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Teacher Diversity Initiative

Supporting innovative strategies and programs to advance educator diversity
Advancing educator diversity
We are a better society when all of us have the opportunity to learn from people and places that reflect our nation’s diversity. This dynamic is especially true when it comes to our schools. The positive impact and benefits of diverse teachers and leaders, especially on students from similar backgrounds, is indisputable. Yet the current reality is that less than 1 in 5 educators identifies as a person of color, even though students of color comprise more than 50% of the entire K-12 student population.

The Walton Family Foundation is committed to addressing this significant imbalance. In partnership with the Cleveland Avenue Foundation, we are proud to support The 1954 Project, the first Black-led, focused and funded philanthropic initiative in support of K-12 education. The 1954 Project will raise at least $50 million to increase the number of Black educators and leaders throughout the education landscape; creating more effective and culturally affirming teaching and learning models; and strengthening pathways from education to career to increase economic mobility in the Black community. Importantly, The 1954 Project will fund these efforts by informing and recruiting a new generation of Black philanthropists specific to K-12 education.

About the Teacher Diversity Initiative

Support of The 1954 Project builds on the foundation’s Teacher Diversity Initiative, which supports innovative strategies and programs to advance educator diversity, including expanding the pool of applicants for recruitment efforts and new fellowships, mentorships and other career advancement opportunities. In partnership with NewSchools Venture Fund, the Teacher Diversity Initiative provides an average of $200,000 in funding to early stage and new organizations and programs committed to recruiting, training and supporting a more diverse teacher workforce.