The freedom to thrive is every person’s fundamental right. Access to a great education, regardless of race or ethnicity, is essential to that freedom. And yet, despite important areas of progress, the promise of an equitable educational opportunity remains unfulfilled.
For years, all our work at NewSchools has sought to combat racial inequities in education and open doors for students and leaders of color seeking to have a positive impact in the sector. We’ve seen breakthroughs, but it’s not enough — a reality made even clearer by the coronavirus pandemic. Black, Latino, Native, Asian and Pacific Islander people have suffered disproportionately from Covid’s impact, from police violence and hate attacks, from threats to their jobs, housing, health and more. All of this is a result of America’s structural and institutional racism. All of it affects educational opportunity. We are committed to being part of the necessary change and we recognize the need to work on racial equity in a deeper way.
We believe the genius to create equitable learning experiences for all students already exists in our nation, in our communities, and that new ideas must have the support they need to grow. Through our Racial Equity investment area, we are looking for ideas from leaders of color focused on addressing racial inequities in education that extend beyond our other investment areas. In this way, we address persistent gaps in access to funding and help leaders of color bring powerful, imaginative ideas to life that reach toward a racially equitable education system — a bedrock of American antiracism.
The process for choosing ventures in this investment area looks different than it has in the past. There is rich, hard-won wisdom in communities of color — and we trust it. We’re ceding power. Instead of a traditional grantmaking approach, a Racial Equity Council decides how to allocate the funds in this investment area. Each year, NewSchools selects a diverse team of parents, students, educators, and innovators of color to serve on the council. Meet our most recent council members and read and watch to learn about their motivations and experiences on the council.
Public education can become a powerful force for justice that extends to other systems. But it will only happen when people of color are owners, planners, and decision-makers guiding and remaking all levels of our educational system.
Venture leaders who identify as people of color
Students served by racial equity ventures
Parents, students, and educators have made the funding decisions
Education leaders engaged to advance racial equity
Racial Equity Ventures
Young Leaders Strong City
Entrepreneur: Amber D Sims
Nonprofit | Visit the Site
Young Leaders, Strong City is student-centered organizing that focuses on dismantling institutional and structural racism, providing a historical analysis of inequitable policies and practices, addressing intersectionality in issues and solutions, and envisioning a more equitable society
We Love Philly
Entrepreneur: Carlos Aponte
Nonprofit | Visit the Site
We Love Philly is an out-of-school time program in Philadelphia that aims to empower students with positive community experiences and essential professional skills through mindfulness, volunteerism, entrepreneurship, and content creation. We Love Philly teaches students how to navigate complex emotional stressors, equips them with essential life skills, arranges volunteer experiences to promote community, connects students with local entrepreneurs and business owners to gain expertise, and lastly helps students to create their own brand.
The Emancipated, LLC
Entrepreneur: Dr. Crystal Menzies
For-profit | Visit the Site
EmancipatED seeks to address the limited, trauma-centered historical narratives of Black people throughout the Americas by expanding awareness of rebel Black communities, known as Maroon communities. This hidden Black history is not taught in K-12 classrooms, and the few comprehensive resources about Maroon communities are books written for collegiate or graduate students.