I have had the honor to work with two amazing coaches from the National Equity Project: Shane Safir and Mark Salinas. Both have been invaluable in helping our school create a vision around equity and do the hard work of moving staff to the place of educational equity for all students.
I have been on the NEP board for about seven years. I think what sets the organization apart is the capacity of its leadership to (1) stay focused on improving educational outcomes for those furthest from opportunity, while (2) adapting their work to meet clients where they are in their own effort to do the same.
During the past few years, our Education and Learning team at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation worked with the National Equity team to help strengthen our grant making as it relates to advancing racial equity. The NEP team helped us successfully work through tough issues and conflicting opinions, better understand how to apply a racial equity lens to our work, and develop a new vision and guidelines. Because of their training, I truly believe that we moved beyond the rhetoric of being concerned about racial equity to actually making investments in communities that are taking productive steps toward transformation in racial equity!
The extremely talented staff with the National Equity Project has effectively led our diverse community through the difficult conversations around inclusion with grace. They have respectfully engaged a broad spectrum of individuals in our ongoing conversations around racial equity in early childhood education so that all children have the support they need from their families and communities to succeed in school and life. Their work is transformational.
I am an Assistant Principal at a Middle School in East Oakland, and my Leadership Coach works for the National Equity Project. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with, learn from, and be supported by such an amazing role model. My Coach is so skilled and knowledgeable, and he has truly provided life-changing support and guidance for me as a school leader. I have also attended a few of the National Equity Project's provocative and inquiry-based Trainings and Institutes, and I deeply respect and appreciate the thought that goes into facilitating and organizing such trainings. By and large, my Leadership Coach with the National Equity Project has had the biggest most profound impact on my growth and development as a leader, and I am truly grateful to the organization.
We have been very lucky to have the opportunity to partner with the National Equity Project at my elementary school the past two years. As an emerging school in the state of Washington, the professional development, coaching, and equity work for our staff has been a welcomed and necessary part of our work in examing achievement trends and targeting students in need of more focused intervention.
National Equity Project is doing incredible work in schools around the ideas of social justice, race and equity. I was involved a few years ago with a joint administrator/teacher training. They facilitated real, sometimes tough, conversations about race and equity within our schools. The experience gave me a lot of information on how to promote social justice in my role as a white teacher of many students of color. I use the knowledge from that training and the resources that they provide through email and on the website daily in my classroom. They are amazing!