ED Group Injects $800,000 into Local Efforts for Education Equity

EdLoC grants support people of color focused on education change

For Immediate Distribution: February 9, 2021
Contact: Sharon Han, 213-694-3352, mshan@rabengroup.com

LOS ANGELES — Today, Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) announced that it has committed Boulder Fund grants totaling $800,000 to support eight people of color across the nation making notable headway to end racial disparities in education. The Boulder Fund is EdLoC’s multi-million dollar grant program created to support the innovations of leaders of color in education.

Sharhonda Bossier, EdLoC Interim CEO and Executive Director, said “With the combination of COVID-19 and growing civil unrest across the nation, underserved students of color are more vulnerable than they’ve been in decades, which has compelled greater urgency for programs that seek to serve them. We are thrilled to provide financial support to people of color leading the way toward educational equity through the Boulder Fund, and increase the impact of programs aligned with our values.”

EdLoC’s mission is to break through the polarizing divides that have consumed efforts to improve public education for too long. Since 2016, the national, member-driven nonprofit has enabled leaders of color in education and related fields to connect, elevate, and empower each other to advance solutions in education that benefit Black and Latino children nationwide. EdLoC’s membership is motivated by a desire to transcend the current paradigm in education and united by Third Way Values: ending generational poverty; creating sustainable change; creating schools for all children; advancing multiple innovations; and going beyond education to holistically address the barriers to success for Black and Latino kids.

Boulder Fund grants are awarded for a one-year period, in increments of at least $100,000. Projects are chosen for their holistic approach to improving student outcomes, which is based on the principle that focusing on education alone limits the potential for success. This year’s projects integrate immigrant advocacy, teacher recruitment, financial literacy, and curriculum development. Since 2018, EdLoC has committed $3.1 million in grants and funded over 29 different organizations across the country.

More information on this year’s cohort is below and available here

Viridiana Carrizales, CEO,  ImmSchools​ for ensuring equity for all individuals, no matter their immigration status, by utilizing the K-12 education system as a vehicle for change. ImmSchools’ three-pronged approach of activating families, educating teachers and school staff, and enacting policies and procedures in school districts to protect a student’s rights at all times, provides an intersectional solution ensuring that every family has the right to a foundational platform from which they can achieve anything.

Sharif El-Mekki, CEO and Founder, The Center for Black Educator Development for implementing the pioneering Freedom Schools Literacy Academy (FSLA) initiative, which develops early career Black educators, beginning with their high school years, via year-round teacher apprenticeships.

William Jackson, Executive Director, Village of Wisdom​ for pursuing a project which will result in the creation of a Clearinghouse of instructional tactics and parent support strategies. Ultimately, the Clearinghouse will feature hundreds of effective culturally affirming instructional strategies for Black children learning in various contexts.

Donald Kamentz, Founder & CEO, Contigo Ed for creating a first-in-kind, fully digital, comprehensive, and intentionally tiered Postsecondary Pathways online training and accompanying aligned, topical high school curriculum, that will allow educators to have the essential knowledge and resources to support their students and families, regardless of their school setting and/or their years of experience.​

Nicole Lynn-Lewis, Founder/CEO, Generation Hope​ for helping teen parents earn college degrees and ensuring that their children are prepared for kindergarten and harnessing their on-the-ground experience to launch programming that will address systemic barriers to educational opportunity and economic mobility for the nearly 4 million student parents nationwide.​ 

Reuben Ogbonna & Maya Bhattacharjee-Marcantonio, Executive Director & Chief Program Officer, The Marcy Lab​ for helping young people accelerate their careers through their year-long college alternative, which provides young adults from underestimated backgrounds with the skills, habits, and network necessary to launch a rewarding, purpose-driven career in the tech sector.​ 

Jessica Santana, CEO/Co-Founder, America on Tech​ for training teachers and paring them with  program managers to implement the Web Development Program – which brings together: computer science, professional development, culturally responsible mentorships, access to industry leaders, internships, and career development –  for both short- and long-term impact.​ on site for high school juniors and seniors; and engaging families in workshops on supporting computer science education at home. ​

Erin Wheeler, Ph.D., Executive Director, College Beyond​ for piloting a 4-year College to Career curriculum focused on building the social and cultural capital necessary for career success, as well as the financial know-how for achieving upward mobility and building generational wealth.


About EdLoC:
Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) is a community of over 400 leaders of color working to elevate the leadership, voices, and influence of people of color in education and to leading more inclusive efforts to improve education. EdLoC aims to advance a third way that breaks through the polarizing divides that have consumed efforts to improve public education and to forge the alliances needed to realize and sustain EdLoC’s vision of providing low-income children of color expansive and substantive opportunities for the highest levels of academic and economic attainment. To learn more about the Boulder Fund, please visit www.edloc.org.