Despite her expertise on the subjects of diversity, inclusion, and equity, Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee describes herself as an “accidental consultant.” In fact, she initially aspired to be a doctor – a path far from the one she lives out today. While attending Harvard University, Ms. Lee realized that she wanted to experience more of life before going into medical school, so after majoring in Biology, she moved on to study professional theater.
Eventually, Ms. Lee ventured into the field of education. She is currently a teacher at the Seattle Girls’ School, where she instructs students on all sorts of topics including: art, ethics, math, science, social justice, and technology.
“I was going to conferences to learn about issues of identity and differences of power and privilege, and at the same time I was going to teacher conferences to learn about how to be a teacher and how to set up classrooms,” Ms. Lee said. “I [asked] where are those spaces where the two overlap.”
Ms. Lee then began planning and running her own workshops and sessions for teachers and students. She balances her schedule as a teacher and a diversity consultant by splitting her time between the two. She leaves town every other week and approximates that she spends about 100 to 150 days a year on the road. Throughout the year, she visits an estimated 75 to 150 schools, and through her visits, the schools gain a connection with her along as well as learn the morals behind her teachings.
Within the classroom, she strives to create a space where her students feel supported in their experiences, and feel valued for who they are.
“In terms of whether I expect people to listen to me or take my word heart to heart or apply it, that’s always my hope but never guaranteed… The impact is really about the partnership I provide and what the school is willing to take from it,” Ms. Lee said.
Ms. Lee has established herself as one of the most sought-after diversity counselors in the country. She is making her mark, and she has done so for the Webb community by teaching it the tools it needs to move forward into a better, more inclusive 2020 where we can strengthen our bonds through our diversity.