Black History Month: Stories that are Inspiring, Challenging, Changing, and Informing Us

At Education Pioneers, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is one of our core values and a core part of our work both internally and externally. DEI is the work we do, the experiences we have, the organization we want to build, and the world we want to live in. It isn’t just our core mission—DEI is personal, challenging, and institutional. One important action we can take to live our DEI core value is intentionally build a fuller understanding of our national history, and especially black history which is too often overlooked, marginalized, or relegated to only being discussed in February...

EP Shows its Pride

Catalyzed by the Pulse shooting during Pride Month in 2016 , the need and purpose for an intentional LGBTQ+ space internally for EP staff became clear. The important work of our EP Pride affinity group* started within two weeks with EP staff member Dan Rosenstein leading the charge to ensure those who identify as LGBTQ+ have a supportive community in the workplace. EP Pride’s impact and offerings continue to ramp up in scope and depth since it began two years ago. Today, nearly 25 percent of EP staff participate regularly in EP Pride meetings and activities. Staff have access to a regularly...

Five Strategies for Advancing Racial Equity in Public Education

Guest blogging today is Sam O’Bryant , an EP Alum who currently serves as the Senior Director for Equity & Partnerships at SchoolSeed Foundation in Memphis. Sam is a graduate of Alcorn State University and an advocate of historically Black colleges and universities. Sam is a husband, a dad, and a graduate student. When I began working in Memphis in 2012 at Memphis City Schools Foundation, I arrived during the halfway point of a major investment in teacher effectiveness. The work was worthy and victories were won, and the long-term focus was on making teachers the absolute best they could...

In Celebration of Black History Month

At Education Pioneers, we aim to embody the spirit of our core values, one of which is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion . It is important that we honor and continue to celebrate the contributions and commitments of diverse individuals in our world who are doing extraordinary work, inspiring new generations of leaders, and dedicating their lives to creating equitable educational opportunities for all. So, in celebration of Black History Month, we are spotlighting several EP staff who self-identify as black with a few Q&A’s: If you could connect with a Black History trailblazer who would it...

Getting Proximate with New Orleans: Q & A with EP Alum Meladee Evans

In the EP Blog post “ Four Places to Support Equity and Boost Your Career Like Nowhere Else ,” we discussed the importance of the network’s “accelerator cities” — some of our smaller locations that are high priority because they have a particularly high demand for talented leaders, as well as offer unique opportunities to impact education and advance careers rapidly. New Orleans is on that list, along with Memphis, Kansas City, and Tulsa. 2014 EP Fellow Meladee Evans began her career in education during her placement at Algiers Charter School Association in New Orleans. Although she was a...

Book Challenge: Five Must Reads for Fall

Working in education, especially for an organization whose mission is to help black and brown, low-income students, it’s key to educate myself on the systems that perpetuate our students’ circumstances. This is where books on these specific topics can be used as professional and personal development. From systemic issues in education to social justice to white privilege -- these topics affect the U.S. education system and the students we serve. To understand them and how we can dismantle them is the first step to change. As a young professional, books like Ta Nehisi Coates’ Between the World...

What We’re Chattering: National Hispanic Heritage Month

Julienne Devita / American Word Magazine At EP, our team is spread across the country. One of the tools we use to connect to each other daily is Salesforce Chatter! There, we give updates on our work, ask questions of each other, and share what we’re reading. As a community, we at Education Pioneers celebrate and work together to stay educated and engaged in regards to our different cultures and identities. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is not only one of our core values; it guides us in how we foster and develop our relationships with one another. Over the past month, we’ve celebrated...

Education Pioneers Stands with Dreamers

Photo by Aaron Burson on Unsplash Education Pioneers stands with the 800,000 Dreamers and is saddened by the President’s decision to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. EP recruits, develops, and connects professionals from diverse backgrounds with education roles to solve problems from outside of the classroom so ALL students and teachers succeed inside of the classroom. We pride ourselves on our core values — among them diversity, equity, and inclusion, people-focus, and optimism. The decision to rescind DACA runs counter to our values, our mission, and the world...

Charlottesville: Sharing Resources and Reflections

Dear EP Fellows, Alumni, and Friends, The brazen acts of hatred, bigotry, and violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville last weekend disgusted me personally, and were a horrific reminder of how much work we must do to break down the systems and structures in our nation that perpetuate inequality, inequity, and racism. Education Pioneers, and each of us individually, has a role to play in actively dismantling institutional and structural racism. As an organization, our mission is to recruit and develop a diverse network of exceptional leaders who work to build systems of great schools...

#EPPride: Exploring the intersection of race and sexuality with two EP Alumni

Pride Month is a big deal at Education Pioneers (check out our special flag logo!). This month, our staff has gathered multiple times virtually and in person to talk about our experiences within and as aspiring allies of the LBGTQ community. Our LGBTQ staff affinity group also worked with the EP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory to unveil an EP LGBTQ Employee Resource Guide. Some members of our staff gathered to watch “Paris is Burning” and “Pride.” We even discussed how the newest season of “Master of None” connects the traditional Thanksgiving episode with a conversation about the...

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