Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Laura McGowan-Robinson

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
My love for education stems from my admiration for my grandmother, whose biggest dream was for her descendants to at least finish high school—something she wasn’t able to do as a sharecropper.
I earned my undergraduate degree in English rhetoric and then went on to earn a Master of Education in secondary education.
After graduating with my master’s degree, I became a teacher for Chicago Public Schools.
I taught in Chicago for a few years and then moved to Los Angeles, California, where I spent a few more years teaching before becoming an administrator.
Surprised by the lack of diversity in education—even in what’s considered to be a diverse state—I became eager to explore how I could help diversify and increase cultural competence in education.
I founded Crown Preparatory Academy, a public charter middle school in South Los Angeles, and spent over six years as executive director.
I became more involved with policy and advocacy while working for the California Charter Schools Association—during this time, I also earned my doctorate in educational leadership for social justice.
I’m now the CEO of the Diversity in Leadership Institute, where I work to increase the pipeline for diversity in school leadership.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
English, Rhetoric
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Graduate
Secondary Education
University of Illinois Chicago
Doctorate
Educational Leadership for Social Justice
Loyola Marymount University
Certification/License
Diversity and Inclusion
Cornell University

Career

CEO

I work to increase the pipeline for more diversity in K-12 education leadership spaces.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Politics
Helping People

Day to Day

I spend a lot of my time either in meetings, on the phone, or answering emails all in service of helping get more diverse and culturally-responsive administrators in positions of school leadership.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Don't put too much pressure on yourself to figure out what you need to do for the rest of your life straight out of school. Allow yourself the time and space to explore different things in order to find whatever it is that brings you joy. Find something to sustain yourself while you take time to explore.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
English, Rhetoric
graduate
Graduate
Secondary Education
doctorate
Doctorate
Educational Leadership for Social Justice
certification
Certification/License
Diversity and Inclusion

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You don't deserve to be in this space."

Challenges I Overcame

Racial Discrimination
Other