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Giving children equal access to education

Words by Smiley Team

To many, education – and equal access to it – is the key to success. But there isn’t always equity across education – something that the City Forward Collective has been working to address. 

Based in Milwaukee, the collective is made up of educators and advocates with the avowed goal to end educational inequity and ensure every child has the opportunity to attend a high-quality school.

Part of their mission is to uplift educators that share a background with the students they’re teaching, so they can be more understanding of the things they’re going through.

“City Forward Collective hopes to encourage more high school and college students to choose a teaching path and to inspire adults who started careers in other fields to consider a change," said Patricia Hoben, president/executive director at City Forward Collective"We are especially focused on increasing the number of Black and Hispanic/Latinx teachers in Milwaukee’s schools.

“Having more teachers that look like and share lived experiences with our city’s young people will ensure that students leave their K-12 education empowered to make a choice in the direction of their lives.”

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The way they help impact schools is by funneling philanthropic money into enriching school programs and helping create meaningful educational programs. 

“Our program and grant investments will add at least 5,000 high-quality school seats for Milwaukee families over the next five years,” they say. 

This comes in the form of programs like the Family Leadership Institute, Emerging Leaders, and Burke Fellowship, as well as a handful of collaborations across the Milwaukee education world. 

One such project came while many students around the US were stuck at home during the height of the pandemic where they helped tackle the digital divide for students that didn’t have consistent internet access for online schools. 

They helped provide hotspots and online devices for students that wouldn’t otherwise have access.

“90% of or families did not have either a tech device or wi-fi so our ability to serve our families was really an equity issues as our children are tyring to compete with their counterparts in suburbs and children across the country,” said Anthony McHenry, CEO at the Milwaukee Academy of Science. 

The City Forward Collective wants to help provide accessible education to everyone who needs it.

“We are a community of leaders with diverse viewpoints and backgrounds from across Milwaukee, joining to focus on improving outcomes for our city’s children,” they add. 

Inspired to Act?

DONATE: If you support what they’re doing you can donate to City Forward Collective and help fund their educational work. 

SUPPORT: Support education where you can. Education helps people improve their social station and can uplift people from the dredges. Help instill that mindset in the people in your life.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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