Choosing Humanity | Leadership Lessons

June 30, 2021  • Aspen Global Leadership Network

David Hardy (Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow) has focused his career on closing educational gaps in school districts across the United States. In years spent working with communities that had been underinvested in, he was always looking deeper at the ecosystem surrounding the children at the schools he was leading. He observed that the inequities these communities were experiencing weren’t just in education, but in health care, access to food, interaction with law enforcement, and more.

This led David to create Made by Change – an organization that aims to create cross-sector solutions to inequities impacting communities just like the ones David had spent his career in. The organization was created as his Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship venture in 2020, a year where many of the inequities David had touched personally became even more apparent.

“I intentionally created and Made by Change with the thought of bringing leaders across industries together, to talk about these inequities and find ways to provide better outcomes for people as they interact with them in their own sectors, but collectively try to forge a pathway forward. So strategy is not done in isolation, but in the collective manner to have deeper impact.”

David is sharing his #LeadershipLessons from launching a new organization in the middle of a pandemic, what leading with humanity means to him, and the challenges he’s faced being one of few people of color in his field.

David Hardy is founder and CEO of Made by Change, an organization working to create cross-sector dialogue and impact on inequity. Prior to founding Mady by Change, he was the chief executive officer of Lorain City Schools. In this capacity, he assumed the responsibilities of the Superintendent and the school board in pursuit of turning around one of the lowest-performing school districts in the state of Ohio. He is a Fellow of the 22nd class of the Pahara – Aspen Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

The Pahara-Aspen Fellowship offers leaders who are reimagining public education an immersive experience that combines individual reflection on values tensions with dialogue across difference, and fosters deep connections among leaders to challenge, strengthen, and sustain them in their work across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.

Leadership Lessons – a Video Series from the Aspen Global Leadership Network

The impacts of COVID-19 continue to challenge our communities. However, through these challenges, there’s a lot to be learned. In “Leadership Lessons” hear from leaders who have stepped up in new ways and remained steadfast in their values through this crisis. How did they make the tough decisions? How have they changed as leaders? Tune in and gain top insights from values-driven leaders – Fellows in the Aspen Global Leadership Network – who are battling trade-offs, creating rapid responses to community needs, sharpening new skills, and more.

New episodes are released every week on the AGLN’s social media handles. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to watch in real-time.