What is the Equity and Excellence Project?
In 2010, the National Urban League launched the Equity and Excellence Project (EEP) with affiliates in Pennsylvania and Tennessee and the National Urban League Policy Institute in Washington D.C. The goal of EEP is to build more effective and impactful advocates for, and participants in, local, state and federal/national educational improvement efforts across the following five focus areas:
Common core state standards
Improved access to high-quality curricula and effective teachers
Comprehensive, aligned and transparent education & employment data systems
Equity and excellence at scale
Out-of-school time learning (emphasis on expanded day and summer learning)
These focus areas are highly and tightly related to our historic mission. A local, statewide and national approach allows the National Urban League to best leverage its greatest asset – the Urban League affiliate movement.
The National Urban League supports affiliates in their local advocacy, accountability and reform work by extending that work into a statewide approach. These local efforts are resulting in the development of a coherent statewide policy, implementation, monitoring and organizing agenda, and are beginning to establish the two state affiliate consortia as central resources for education reform and to raise questions of equity and excellence at scale in the eyes of community mentors and policymakers alike, producing strategy and outcomes that benefit individuals and institutions beyond the Urban League movement.
Where is it?
Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh
Urban League of Lancaster County
Urban League of Philadelphia
Shenango Valley Urban League
Memphis Urban League
Knoxville Area Urban League
Urban League of Greater Chattanooga
Urban League of Middle Tennessee
What have Equity and Excellence participants achieved?
Coordination and coherence within the EEP has grown through regular calls, periodic convenings and guidance from the National Urban League. Affiliate leaders are increasingly confident in its ability to draw on their strengths and relationships to create unique change within their state and their local communities.
At the beginning, the Affiliates, while understanding the importance of the work, questioned “how” they would accomplish it, or if they in their particular location were the “right” people to do the work. They discovered that their experience, relationships and stature at the local and state level provide a platform from which they can accomplish and grow the work.
While it is often difficult to measure impact of policy and research work, the effectiveness of the National Urban League’s work is evidenced by such things as the appointment of President and CEO, Marc Morial, to the board of trustees for America’s Promise (2009). Moreover, the numerous citations of the National Urban League’s education research by Members of Congress, scholars, policymakers, thought leaders and the media further demonstrates the influence of the Policy Institute’s work in this area.
Who sponsors it?
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation