Shelley Henderson is the national diversity and inclusion manager for FIRST—For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. She has spent nearly a quarter-century working as a youth development specialist, certified teacher, non-profit executive, university program coordinator, adjunct professor, community organizer and public policy advocate.
Henderson is leading a regional implementation of My Brother’s Keeper in the Heartland, serving as a lead facilitator and point of contact for the White House.
Henderson earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and her master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is working on her doctoral degree in diversity & equity in education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
During her career, Henderson has worked to equip adults so they can address inequity and advance social justice.
Born in the 1970s, Henderson saw newly-integrated schools as both places of refuge during her trying childhood and also spaces of intolerance. Henderson chose teaching as a career because she saw education as the great equalizer. She left the profession because she believes it’s easier to be a truth teller and change agent from the outside.