African American Educational Leaders Network

The African American Educational Leaders Network (AAELN) is an affinity group that exists as a Community of Practice and serves site and systems leaders across six Bay Area counties located in the Alameda Regional Academy geo-region. The group provides African American educational leaders a protected and safe space in which they may find support, work through problems of practice unique to their racial-ethnic identity, share ideas and ultimately build community across county lines and districts.

African American Educational Leaders Network: A Place to Come, Be, and Become

In this Professional Learning Community, African American-identifying education leaders have the opportunity to:

  • Develop a network where they support, empower and uplift each other through the collective sharing of experiences, strategies and evidence based knowledge in a safe space
  • Explore strategies that support and nurture the career advancement of our leaders, in light of the unique challenges related to their racial-ethnic & cultural identities
  • Enrich their professional experiences outside of their individual work sites; and build camaraderie across the Bay Area
  • Increase resilience and sustainability in the field
  • Maintain mental and physical health, and highlight the importance of balancing family life and work

Unless noted, this program is offered in a virtual and synchronous format. 


Todd Irving, Principal, Leadership Public Schools, Richmond, CA 
Mr. Irving has more than 30 years of administrative experience in education and served as the first UC Berkeley Principal Leadership Institute (PLI) Principal in Residence. He is currently principal of Leadership Public Schools in Richmond, CA

Jerome Gourdine, Director of Targeted Strategies, Oakland Unified School District
Mr. Gourdine has served Oakland for more than 27 years, as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Program Manager. Among his many accomplishments is receiving the 2007 MetLife Principal of the Year Award.

Gary McHenry, Leadership Coach, UC Berkeley
Mr. McHenry has spent 37 years in public education including serving 18 years as superintendent in three large CA school districts. He is currently a leadership coach in the UC Berkeley School of Education Principal‘s Leadership Program.

Florence Culpepper, Leadership Coach, UC Berkeley

Session Calendar 

Unless noted, AAMLN will meet monthly from 5:30–7:00 pm.

Session Date Time
Wednesday, Oct 11, 2023 5:30 pm–7:00pm
Wednesday, Nov 8, 2023 5:30 pm–7:00pm
Saturday, Dec 2, 2023 [In-person] 9:00 am–12:00pm
Wednesday, Jan 10, 2024 5:30 pm–7:00pm
Wednesday, Feb 7, 2024 5:30 pm–7:00pm
Saturday, Mar 9, 2024 [In-person] 9:00 am–12:00pm
Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024 5:30 pm–7:00pm
Saturday, May 11, 2024 [In-person] 9:00 am–12:00pm

* All meeting times are in Pacific time.

Who Should Participate?

Site Leaders, Systems Leaders working directly with school sites, Counselors, School Psycholgist, TOSAs

21CSLA programs are offered at no cost to participants employed in Title II districts and schools in six Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Solano. 

Click Here(link is external) to see schools served by the 21CSLA Grant. If you do not see your school, District or Charter System, please contact us @ sends e-mail)


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