Meet our panelists: Dr. Michele Hancock

Get to know our International Women's Day panelists! Don't forget to join us on Saturday, March 7 to celebrate the amazing women of our community.

Event details:

Q: What do you do?

A: Career span of three decades in K-12 and higher education serving as a classroom teacher, central office administrator, school superintendent, higher education administrator leading and developing diversity, equity and inclusion programs and initiatives, and as a professor of practice in education.

I also Serve as an equity warrior challenging systemic racism and its devastating effects on the educational system’s capacity to effectively educate all children regardless of demographic characteristics.

I enjoy reading and traveling.

Q: Why are you looking forward to participating in the IWD panel?

A: My purpose for participating is to share and galvanize women to action to address racial, social and economic inequities within their sphere of influence.

Q: Why is it important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

A: It is important to celebrate IWD to bring continuous awareness and recognition of women who positively impact the cultural, political, economic, and social conditions of our world and persistently fight for gender parity.

Q: How do you promote gender equality in your daily life?

A: I provide comprehensive learning workshops and experiences on equitable and inclusive practices in the workplace, develop and teach diversity courses to improve preservice training and preparation for teacher candidates. Additionally, I serve as a college campus resource person to report sexist, discrimination and racist acts.

Q: Who is a woman who inspires you and why?

A: First and foremost, my mother, Betty McFalls, who instill a belief of service to others. Marva Collins was the other important woman who was an inspiration. The school she started was called Westside Preparatory School Westside Prep for the purpose of teaching low-income black children whom Collins felt that the Chicago Public School System had labeled as being learning disabled. Collins proved that students were teachable and were able to overcome obstacles of learning via her teaching methods, eliminated behavioral issues and allowed students to flourish.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – autobiography describing the early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The book highlights Maya’s transformation from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice. A powerful civil rights activist!

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