Rhonda Broussard views education as her social justice issue and has been a leader in diversity and international education initiatives throughout her 23-year career in public education. Rhonda is a social entrepreneur who founded Beloved Community to create sustainable paths to diverse, equitable schools and neighborhoods. Her vision for Beloved Community is informed by her leadership in diverse by design schools and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s goal “ to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”Rhonda writes the education interview blog One Good Question, using it to explore her question about education investments.
Prior to launching The Ochosi Group, Rhonda founded St. Louis Language Immersion Schools (SLLIS), a charter management organization designed to be Missouri’s first K-12 immersion and International Baccalaureate education continuum. SLLIS is an intentionally diverse school community and is the first public school in the US to offer this rigorous academic model to a majority minority student population and socio-economically diverse student population. Under Rhonda’s leadership, the first three schools in the network became IB World Authorized Schools, and SLLIS achieved an AYP of 92%, equivalent to Accreditation with Distinction from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Rhonda served as President of SLLIS until June 2015.
Rhonda is a Pahara-Aspen Institute Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leaders Network. Rhonda is a 2014 recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowship for International Leadership. During her fellowship she studied whole system education reform and teacher education practices in Finland and New Zealand. Rhonda has received numerous recognitions including 2008 30 Leaders 30 Years by Breakthrough Collaborative, 2009 St. Louis Luminary by St. Louis Magazine, 2010 Buzz List by ALIVE Magazine, 2010 YMCA Strong Kids Zealot by The Monsanto Family YMCA, 2012 Diverse Business Leader by St. Louis Business Journal, 2013 Outstanding African American Citizen by Gateway Classic, 2013 Social Sector Excellence Award by St. Louis New Leaders Council, and 2015 People Who Inspire by Delux Magazine.
Rhonda has taught French in public schools in New York City, Connecticut, California and St. Louis and has earned National Board Certification, the most prestigious teaching credential in the United States. She completed her undergraduate studies in French and Secondary Education at Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Arts degree in French Studies from New York University’s Institute of French Studies. Growing up in Louisiana, she was inspired by the idea of the francophone world and has dedicated herself to continuing to explore the connections between francophone regions. As a result, in addition to learning French since childhood, she has studied and conducted research in metropolitan France, Cameroon and Martinique. Rhonda began her education reform career as a teenage staff member with the Breakthrough Collaborative in New Orleans, Kansas City and San Francisco.
Rhonda and her bilingual family live in New Orleans, LA, and use the One Parent One Language method. Rhonda studies, performs and occasionally teaches traditional dances from the African diaspora.
David Lewis combines his background in education and non-profit community engagement to support intentional, strategic change within organizations. A higher education administrator by trade, David has worked in college readiness and persistence work since 2006. In 2006, he founded College Student Serving Communities (CSSC), a small community group of college students committed to advancing awareness and educating high school students as they prepared for post-secondary education. In his work, David remains committed to developing systems for individuals and organizations which support meaningful development experiences, implementation strategies, and effective assessment methods to improve outcomes.
Throughout his career, David has worked with youth of all ages but finds his passion most in exploring challenges for successful post-secondary matriculation and completion. He is experienced in developing and influencing strategic transitions, as well as in designing program assessment and service evaluation. David’s specific interest in post-secondary matriculation and completion centers largely around urban youth and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. His focus in this work is multi-faceted with a dynamic approach using a four-frame structure to assess both individual and organizational needs. A deep believer in the idea that people and organizations are always in transition, David works to help others develop agency and ownership to spark new thinking and innovation. He is a founding Board Member of the Alpha Economic and Education Development Foundation of Acadiana, Inc., and is a past Board Member of Praise Entertainment, a Christian-based, community impact organization.
A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, David currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas.