Teach for America Committed to Diversity and Inclusion

Feb 19, 2011

"Teach for America is building the movement to eliminate educational inequality by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the efforts."

Like many performing arts organizations, Teach for America battles perceptions that it is a "white organization" that does not serve or reflect the divesity of our national community. In its twenty year history it has made diversity a priority, and made great strides in the areas of staff and corp recruitment and curriculum design that speaks to multicultural youth.

At Teach for America's recent
20th Anniversary Summit held in Washington, DC, diversity and inclusion were in the forefront of dicussions. Nearly 11,000 people gathered to discuss what it will take to achieve educational equity.

The performing arts community has long been a partner to educators. As educators, we may find it helpful with both our arts education initiatives and diversity endeavors to learn what Teach for America is doing in these areas. Enjoy the following videos:

Summit Highlights

Reception for People of Color

featuring Gina Adams, Fed Ex; Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Professor of Religion and African American Studies, Princeton University; Wendy Kopp, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Teach for America; John Lewis, U.S. Representative, Georgia and Civil Rights Activist; and more

Opening Plenary

featuring Ballou Senior High School Marching Band; Kaya Henderson, Interim Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools; Wendy Kopp, Founder and CEO, Teach For America; Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, Aspen Institute; Geoffrey Canada, Founder and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone; John Deasy, Superintendent Elect, Los Angeles Unified School District; Joel Klein, CEO, Educational Division and Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman, News Corporation and Former Chancellor, New York City Department of Education; Dave Levin, Co-founder, KIPP and Superintendent, KIPP New York; Michelle Rhee, Founder and CEO, StudentsFirst and Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools; Jon Schnur, Chairman of the Board, New Leaders for New Schools; and Elisa Villanueva Beard, Chief Operating Officer, Teach For America

Other related topics and events included:

Using the Arts to Increase Student Achievement

featuring Aubrey Goodman - Director of K-8 Curriculum and Assessment, Lighthouse Academies


Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education


Segregation in American Schools and Its Impact on the
Achievement Gap

featuring Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education; Bill Kurtz, CEO, Denver School of Science and Technology; Pedro Noguera, Professor of Education, New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Development; and Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education; Mike Petrilli, Executive Vice President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Executive Editor, Education Next; Beverly Tatum, President, Spelman College; and James Forman, Jr., Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

Diversity and Teacher Recruitment

Diversity in the Movement to End Educational Inequity

Performances included:

John Legend
John Legend and KIPP Orchestra
John Legend and KIPP Academy String and Rhythm Orchestra
Ballou Senior High School Marching Band