 5th and 8th grade, to strengthening the practice of K-8 teachers and principals, to
facilitating district-wide reform. Being a product of one of New Jersey’s Abbott Districts, the state’s most challenged, Leidene has chosen to focus her career on strengthening the quality of
education for urban public school students.
As an eighth grade teacher, more than 90% of Leidene’s students demonstrated at least 80% mastery of content. In only her second year of teaching, she was nominated by her colleagues and selected as a recipient of the Governor of the State of New Jersey’s Recognition in Teaching Award. As an educational consultant, Leidene has supported urban schools in effectively building and executing improvement plans, particularly their professional development efforts. Her work has focused on strengthening teacher practice, strategically and efficiently, through an action-planning framework that she created.
Leidene graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Geology and a minor in Mathematics. She earned her M.A. in Educational Leadership from St. Peter’s College. Leidene has published “The Lack of African American Teachers and the Impact on Society” in ASCENT, the publication of the University of Denver’s Center for African-American Policy. She is also a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing.
As a facilitator for Pacific Educational Group, Leidene brings together her love for teaching, personal experience as a biracial woman, professional experience as an urban educator, and her interest and training in healing work to help school systems strengthen the educational experiences of all students, especially students of color, through racial equity transformation.
What calls me to this work?
My personal experiences as a biracial Black woman, and my professional experiences as an urban educator call me to do this work. Personally, I do not recall a time when I was not a racial being – when my racial identity was not salient. I learned early in life that race, or my color and other physical characteristics, meant something and seemed to be an important and defining characteristic beyond my physicality. This external “defining,” more often than I would have liked, did not reflect the inherent beauty, brilliance and greatness that is at the core of who I am and that is, I believe, at the core of each of us. At times, I was “other” within my community. More often, I was “other” outside of it. From my experience of “otherness” was birthed the pursuit of an ever deepening self-love and a passion for healing – healing of my own racial wounding, and that of my community. My desire for myself and for those like me, is to undo our “mis-education” and embrace more fully our inherent beauty, brilliance and greatness, and to live from that place – for our own sake, and for the sake of our children.