Diverse Leaders

Overview

Diverse leadership matters. Research shows that increasing leadership diversity improves student outcomes, spurs innovation, and strengthens organizations. Yet, in a country where the majority of public school students are children of color, diversity in the field — among teachers, leaders and parent advocates — lags far behind. We’re enthusiastically committed to supporting efforts that will change that. If you’re building an organization that’s working to bring diversity to education, we can’t wait to hear from you.

In 2015, NewSchools created a fund to help close the racial leadership gap in education. We’ve invested $15.5 million in more than 50 organizations so far, working not just as funders, but as partners committed to helping leaders build powerful, sustainable organizations. Together, these ventures have supported 26,000 leaders, 71 percent of whom are Black or Latino, who collectively serve 27 million students. And the impact goes beyond the numbers, as we watch Black and Latino innovators step into their own power, realize their dreams and bring new solutions to improve education for all students.

There’s much further to go. We know we’ve only scratched the surface of the genius that exists within communities of color around this country, and we’re committed to accelerating the progress. We’ll continue to seek out organizations that recruit and support the growth of Black and Latino teachers, leaders and advocates. We’ll also continue to support ventures that serve as capacity-builders, helping education organizations adopt inclusive, equitable practices that advance the ultimate goal of improving the life outcomes of children. 

We’re also changing the ways we work in order to support a group too often left out of the leadership picture: parents. Parents have not always been seen as education leaders — though few people are closer to the educational inequity in our system or have a clearer view of the change required in their schools and communities. That’s why we’re supporting efforts to mobilize Black and Latino parents to advocate for changes that benefit their children, and shift the culture and practices of education systems to be more equitable and inclusive. 

We help organizations move from start-up to sustainability and scale. We know Black and Latino innovators don’t always get the thoughtful hearing they deserve from funders, and we’re determined to be different. Our funding provides the support early-stage entrepreneurs need to work on their idea full-time or hire staff, begin piloting and operating programs, refine their idea, and collaborate with key partners in the field. And every year, we’re increasing the financial support we provide to our ventures. We provide seed funding for new organizations as well as funding for new initiatives within established organizations, along with customized management assistance and a community of practice. 

If you are working and building toward a vision of diverse leadership — and especially if you bring lived experience to your work — we want to hear from you. Stay tuned for our next open funding opportunity.  

Impact

Invested in 54 ventures

Funding catalyzed by our ventures

Leaders supported, 71% are Black or Latino

Students impacted

Diverse Leaders Ventures

Featured Resources