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As we start a new academic year, I am reminded once again, why BEA is my tribe. I can always find people and ideas and research that in some ways mirror my own. And if not, I learn new things that make a difference in my work and my life. I tend to think of this experience as “belonging.” Most references sources share that belonging means feeling a sense of security and support, and also acceptance, inclusion, and an identity toward a certain group.

BEA would like to enfold this idea of belonging into this year’s programming and beyond. To further this idea, Diversity Fellow George Daniels and the Diversity Task force, put their “zoomed” heads together to consider the idea of belonging, and will kick off something new this year….a Book Read. The book is called Cultures of Belonging: Building Inclusive Organizations That Last, by Aliya Miranda-Wolff (2022) Harper-Collins: Leadership. It’s listed in our BEA Connect Book Room too. The ebook is reasonably priced and readily available and we will be inviting you to join us for conversations about the book’s themes, in a few zoom meetings, before the BEA Vegas convention in April. And then we’ll gather in person at the convention for some culminating programming. And by the way, we also have some panels about “belonging” at our On Location conference in October.

From our perspective, YOU belong here, as a member of BEA. And we’d like to make sure we’re doing what we can to help you feel that way. Let me know if you have thoughts on this idea of belonging, and how we can foster it within our organization. My best to you and yours as we dig into the new school year.

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