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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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American education suffers from long-standing inequities in access, quality, and outcomes — especially for students of color and low-income students — which parallel broader systemic inequities in American society and public institutions. At the same time, the educational equity movement that seeks to address these gaps has historically been led by white, economically privileged leaders and funders.

At its core, Bellwether seeks to improve educational outcomes for underserved students, but we know this is not possible without a diverse, equitable, and inclusive educational system at large. Bellwether addresses multiple levels of need by bringing the best of our thought leadership, strategic thinking, and human capital solutions together in service of this goal. Our thought leadership work looks at how public policies and practices impact equity for historically underserved student groups. Our talent work addresses the staff experience and culture in education organizations in order to recruit more diverse candidates, retain and promote leaders from historically marginalized communities, and create inclusive workplaces where staff members can thrive for maximum impact on children. And our strategy work is anchored in an understanding that design and decision-making about strategic direction and growth are most effective when informed by deep and authentic involvement from the stakeholders most impacted.

Our work is not wed to a single school model or political worldview but instead pragmatically seeks to close the outcome gaps we see today and ensure that individuals from historically underserved groups are represented at all levels of American education.


November 16, 2016
The 74 Million -- Our future supermodel in chief needs to get serious about the alarming messages his words and actions have already sent to our...
September 7, 2016
Andrew J. Rotherham, Jennifer O'Neal Schiess
Education is not getting much attention on the presidential campaign trail, but that doesn't mean the next administration won't face a variety of...
July 11, 2016
Melissa Steel King, Leslie Kan, Chad Aldeman
Nationwide, concerns about teacher shortages and the retention of experienced teachers, particularly in certain subject areas and states, have been...
June 10, 2016
Time Magazine -- Seven years ago at the White House, Lin-Manuel Miranda described the premise of his still unfinished musical. And an esteemed crowd...
June 6, 2016
Washington Post -- Children living in poverty often are exposed to high levels of constant stress that can be debilitating, not only in terms of...

Blog Posts

February 16, 2017
Heather Buchheim & Tanya Paperny
Bellwether analyst and Chicago native Andrew Rayner always wanted to be a teacher. From a very young age, he says, he loved school,...
February 8, 2017
Jen Bolson Meer and Xiomara Padamsee
At this time of year, schools are buzzing with the sounds of potential new teachers, school leaders, and other team members. Candidates are...
October 11, 2016
Danielle Aguayo-Ceribo
As an Operations Assistant at Bellwether, I had the privilege of being one of three Bellwarians to attend Dreamforce ‘16,’s...