As a part of Austin Prep’s ongoing commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on campus, we are pleased to announce that we have retained the services of recognized educator, attorney, author and motivational speaker, Dr. Crystal Kuykendall. Already familiar with the Austin Prep community, Dr. Kuykendall delivered the keynote address at the 2020 St. Augustine Lecture Series.
Dr. Kuykendall will embark on this new role in late July, which will include strategic planning with school leadership in our journey to continue the progress with in building a diverse and inclusive educational environment, in support of our Augustinian values of veritas, unitas, and caritas.
A critical thinker, analyst, motivator and mentor, Dr. Kuykendall connects to her audiences and individuals through the power of her observations and the warmth of her words. A former elementary and secondary school teacher, Dr. Kuykendall has also taught in the Black Studies and Sociology Departments at Seton Hall University and Montclair State University. She is the former Executive Director of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. She has also served as the Director of Urban & Minority Relations for the National School Boards Association and the Director of the Citizens Training Institute of the National Committee for Citizens in Education.
Dr. Kuykendall is internationally recognized for her work in improving human relations in a multicultural society, strategic planning and improving educational outcomes. She is considered by many to be one of the most powerful, dynamic and inspiring speakers in the world, presenting over 100 speeches annually. She not only develops effective leaders but, she also facilitates self-analysis and inspires personal and organizational change, growth and powerful results.
Dr. Kuykendall has experience in leadership, public service and corporate success. She has been CEO of her own business for over 20 years and has served on the Board of Directors of Health Power, Inc. She also served on the Advisory Board of the Congressional National Youth Leadership Conference, the Education Task Force of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Social Change, the National Youth Leadership Conference and the National Education Task Force.
On her visit to Austin Prep this past March, Dr. Kuykendall’s lecture reminded students that love is not only a core value of Austin Prep, but also an extraordinary force and blessing in our lives. Regardless of differences in our backgrounds, she stated that it is the quality of relationships that we have in life that brings us joy. She emphasized the important role schools play in developing leaders who can look past differences and inspire students to search for and understand what is most important in life.
“We live in a society with too much hate, too many divisions and differences that move us away from our common purpose, which is to embrace the similarities between us.” Dr. Kuykendall said in March. “We need to understand that when we show reciprocity in love, friendship, and kindness we create communities that care.”
Austin Prep looks forward to welcoming Dr. Kuykendall back to campus, and working closely with her in support of our mission as we continue the progress in making Austin Prep community a leader on issues related to inclusion, equal opportunity, and diversity.