Chan Zuckerberg Initiative boosts BAME education

Education should be for all, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is helping to achieve that with a donation of $5.8 million to US charities working towards equality in education. Founded by Dr Priscilla Chan and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the philanthropic organisation hopes the grant will break down the barriers to teaching and learning for all.

To kick off this endeavour they picked Education Leaders of Color, Latinos for Education and Surge Institute, which help Black and Latino leaders gain access to education at all levels. 

Sandra Liu Huang, head of education at CZI is leading the move. She said: “We envision a country where demographics, such as race and socioeconomic status, are not predictive of student outcomes and every student has equitable access to learning experiences that meet their unique academic and developmental needs.” 

Advancing equality in education

Nonprofit membership organization Education Leaders of Color, will use the $2 million they receive to increase the number of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people working in senior positions.

Their interim CEO, Sharhonda Bossier said: “Thanks to CZI’s support, our national network of leaders of colour has grown tremendously. Today, we represent over 400 leaders of colour across 40 states advancing a holistic third way in education that improves outcomes for Black and Brown children.”

CEO and co-founder of Latinos for Education, Amanda Fernández, also welcomed the move, saying: “This renewed investment by CZI provides us with the resources we need to continue our efforts to create leadership pathways for Latinos in education, and improve education equity for all.”

Surge Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit, will use their part of the funding to help make educational staffrooms more representative of the BAME students that they serve. Its fellowship program connects and trains BAME educators, partnering with school districts, nonprofits, universities and other organisations for young people.

A lesson for all

Since the onset of the pandemic, CZI has handed out over $30 million to organisations helping teachers and students impacted by the pandemic. This includes grants to HEARTS, a program at a collection of institutions, that promotes well-being, social justice and success in education. 

Other individuals and companies with the means can follow their suit by donating to similar organisations. With your support, they play a vital part in tackling poverty, because, for every one year a young person spends in education, their wage is likely to increase by ten per cent.