top of page
  • Writer's pictureKara James

The F.I.N.D Design and New Profit’s Equitable Education Recovery Initiative Cohort

Updated: May 25, 2022

While many organizations elevate the thinking of so-called “experts in their fields” to make progress toward that goal, a growing number are coming to rely on and prioritize “proximate leaders” — those with lived experience in the systems they seek to change.

Experience, Expertise and Driving Transformational Change

In early April, the ASU+GSV Summit brought together thousands of leaders from the education, technology, workforce, venture capital, and philanthropic sectors to explore, imagine and work toward “a new era in which all people have equal access to the future.”

While many organizations elevate the thinking of so-called “experts in their fields” to make progress toward that goal, a growing number are coming to rely on and prioritize “proximate leaders” — those with lived experience in the systems they seek to change.

This was precisely the focus of New Profit’s sessions at the ASU+GSV Summit, which all sat atop the broader programming track of Proximity, Parent Power and Learner Voice. In each of these discussions, panelists and speakers noted not only the equity-imperative of including those with lived experience in problem identification and solution design but the benefits of doing so. After all, as Tulaine Montgomery, Co-CEO of New Profit reminded us in her keynote speech, “Proximity is not an act of charity. Proximity is where genius resides.”

So how do we move forward? Simply put, we must change how we define and value expertise, and we must be willing to cede power and decision rights to those with true expertise. Read more about the power of proximity to create transformational change.

Introducing New Profit’s Equitable Education Recovery Initiative Cohort

New Profit is pleased to announce the twenty-four social entrepreneurs selected for our first Equitable Education Recovery Initiative (EERI). This group of early-stage systems-change leaders is advancing programming that has the potential to have a meaningful impact on K-12 students—not just for short-term recovery, but also for necessary long-term transformations of our education systems in service of equity.

Each of these twenty-four leaders works in one of the three regions of focus that New Profit prioritized for this Cohort: California (Fresno/Oakland/Sacramento), the Denver Metro area, and Tennessee (Memphis/Nashville). Each leads a nonprofit organization working to provide math/ELA tutoring, whole child supports, and/or postsecondary advising to K-12 students in their community. Meet the Social Entrepreneurs here.


NDN Collective’s founder, Nick Tilsen, joined Co-CEO Tulaine Montgomery on the newest episode of Say More to discuss place-based innovation and how we find power and self-determination in community.

In partnership with New Profit, the team at JFF has released a new Field Guide for Workforce Technology Solutions that provides workforce system professionals a framework to build technology-enabled training partnerships, distilling key lessons from the Future of Work Grand Challenge.

New Profit Partner Abby Marquand spoke at the National Association of Workforce Boards annual forum in Washington, D.C. about philanthropy’s role in de-risking equitable innovation in the public workforce system.

Abt Associates is evaluating the impact of Early Childhood Support Organizations (ECSOs)—a collaboration between New Profit and the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. The initiative’s goal is to empower leaders of early education programs to build organizational capacity and improve the learning environment.

New Profit Partner Amina Fahmy Casewit recently served as a judge in the finalist round of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Competition.

America Forward led a "tweetstorm" advocating for a stronger Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (#strongerWIOA) and increased support for outcomes-focused strategies, investments in data infrastructure, and expanded pathways into the workforce.


Envision Education announced Jillian Juman as their next CEO, beginning June 1. Jillian brings a deep understanding of teaching, learning, and what it takes to lead a network, including how to center students and build a strong community.

Braven was named one of America's Best Startup Employers 2022 by Forbes. The After 1954 Podcast, hosted by Braven CEO Aimée Eubanks Davis, provides an important look at the impact Black educators can have on the lives of Black students, and the ways we can support and strengthen the roots that help children achieve. 4.0 is accepting applications for their Essentials and Tiny Fellowships through April 29. 4.0 fellowships invest coaching, curriculum, community, and cash in people with the imagination to envision a more equitable future of education. Next100 released survey data of millennials and Gen Z that demonstrates a disconnect between young adults and government this is most acutely prevalent for individuals from communities of color and lower-income households. Pivot Learning recently released Guidebook for the People, offering a unique set of personal narratives, stories, and honest and open reflections that focus on restorative justice practices in schools across rural California. New Profit alum i.c.stars was featured in a Workshift article about making sense of tech bootcamps, coding schools, and on-ramps, and what differentiates each. Additionally, one of i.c.stars' Milwaukee graduates, Carlos Vasquez, was just named to the 40 Under 40 list by the Milwaukee Business Journal.


New Profit is hiring for a number of exciting roles including Partner, Portfolio; Advocacy Director, America Forward; Manager, Education Portfolio, and more. America On Tech has open Program Director positions located in Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA. Pivot Learning has open positions including Vice President of Communications and a Communications and Development Associate. Learn more and apply here.



McKinsey & Company's report "How COVID-19 caused a global learning crisis" explores the pandemic's substantial toll on student academic progress and mental health, and the ways school systems can respond to help students get back on track.


Season three of the This Changes Everything podcast delves into the emergence of grace as an educational practice, the possible benefits of online learning, how the pandemic and protests changed the conversation around racism in education, and more.


PBS Newshour's special "Disrupted: How Covid Changed Education" highlights the impact of pandemic on the nation’s schools, students and educators.


bottom of page