Fellowship Overview

The Racial Equity Leadership Network is an 18-Month fellowship program for Executive Leaders in districts who are committed to addressing persistent disparities in their systems and ensuring that race and class are no longer the most reliable predictors of student success. Each cohort of the Racial Equity Leadership Network (RELN) will be comprised of up to twelve (12) executive leaders from school districts in the South. RELN Fellows will attend five two and a half day in-person convenings focused on essential levers for equity-centered leadership and system transformation. The fellows and their districts will also receive customized coaching to support the planning and implementation of a co-created action plan addressing their unique equity challenge. Fellows will be asked to create in-district design teams, a 3-5 member workgroup of district colleagues committed to addressing racial disparities within their school system. The workgroup participants must also have the desire, influence, and capacity to support the Fellow in their efforts to forge change.

We think the system we need now requires leaders…to think, engage and act differently in the face of the complex challenges they navigate, and to use their positional power as an important lever for eliminating racial disparities in their systems.

Kenita Williams, Director, Leadership Development

Network Benefits

As members of the Racial Equity Leadership Network, Fellows should walk away from this experience with a more nuanced understanding of existing and potential equity challenges their districts face and could encounter in the future. They will be provided with a cadre of tangible tools and resources in the form of critical time and space to strategize, peer networking, access to experts, coaching, and technical assistance. Additionally, fellows will have the opportunity to engage in thought partnership with in-district coaches to strategize how best to address their challenges. Fellows may also earn a chance to assert themselves as experts in the discipline through possibilities for shared publication and peer-to-peer learning. Finally, fellows will receive a host of suggestions for ways to utilize their current team and resources more efficiently and promote buy-in for future initiatives so that they might scale their efforts moving forward.

  • Time & Space: An opportunity to step away from daily pressures and demands to engage and reflect thoughtfully and share intellectually and practically as educational leaders.
  • Peer Networks: Fellows will have an opportunity to share and receive lessons and support from district leaders, who understand the unique complexity of the regional challenges they confront while capitalizing on opportunities for peer learning, support and advising, and building alliances.
  • Access to Exclusive Networking & Learning Opportunities: Fellows and their district colleagues will be invited to participate in exclusive Racial Equity Leadership Network events (ex. Speaker Series, Regional Development Events, Symposiums, District Learning Visits, etc.), that allow them to engage with other thought leaders, policymakers and innovators in the field of education.
  • Racial Equity-In-Action Inquiry Cycle: Fellows will receive support identifying a challenge, designing an approach, executing a strategy, and reporting back on progress and lessons learned. Fellows will also have access to other resources that will enable effective implementation.
  • Coaching & Technical Assistance: Fellows will work with SEF Network Faculty to co-design the support needed for their respective district teams to advance an equity agenda. Coaching and technical assistance could include but is not limited to:
    • Communications Strategy
    • Equitable School Finance
    • Community Schools Strategy Development
    • Equity Strategy Development
    • Executive Coaching and Team Development
    • District Equity Audits
    • Listening Campaigns