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Our mission is to cultivate spaces for leaders of color invested in dismantling inequities in education, strengthening organizations led by people of color, and fostering community partnerships to create systematic change in education.

EduLeaders of Color R.I. is a people-centered initiative focused on education, working at the intersection of all fields to unite, support and empower people of color. people of color.

Our Story

EduLeaders of Color R.I. was established in 2016 in response to research studies demonstrating a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the teaching profession nationally.  Co-founders Karla E. Vigil and Carlon Howard set out to create a space where educators and leaders of color could discuss relevant issues and brainstorm innovative solutions to systemic problems.  They hosted the first meetup in November 2016 with personal colleagues and friends in the community and sought to address some of the many inequities in education facing historically underserved communities:

  • Lack of racial and ethnic diversity in schools and organizations
  • Relatively small representation of people of color in history textbooks
  • Minimal training for teachers on culturally responsive teaching practices
  • Lack of support in the retention efforts for teachers and leaders of color

Nearly each month after, they hosted a meetup to bring people together and build an affinity space for educators and leaders of color. Over time, the meetups evolved and grew to be a place where individuals could share their passions and network with community leaders. Each meetup now features almost sixty attendees and has welcomed educators, administrators, elected officials, thought leaders, and nonprofit and for-profit professionals all committed to improving the quality of education for our most underserved youth.

EduLeaders of Color Rhode Island is constructed on the belief that a network of like-minded educators is a powerful means of providing peer-to-peer support and professional development; serves as a strong voice in education advocacy for addressing educational inequities; and promotes schools in which cultural proficiency and equitable educational opportunities are the norm.

EduLeaders of Color Rhode Island is currently being supported and fiscally sponsored by the Center for Collaborative Education, a non-profit organization  that works directly with educators and other professionals in schools, districts, and states to increase educational access and opportunity for every student, with particular attention to groups that have historically been underserved.

Guiding Principles

Theory of Action

EDULEADERS OF COLOR R.I. RECEIVES GRANTS FROM NELLIE MAE EDUCATION FOUNDATION AND RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION TO SUPPORT EDUCATORS OF COLOR AND EQUITABLE CLASSROOMS.

EduLeaders of Color Rhode Island, in partnership with the Center for Collaborative Education, is pleased to announce the receipt of grants from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and the Rhode Island Foundation. The awards will fund EduLeaders of Color RI’s ongoing work to support prospective and existing educators of color in Rhode Island in the program’s effort to expand educational equity. Read the press release here.