In-Person Professional Development

Collective Belonging: SEL Strategies for Gender + Racial Equity

Join Girls Leadership for a three-day professional development training.

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In this training, you will experience, share, and practice social-emotional learning tools and strategies that promote gender and racial equity to support you in creating spaces where every student feels like they belong. You will receive a robust SEL curriculum, designed with the needs of the most marginalized girls in mind, that will prepare you to support all of your students.
We will create a powerful community of collective belonging, where participants give each other permission to show up with authenticity and compassion for self and others. Our community is where we practice wellness, tap into our bravest selves, take risks, make mistakes, laugh, learn, and grow.


June 26 – 28 2023


Uptown Station
1955 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

Who is this program for?

  • Professionals who work with girls in grades 5–12.
    Teachers, coaches, counselors (in private practice, school, etc.), program staff, formal volunteers, etc.

What is Collective Belonging Professional Development?

  • It’s an experiential 3-day training with a duration of 20 hours.
    It will bring professionals together to develop skills, strategies, and mindsets to address social-emotional learning, cultural responsiveness, and trauma-informed best practices through a gender and racial lens.
    It will prepare participants to implement the Girls Leadership 90-lesson curriculum for grades 5–12 in their spaces.

Participants will:

  • Create a powerful community of caring adults committed to supporting the wellness, leadership, and power of themselves and the young people you teach
  • Examine your own relationship with social-emotional skills to effectively model strategies
  • Identify bias as it shows up in your work with youth and take steps to interrupt it
  • Gather in breakout groups to process your individual learning, test out strategies, support others, and prepare to take learning back to your community
  • Engage in culturally responsive mindsets and practices and identify ways to implement them
  • Understand trauma and its associated responses and experience creating a healing-centered environment
  • Recognize signs of compassion fatigue and gain tools for addressing its impacts
  • Experience the Girls Leadership curriculum and learn best practices as well as implementation tips
  • Laugh together, eat good food, and experience many of the games from the Girls Leadership curriculum
  • Take home a printed curriculum to make the training easily actionable in the year ahead





Community Contract Creation & Implementation
Debunking Safe Spaces & Brave Space Making
Social-Emotional Learning & the Girls Leadership Way
Recognizing Implicit Bias


Deep Dive into Educator Bias: the Ready to Lead Report
Bias Intervention with Scenarios
Culturally Responsive Mindsets
Recognizing & Addressing Compassion Fatigue


Trauma Informed Care: Understanding Trauma and Associated Responses
Mindset Shifts through the Four Pivots
Taking a Healing-Centered Approach to Work with Youth


Our gender and culturally responsive middle school curriculum includes 93 lessons and focuses on five domains with lessons aligned to developmentally appropriate outcomes at three levels: Introductory, Developing, and Advanced.

It was developed in partnership with middle school girls in grades 6–8 from across the country, including Girls Athletic Leadership School in Denver and Los Angeles, The Young Women’s Leadership Schools in the Bronx and Astoria, and United Playaz and West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center in San Francisco to support the development, testing, and iteration of our lessons.

  • Each participant will receive a copy of the curriculum, which includes 90+ culturally responsive and trauma-informed lessons
  • The ratio of practice and activity versus instruction is 2:1 for optimal collaboration
  • Lessons are developmentally appropriate and adaptable for grades 5–12
  • Lessons cover five domains: Mindfulness + Self-Compassion, Identity + Self-Awareness, Diversity + Social-Awareness, Community + Relationship Skills, and Advocacy + Action



California Program Manager Alie Jones, National Program Director Hénia Belalia, and California Program Manager Monica Cortez.

Participants Tell Us

“I think that this three day training has really helped me see how being vulnerable and letting students know about your lived experience models boundaries for them.” – Social Worker, TWYLS Astoria

“The first day I walked in, the energy was different. It was way better than pre-COVID doing a lot of workshops, so that was amazing to walk into. But the information was on point, the direction was on point. The engagement was on point too. The facilitators and the people that attended the cohorts were amazing. It worked. And I think the target hit.” – Mental Health Counselor

“This community was wonderful. Everyone was engaged, everyone was innovative, and everyone was sharing their own experiences and the facilitators were very energetic and the energy in the room was fantastic. And I learned so much from my fellow program participants as well from all backgrounds.” – Program Manager, Leadership and Mentoring Program at the University of Central Florida.

100% of Collective Belonging participants would recommend the training to a friend or colleague.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I receive credits for this professional development? 
If your supervising organization approves this professional development to meet CEUs, we can approve documentation that certifies your hours of participation.

Who is the professional development for? 
The sessions are designed for educators, administrators, district leaders, youth-serving professionals, counselors, and formal volunteers who work regularly with girls in grades 5– 12.

Can I train others to teach the curriculum? 
Completion of this professional development does not authorize individuals to sell the program or train others to teach it.

What do we mean by “collective belonging” and why does it matter? 
When girls feel seen and feel like they belong in a community, they feel like they can show up authentically, be fully present, do their best work, and learn. You will get to experience this sense of belonging in an intentional way, so you can recreate this experience for your girls and all of your students.




COVID Safety Guidelines

COVID-19 Safety and Preventative Measures  
With the safety and wellness of all participants and facilitators as the highest priority, Girls Leadership Professional Development will run in accordance with the most up-to-date COVID guidance from the local health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Outdoor space will be utilized and indoor mask-wearing will be recommended if it is not required by the local health department or the CDC. Facilitators will all be fully vaccinated, and we require that training participants show proof of vaccination by the start of the program.