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Equity and Access Director Joins Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship

Verenice Gutierrez

Our Director of Educational Equity and Access, Dr. Verenice Gutierrez, has been selected as part of the fifth cohort of the Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship. The Fellowship consists of sixteen emerging leaders who will dedicate a significant portion of the next two years to addressing issues of educational inequity in their local communities.

“These last few months have brought to light the technological and educational inequities in our communities with the onset of COVID-19 and school closures. In addition to such a tumultuous start to our year, we faced the realities of institutionalized white supremacy through George Floyd’s murder and its aftermath, creating social unrest and uprising,” states Carlos Moreno, Co-Director of the Fellowship and Co-Executive Director of Big Picture Learning. “Our work is important now more than ever, as we aim to tackle and disrupt the inequitable systems that are often perpetuated in underserved populations, such as access to reliable internet and distance learning.” 

Thus far, through projects undertaken by the first four cohorts, the Deeper Learning Equity Fellows have -- among other things -- identified the emergence of bilingual populations impacted by New York City’s universal Pre-K coverage, signaled the importance of rethinking teacher education programs to equip and prepare new educators for the complexity of preparing students to meet 21st-century challenges and increased awareness of the importance of intersectional identities and self-reflection to reduce burn out for equitable and anti-racist educators during COVID-19. 

The Equity Fellows program is a cohort-based leadership program that aims to develop, strengthen, and sustain a group of diverse and exceptional leaders who will influence the policies and practices that expand access to Deeper Learning in public education across the country.  It is supported by nationally recognized mentors – like Linda Darling-Hammond, Christopher Emdin, David Kirkland, Carola Suarez-Orozco and more – help fellows deepen fellows’ theory and practice on their journeys to right educational wrongs.  Inevitably, the fellows will face obstacles and barriers in developing and implementing their capstone projects. Equity Fellow Advisers are outstanding alumni of DLEF and are well-positioned to provide guidance, focus, advice, and expertise through the course of the fellowship.

Thanks to the support of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Equity Fellows will be convened and supported in a variety of ways throughout their fellowship. "We are excited to see the next cohort of Equity Fellows advocate and advance equitable opportunities for learning," says Charmain Mercer, Program Officer at the Hewlett Foundation. Director of Education for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Corey Scholes, adds, "The Kauffman Foundation is always looking for ways to support our educators in Kansas City. We are excited to have a group of leaders learn how to deepen their equity practices in their organization under the incredible leadership of the Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship."