Dr. Sandra “Chap” Chapman is the Deputy Director of Programs and Curriculum at Perception Institute where she identifies opportunities to translate the mind sciences and other essential concepts into interactive workshops that build the capacity for clients to shift their mindsets and transform their organizations. Chap facilitates workshops on racial identity development, racial microaggressions, implicit bias, identity / racial anxiety, stereotype threat. Embedded within each concept are tools for helping individuals override unconscious phenomena linked to identity and better connect behavior with values.
Dr. Chap is also the Founder of Chap Equity, an organization rooted in the belief that, through teamwork, we can learn more about ourselves and others; discuss and discover the foundational research needed to address the needs in a community; create conversations that support individuals where they are and confront barrier issues; and create actionable steps towards building stronger educational communities. Beginning in 2019 , Dr. Chap worked as the lead on Identity Development for the Great First Eight Infant and Toddler curriculum and the Preschool curriculum and has assisted in the professional learning for Kindergarten to Second grade projects . Led by Dr. Nell K. Duke, The Great First Eight is a full day, project-based curriculum designed to integrate all disciplines, prioritizing science and social studies to an unprecedented degree for the infant through primary grades, and to support educators in enacting culturally relevant pedagogy.
Dr. Chap is an afrolatina and native New Yorker, born and raised in El Barrio, or Spanish Harlem, in New York City. All of Dr. Chap’s formal educational experiences occurred in New York City, from her early childhood days in Head Start and elementary school in Spanish Harlem; college at Fordham University in Lincoln Center; and Bank Street College of Education for her Masters in Education. In December, 2015 Chap completed her Educational Doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College and her dissertation was titled, The Role of Racial-Ethnic Identity and Family Socialization on Student Engagement: Latino Youth in Select New York City Independent Schools. Dr. Chap is the co-author of Black Girl on the Playground (Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls, Corwin Press, 2021) and an article about the working relationship between the Head of School and the Direction of Diversity for the NAIS Magazine called, The Power of Conversation (Summer 2014).
Dr. Chap served on the faculty of the National Association of Independent Schools Diversity Leadership Institute for nine years. During this week-long residential institute she facilitated conversations on racial identity development and racial microaggressions. Prior to launching her consulting work under Chap Equity and joining Perception Institute, Chap was the Director of Equity and Community at the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) for 13 years. In her role at LREI she worked on issues related to equity, diversity, social justice, inclusion and anti-bias curriculum. In addition to her years at LREI, Chap has worked at Manhattan Country School and the Bank Street School for Children, all independent schools in New York City. With 30 years in NYC independent schools, and a lifetime of personal experiences in school and other not-for-profit organizations across the country, Chap has a broad range of knowledge regarding children and their social, cognitive, physical, spiritual and emotional selves, as well as the role loving adults play in children’s lives.
Chap is the proud single mother of Sophia (23) and Andrei (18)!