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Sheryl Petty is a Senior Consultant at Change Elemental. She has worked in organizational development, systems change, equity, network development and alliance building for nearly 25 years. She has been a high school teacher, program manager, executive director and consultant to nonprofits, school districts, universities and foundations. Sheryl has planned, designed and facilitated trainings and planning processes with thousands of practitioners, staff, community members, advocates and boards nationally. Her skills include equity-driven change process design and facilitation, cross-sector field-building, strategy development and strategic planning, alliance building and network development, equity assessments, qualitative research, visioning, and life coaching. Her work focuses on promoting aligned approaches across organizations and sectors including capacity building, practice, policy, research, community organizing, educator preparation and development, messaging and communications, and mindfulness, socio-emotional competencies and contemplative practice. 

Sheryl also has co-convened a number of field-building gatherings to build bridges and cross-institutional strategy among nonprofits, foundations, education organizations, capacity builders, and mindfulness communities, among others. A sampling of clients includes:  FSG, Meyer Foundation (DC); Hartford Public Schools (CT); Raikes Foundation; Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC); Texthelp (a global literacy software provider); Boston University School of Public Health; Baltimore’s Promise (a city-wide, cradle-to-career, collective impact effort); Southern Education Foundation and the Center for Popular Democracy; Project for the Advancement of our Common Humanity at New York University; the Panasonic Foundation; the New Models Working Group (a consortium of regional and national funders); and the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education (NY).

Sheryl was a Principal Associate at theAnnenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, was also a Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, wasAdjunct Faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University where she taught on Systems Change & Equity, and is currently a Fellow at the Mind and Life Institute. She also publishes and engages in public speaking in the areas of social systems change, equity and contemplative practice.

Sheryl holds a B.A. in Mathematics, an M.A. in Systematic & Philosophical Theology, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Change. She is ordained in indigenous African-based and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Her focus is on supporting the alignment efforts of practitioners, advocates and community members to heal and unleash our most vibrant selves, transform our social systems, and improve our collective life. When she’s not at Change Elemental, you can find Sheryl practicing yoga, reading science fiction, hiking, or singing and dancing across multiple sacred traditions.