Throughout AY22, TLED will host speakers on topics related to purpose and belonging. Tune in online to dive deeper into this research. Subscribe to receive connection details, no registration is required.

Note: Recordings will be posted online for later viewing. ASL interpreters and closed captioning will be provided.

Questions? Contact [email protected]

Honoring Indigenous Peoples

Presented by: Nichole Prescott, Ph.D. Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, P16 Initiatives, University of Texas System
Date: Friday, November 12, 2021
Time: 10 – 11 a.m.
Link: Virtual via Zoom

As a respected leader in the Myaamia Tribe, Dr. Prescott will discuss Indigenous worldviews and highlight the cultural value our Indigenous students bring into our classrooms. Honoring that perspective by valuing student and staff Indigenous identity and intentionally including diverse cultural perspectives into our classrooms creates belonging for students with indigenous roots, and fosters greater understanding on the parts of non-indigenous students. 

About Nichole Prescott, Ph.D.
Dr. Nichole S. Prescott joined The University of Texas System in December 2016. As Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, P16 Initiatives, Dr. Prescott takes a lead role in strengthening the PreK-16 pipeline and enhancing college readiness for Texas students through expanded collaboration between the UT System, UT institutions, and public PreK-12 partners as well as entities. Dr. Prescott has a Ph.D. in History from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, two M.A. degrees in History and Women’s Studies from SUNY and Miami University, and a B.A. in History from UT Austin.

Dr. Prescott is a proud citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma (Myaamia) and actively participates in the culture and language revitalization efforts of her people. Born in an Indian Hospital in Oklahoma, Dr. Prescott was raised on the Texas/Mexico border before she moved to Austin to pursue a college degree at The University of Texas as a first-generation college student. While Austin is her home, Dr. Prescott has maintained a strong engagement with the broader Native American community, formerly serving on the Board of Directors of the American Indians of Texas as well as former Executive Director of the Myaamia Foundation. Learn more.

Purpose and Belonging: Framing the Conversation

Presented by: Mee Moua, Racial Healing and Racial Equity Consultant
Date: Friday, December 3, 2021
Time: 9 – 11 a.m.
Link: Virtual via Zoom

Purpose is people-alignment work. Purposing people requires: (1) a commitment to the individual, internal journey, (2) acknowledgment of how we can and should show up with and for each other, and (3) a willingness to practice ways of living that supports how we see, hear, and understand one another as members of one human family. A starting place is this plenary session to frame belonging as an inside-out journey that starts with embracing our individual sense of purpose. 

Belonging is achieved when there is an alignment of purpose among people who are in the right relationship with each other.

This plenary session invites reflections about the participants’ notions of purpose and belonging and introduces the concept of the inside-out journey as the necessary experience to understanding purpose and achieving belonging. 

Participants will be invited to engage in individual reflections, small group conversations, and large group discussions (1) to remember their own experiences of being purposed instead of pushed, (2) to practice purpose alignment, and (3) to create and sustain spaces of welcome and belonging.

About Mee Moua
Mee Moua provides training, facilitation, and coaching support for individuals and organizations in planning, leadership, and equity transformation. She is passionate about democracy-building, heart leadership, and making visible the interconnectedness among peoples. Some of her clients are local and state elected officials, community and national foundations, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations undertaking equity-centered transformation.

She was the president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and the vice president for public policy and advocacy for the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, both of which are leading Asian American civil rights organizations based in Washington, D.C. Prior to her work in Washington, she was an attorney and a member of the Minnesota State Senate. She was the first Hmong American to be elected to a state legislature in the United States, served three terms before retiring in 2010, and served as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee in her final term.

Mee was born in Laos and came to the United States in 1978 as a refugee. She grew up in the midwest, attended Brown University, received her MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and earned her JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.

She is a recognized public speaker, leadership mentor, and relationship weaver. She currently works and lives in Maryland with her husband and their three children.

Contributed by Courtney Grams