THE INITIATIVE was founded in 2016 to develop a pool of qualified school leaders trained in urban education for Catholic schools, in particular.  THE INITIATIVE provides networking opportunities and ongoing professional development for current and aspiring school leaders. Additionally, THE INITIATIVE helps members identify school leadership positions in the Independence Mission Schools, parish elementary schools, archdiocesan high schools, and private Catholic schools.


Ongoing Professional Development and Networking

The Network provides a number of professional development sessions.  Past sessions include:

    Fall 2016

    “Journey to the Doctorate”, Gesu School, Panelists:

    • Dr. Camille Brown, Asst. Superintendent, Archdiocese of Baltimore
    • Dr. Ricardo Phipps, LaSalle University
    • Dr. Kenneth Waters, Harcum College
    Spring 2017

    “Community Collaboration” Mercy Career & Technical High School

    • Mr. Otis Hackney, Chief Academic Officer, City of Philadelphia, speaker
    Fall 2017

    “Self-Care and Mentoring the Next Generation of Urban Educators”, Cabrini University

    • Dr. Ronald Whitaker, speaker
    Spring 2018

    “Addressing Trauma in our Students” Saint Thomas Aquinas School

    • Mr. Jonathan Jackson, speaker
    Fall 2018

    “Inter-Generational Summit on School Leaders” – Adult School
    Leaders met with High School Leaders from the Monsignor Mitchell Memorial Scholarship Fund, Cabrini University

    • Rev. Stephen Thorne, speaker and facilitator

    Any Black Catholic educator or college-age student planning a career in education (in private or public school) is welcome to participate in the Network’s professional development programs.  Please sign-up for The INITIATIVE’s mailing list by sending an email with your name, email address, place of employment/university where you are enrolled to: INITIATIVE.Phila@gmail.com.

    The Black Catholic School Leader Network

    As of 2019, there is one African-American principal at a Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  To date, there has never been an African-American principal in either a private Catholic high school or an archdiocesan high school within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

    Through generous funding from the Martin de Porres Foundation, The Black Catholic School Leader Network (The Network) provides financial support to qualified applicants working toward principal certification who seek to serve in Catholic elementary and high schools within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

    To participate in The Network, interested educators must:
    Be employed as an educator in a Catholic school within the five county Archdiocese of Philadelphia
    Be admitted to a principal certification program (and graduate degree program, if necessary) at an accredited Catholic college or university
    Apply to The Network via The INITIATIVE
    Complete an interview with The Network Committee which consists of the Convener of The INITIATIVE, the Executive Director of the Martin de Porres Foundation, and one alum from The Network
    Submit course university invoices in a timely fashion so they can be paid by the Foundation