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 improve racial diversity in education.
In 2015, NewSchools created a fund to help close the racial leadership gap in education. We’ve invested over $30 million in 104 organizations so far, working not just as funders, but as partners committed to helping leaders build powerful, sustainable organizations. Our innovators step into their own power, realize their dreams and bring new solutions to improve education for all students. Yet, there’s much further to go. We continue to fund ideas that seek to increase the number of teachers and education leaders of color and support parents to advocate for change.
Teacher Diversity: We believe solutions that focus on the recruitment, preparation, and placement of aspiring teachers of color are key to advancing racial diversity within America’s educator workforce. Equally important, we look for ideas that support the retention of teachers of color and center their development and well-being. We fund a range of solutions that strengthen the teacher diversity pipeline, from cultivating high school students’ interest in teaching as a profession to providing teachers wraparound services and support.
Leader Diversity: We consider ideas that advance leader diversity within schools, districts, and nonprofit organizations. We look for ideas that equip aspiring leaders of color with the knowledge, tools, and experiences to successfully transition into leadership roles (e.g., superintendents, principals, educational nonprofit executives, school board members, and other key players in the educational ecosystem). In addition, we support ideas that focus on the continued development of existing leaders of color in education.
Parent Advocacy and Leadership: We see parents of color as key stakeholders and advocates in their children’s education. Parents have a clear view of the change required in their schools and communities. We prioritize efforts to empower parents of color to advocate for changes that benefit all children and enable them to realize their full potential.
Not enough innovators of color get equitable access and support from funders, but we’re determined to be different. Our funding provides the support early-stage entrepreneurs need to pilot new programs, reach new markets, or collaborate with key partners in the field. And every year, we’re increasing the financial support we provide to our ventures.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the genius that exists within Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native communities around this country, and we’re committed to accelerating progress.