NewSchools Venture Fund and Walton Family Foundation announce 15 new grantees working to recruit, retain, and support teachers of color

March 24, 2022

OAKLAND, CA, March 24, 2022 NewSchools Venture Fund today announced a new cohort of organizations receiving investments totaling $2.5 million to diversify the PreK-12 teaching profession. 

This is the second year that NewSchools made investments in organizations seeking to advance educator diversity, with financial support from Alice L. Walton and the Walton Family Foundation. Each organization will receive a one-year grant ranging from $150,000 to $200,000 based on their stage of development. 

“Our partnership with NewSchools enables us to make an expansive impact nationwide by funding a range of bold solutions to recruit, retain and support diverse educators,” said philanthropist Alice Walton. “This is especially important during this historic moment where we face both a national teacher shortage and students in crisis post-pandemic.”

The 15 selected organizations are taking a variety of approaches to diversify teaching, including providing support to schools to identify and rectify practices that create barriers to growing a diverse workforce, building culturally responsive teacher preparation and residency programs, and providing targeted training and wellness support for teachers of color. 

Increasing the representation of teachers of color matters,” said Frances Messano, president of NewSchools. “Having diverse teachers has benefits for all students, and for students of color, it can make all the difference. We believe these organizations will make a significant contribution so that America’s teacher workforce can reflect the increasing diversity of its students.” 

Nationally, teachers of color make up just 20 percent of the workforce, although more than half of students are students of color. Research shows that having teachers of color in schools enhances the performance of all students, no matter their race, and helps students of color feel safer and more engaged in school. 

In addition to funding, the selected organizations will benefit from management assistance, including access to NewSchools’ network of internal experts and external partners to help strengthen their organizational capacity and impact.

The grantees announced today are:

  • Another Lens Staffing and HR Consulting Firm, LLC (Foxboro, MA)
  • Black Men Teach (Minnesota, MN)
  • Charlotte Bilingual School (Charlotte, NC)
  • Community Build Ventures (Atlanta, GA)
  • Fletcher Education Solutions, LLC ( Pine Bluff, AR)
  • Healing Schools Project (Newark, NJ)
  • Jacksonville Public Education Fund (Jacksonville, FL)
  • Passion Drive Leadership (Shreveport, LA)
  • Pennsylvania Educator Diversity Consortium (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Portland Public Schools (Portland, ME)
  • Renton School District (Renton, WA)
  • The Center for Black Educator Development (Philadelphia, PA)
  • The Language Preservation Project (Houston, TX)
  • The Teachers’ Lounge (Boston, MA)
  • Watts of Power Foundation (Los Angeles, CA)

About NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund is a nonprofit venture philanthropy that invests in promising teams of educators and innovators with the vision and skills to reimagine learning. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the students, educators and schools they serve. We are committed to helping students finish high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investing, management assistance, network building and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine PreK-12 education. To learn more, visit 

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. In 2018, the foundation awarded more than $595 million in grants in support of these initiatives. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.