Who We Are

The Southern Education Foundation

is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by partners and donors committed to advancing equitable education policies and practices that elevate learning for low-income students and students of color in the southern states. We develop and disseminate research-based solutions for policymakers and grow the capacity of education leaders and influencers to create systemic change.

We believe education equity is essential to achieve quality and fairness in the public education system.

Equity exists when race and income are no longer the most reliable predictors of student success and systems work to ensure that each child receives what they need when they need it, to develop to their full academic and social potential. We envision a world where every student, regardless of background, enjoys an education that propels them toward the opportunity-rich life they deserve.

download the sef backgrounder

Our Mission

Since 1867, the mission of Southern Education Foundation has been to advance equitable education practices and policies in the South through research, advocacy, and leadership development that will result in every student regardless of background attaining a high-quality education that propels them toward the opportunity-rich life they deserve.

150 Year Timeline

learn more

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

We envision a Southern Education Foundation where each team member’s complex identities (race, ethnicity, faith, gender, ability, age, sexual orientation) do not impact their treatment or opportunities but are embraced as valuable assets to the organization. We believe that by working to create a Southern Education Foundation where our work, our organizational practices, and our presence in our community are inextricably linked by our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we are building appreciation for, fostering understanding of, and finding community in our differences.