The Equity Lab runs two fellowship programs for professionals who are interested in engaging deeply with race and equity work.
The Nexus Fellowship
The Nexus Fellowship was designed in response to the overwhelming need for race, equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) in the learning profession. Leaders must have the courage and methodology to chart a new course, and the unwavering belief to pave that course. It is at the nexus of innovation, design, equity, and leadership that learning organizations will be nimble and flexible enough to respond to the demands of the 21st century.
The Nexus Fellowship experience engages participants and their host organizations in a deep personalized leadership journey based on their identities around three specific design challenges — challenges with people, challenges with processes, and challenges with programs. Participants will meet four times for weekly seminars. The fellowship experience includes individual coaching, a virtual learning community, and additional training modules and resources that will provide a deeply personalized experience.
By completion, all certified Nexus Fellows:
Will possess a clear understanding of how issues of equity affect all aspects of American life
Will understand why issues must be viewed with an anti-oppression equity lens in order to be transformed at the individual, institutional, and structural levels
Will exhibit an increased understanding of structural transformation based on their leadership within their host organization
Will have demonstrable, exponential impact on their organization and those they serve, creating more inclusive and equity focused results
Our PK-12 educational organizations overwhelmingly reflect and reinforce the patterns of racial inequity upon which the broader systems of our country are built. From curriculum and instructional approach, to school culture and staffing, to school accountability and student assignment policy, our educational entities are at best blind to, and at worst actively advancing racial inequities.
Analogous challenges exist across every arena that intersects with public education — from criminal justice and housing, to transportation and health. Moreover, the interactions of these other areas with public education often serve to mutually reinforce the inequities that fester within each individual arena. A history of racist housing policy, for example, reinforces school segregation, and vice versa. And while questions of equity extend well beyond race, race has played — and continues to play — an outsized role in almost every sphere of life for residents of the District of Columbia.
As professionals whose work directly impacts the lives of children and youth, we seek to intentionally disrupt these patterns in ways that will contribute to the dismantling of existing systems and rebuilding of more equitable ones.
The Seeding Disruption Fellowship brings together a diverse group of leaders in Washington, DC, from organizations doing work in PK–12 education and in intersecting fields. Over the course of thirteen months, participants develop their skills and knowledge as leaders for equity; build community across racial difference, organizations, and fields; and generate, seed, and catalyze disruptive practices for purpose of dismantling systems of racial inequity in Washington, DC. The group centers its work on students, though participants come to that shared focus from a range of perspectives. Our pilot cohort of 24 participants began its work in 2017.
Seeding Disruption is a co-creation of Michelle Molitor and Abigail Smith. Michelle and Abigail have a combined 35+ years in public education, most of that in Washington, DC. They bring extensive perspective and experience that spans teaching, school leadership, non-profit management, and high-level school district and local government leadership in DC. Seeding Disruption’s inaugural cohort was generously funded by Education Forward DC.
Seeding Disruption is not currently accepting applications. Please fill out a contact form if you would like to be notified about our next application window.