How Dr. Shelley Jones- Holt is Creating a Community to Combat Racism in Schools, Workplaces, and Homes

For mothers, life can be fun and challenging as they go through the daily tropes of caring for their children. Working mothers encounter similar, if not twice, the challenge as they strive to keep their career balanced with their family and personal lives. Dr. Shelley Jones- Holt found herself in a situation that no mother should ever have to face– the near loss of her son due to racism.

Dr. Shelley Jones-Holt worked as a superintendent for a district where her son was a graduating senior. The adults in the school treated him horribly, driving him to resort to attempting suicide. While the adults were to blame, Dr. Shelley’s son also glared accusingly at his mother, whom he believed felt that her work was more important than his life. It was then that Dr. Shelley realized that while she was succeeding in her career, she was failing at her job as a mother and a parent.

The experience shook her up, and Dr. Shelley realized that the only job that mattered was being there for her family and fighting for anti-racism. She was considered a racist by white teachers and administrators in a former sundown community for addressing racial equity gaps and holding adults responsible and accountable for student achievement. Dr. Shelley realized that there was a lot for educators to understand about what racism is and its impact on the country, schools, work environment, and especially homes. 

Dr. Shelley Jones-Holt has worked hard for twenty years to become a trainer, leader, and practitioner for equity-driven corporate and individual leadership. She was constantly motivated by challenging beliefs and value systems that are oppressive and biased. Dr. Shelley trained educators and leaders for years who realized that part of their flawed ideas sprung from their upbringing.

Since then, she has expanded Leadership Legacy Consulting, LLC, where they specialize in diversity, equity, inclusion & anti-racist leadership training, facilitation, and support at school, work, and home. The company is on an unapologetic journey towards spreading anti-racism. Providing safe space for brave action for those that are open to learning from others to make this journey possible.

Dr. Shelley also created a non-profit organization called Family Legacy 5 to eliminate the school to prison and poverty pipeline by creating pipelines to career and life success. Family Legacy 5 is set on helping the youth and families of historically underserved and underrepresented communities.

Both foundations take a unique approach with their mission. While others only provide guidelines, Dr. Shelley and her team walk through people’s journey with expert guidance, and help build a village that supports them every step of the way. They adamantly believe in setting the environment for this work and shun shaming, blaming, or victimizing as they work together. 

Dr. Shelley Jones-Holt believes that anti-racist family leadership is everyone’s responsibility and will require courage and knowledge of a racialized history most people are unaware of. Because of this, she has worked hard to build an online village to support one another as they address systemic racism in themselves and their families. They are currently expanding the space in Michigan and building a Retreat Center in Alabama to provide a safe space for people to learn to take brave action in their schools, workplaces, and homes.

To learn more about Dr. Shelley, you may visit her website.


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