Equity Symposium To Highlight Ford Foundation-Funded Education Journalism

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There’s a big Equity Matters Symposium being held tomorrow at the Ford Foundation offices in NYC, and while invitations are limited to journalists you can apparently watch via livestream here

Some of the speakers include Gloria Ladson-Billings, Sean Reardon, and Richard Rothstein. 

Some of the Equity Project journalists who will talk about their projects include Alejandra Lagos, Zaidee Stavely, Kristina Rizga, and Patrick Wall. Cara Fitzpatrick, will also be there. Spencer Fellowship head LynNell Hancock, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Keith Woods are also scheduled to attend.

You can find the full list of Speakers and the Schedule of events by clicking the links.

What’s it all about? According to the promo materials, the Equity Matters event “will bring together the nation’s top experts and education journalists in examining the root causes and impact of our nation’s ever-widening “opportunity gap.”

Funded by the Ford Foundation (with whom I’ve discussed supporting THE GRADE), the Equity Project is part of a broader SF-based initiative called Renaissance Journalism,  which sponsors “national initiatives that support journalists and their news organizations to produce ambitious, in-depth and compelling stories that reveal and illuminate social injustice and inequity.”

In addition to Rizga and Wall, some of the Fellows who’ve had work sponsored by the Equity Project over the past two years include Charla Bear (KQED), Marquita Brown (News & Record in Greensboro, North Carolina), Kavitha Cardoza (WAMU), Dan Carsen (WBHM), Matt Collette (WNYC, formerly of The Teacher Project), Elisa Crouch (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Emily DeRuy (The Atlantic), Beth Hawkins (Education Post, formerly MinnPost), Laura Isensee (Houston Public Media), Alejandra Lagos (Univision), Celia Llopis-Jepsen (Topeka Capital-Journal), Rob Manning (Oregon Public Broadcasting), and Claudio Sanchez (NPR).

Some examples of work funded in part by the Renaissance Journalism project include the Detroit Journalism Collaborative’s seven-part series on race and poverty. Click here for the full list.

This isn’t the first such gathering. There was an event in San Francisco not too long ago featuring Rizga, Pirette McKamey and Robert Roth. And these aren’t the only fellowships for education journalists. Others include the Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship (which I received in 2009), new EWA Fellowships, the Teacher Project fellowships (whose work appears in Slate). This isn’t even all that new for the Ford Foundation, which has supported a variety of journalism-oriented projects in the past. However, the Equity Project might be less well-understood than some of the other efforts, and so I’m doing some reporting for a future column,

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.