Building statewide awareness for SEL and its impact
Advocating for state and local policies and funding to support SEL
Connecting local SEL stakeholders to share best practices
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Commit to Antiracism as Essential to SEL

At this pivotal moment in time, many are urgently seeking ways to respond to the chilling police murder of George Floyd, and now of Rayshard Brooks. His murder is within a long list of murders, both recent—Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, DJ Henry—and over years, decades, centuries. Police and other white people have treated the bodies and minds of Black and Brown people as disposable.

As the Board of Directors of SEL4MA, we acknowledge that we have been complicit in the culture of racism by not making a shared commitment to self-reflection and meaningful action.

The Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts commits to hold antiracism as essential to the core of effective SEL in all of our work moving forward.

COVID-19 SEL Supports

As local, state, national, and international leaders work to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many communities across the country are experiencing a heightened level of fear, anxiety, and worry during these uncertain times. Parents, educators, youth development professionals, childcare providers, and others are looking for ways to help young people reduce, manage, and cope with the fears, worries and anxieties that might be provoked by this health crisis and continue to develop the social and emotional skills they will need for managing and coping with future life challenges. We’ve compiled a list of resources to support these efforts. Check back periodically, as we will be updating the list.

SEL-Related Events

Virtual Program – Intersecting SEL, Social Justice, and Equity

Start date: June 5, 2024
End date: June 12, 2024
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Location: Virtual event
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This virtual, interactive two-session program will help individuals and teams from schools, districts, and other youth-serving organizations develop a shared understanding of the intersections of SEL and social justice. Participants will 1) develop a clear rationale why successful SEL implementation depends upon this intersection 2) assess the current state of leveraging SEL in service of social justice and equity in your community (including strengths, gaps, resistance and opportunities), and 3) leave with new insights and resources for implementation.


Two 2.5 hours sessions 

  • Participants will be encouraged to attend with other team members from your school, district and/ or community organization. 
  • Participants will meet in the same cohort configuration for both sessions, so as to develop a sense of community and strengthen networks of support.


Cohort 9: 

Session 1: Tuesday, June 5, 2024 – 4:00-6:30pm  

Session 2: Tuesday, June 12, 2024 – 4:00-6:30pm 

Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, a lead designer for this Intersecting SEL, Social Justice and Equity two-part series, is a speaker, consultant and workshop presenter on topics of educational equity, anti-racism, self-care and social and emotional learning. She has written about these topics in the Women Change Worlds blog and has articles in esteemed educational publications such as EdSurge, The 74million, and the Hechinger Report. Most recently, Kamilah was the Director of the Open Circle social and emotional learning program for children in elementary schools. She is a board member of the state social and emotional learning advocacy organization, SEL4MA and a steering committee member of the national SEL Providers Council. In all of her roles, Kamilah’s passion for social justice and the social and emotional wellbeing of children fuels her commitment to advocating for and educating others about the inextricable connections between social and emotional learning (SEL), social justice and anti-racism. Kamilah is also a trained leader with the National SEED Project where she has led cohorts of colleagues, educators and parents through year-long community building experiences that leverage the power of story-telling, self-reflection and truth-telling to bridge build and empower.

Catherine Wong, a lead designer for this Intersecting SEL, Social Justice and Equity two-part series, leads global and national organizations and higher education programs in developing strategy, collective leadership, curriculum and training centering diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Her effectiveness is the result of her direct ability to advocate from the heart and be unwavering in supporting youth and educators/professionals of color. Ms. Wong’s leadership experience spans PK-12 through higher education. She has held clinical faculty and director positions at Leadership Brainery, Boston; Urban Outreach Initiatives, Boston College; University of the Middle East Project, Cambridge, MA; and the Counseling Department, UMass Boston. Ms. Wong also serves on the SEL-TEd Steering Committee; Boston Public Schools Equity Roundtable; Co-Chair of Leadership Brainery’s Board of Directors, Board of Advisors for E3, Education, Excellence and Equity; and, as an Expert Panelist for the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks (GDEIB).

Marcus Penny has over 10 years of experience leading and learning in large urban school districts across the US. He works with a variety of administrations to recruit, monitor, and maintain educators and staff members of color as well as implement anti-racism strategies throughout school communities. Marcus has been recognized by the US Department of Education for his leadership in implementing culturally relevant, inclusion strategies for diverse groups of learners. He currently serves as STEM Instructional Coach for Boston Public Schools. 

Colleen Galvin Labbe has been an educator for 20 years, more than half of those in the Boston Public Schools in various teaching positions, including as a classroom teacher, intervention specialist supporting students who have been historically marginalized in becoming independent learners; and as an instructional coach, working with principals, teachers, and community partners to align culturally responsive SEL practices in-and-out of school. Colleen is dedicated to advancing education practices that promote transformative SEL in school communities, and is currently a Social-Emotional and Academic Development [SEAD] Instructional Coach in the Boston Public Schools. Colleen has held teacher leadership roles in her district and state, including as a Teach Plus Policy Fellow, and most recently as a member of the Safe & Supportive Schools Commission of Massachusetts. She has presented in national conferences about integrating SEL into academic content areas, with a focus on elevating identity, belonging, agency, collaborative problem solving and curiosity.

Also see our list of National SEL Events

Legislative Win!

In August 2018, new legislation established a permanent Promote Prevent Commission with a seat for SEL4MA’s Executive Director and a Behavioral Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention (BeHaPPE) Trust Fund.

SEL Impact

Value SEL

Teachers are calling for schools to prioritize integrating SEL learning practices and strategies.

Value SEL

Principals say SEL is essential, but want more guidance, training and support to teach these skills effectively.

SEL Investments Yield Returns

On average, for every $1 invested in SEL programming, there is a return of $11.