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Two Education Champions Join Forces

New partnership will increase advocacy reach and focus on communities of color

Stand for Children Leadership Center (Stand) and the New York City-based Education Equality Project (EEP) have permanently joined forces and are now integrating their work to improve public schools and close the pervasive achievement gap that exists in too many American communities.

This partnership was driven by Stand and EEP’s shared mission to ensure that all students graduate high school with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed, and a shared commitment to engage communities to achieve their advocacy goals.

Dr. Michael Lomax, Co-Chair of the EEP Board of Directors and President and CEO of UNCF (United Negro College Fund), said, "Years ago, Stand for Children Leadership Center blazed a trail when it made community organizing and local movements the center of its program. EEP is now joining forces with Stand in order to make the greatest impact in communities of color. Their grassroots structure allows us to connect our leaders and advocates with community-based leaders and advocates, and to work together on policies that will improve graduation rates, transform schools and close the achievement gap."

The Education Equality Project is a pioneer in its field, convening diverse groups of influential leaders from around the United States to improve the American public education system. Since its founding in 2008, the group has organized numerous events focused on finding a solution to close the achievement gap, attracting leaders from communities of color, education experts, elected leaders, policy experts and a support community of over 70,000 individuals. EEP has used strategic media, research, advocacy, and social media to shine a continual bright light on the achievement gap.

In 2010, Stand played a key role in facilitating landmark legislation and policy changes to improve public education in six states. Working together, Stand and EEP will reach an even broader scope of communities, thus helping more disadvantaged students graduate from high school ready for post-secondary education.

Education Equality Project board member John Legend has joined the Stand for Children Leadership Board of Directors and board members Dr. Michael Lomax and Phil Handy have joined the Stand for Children, Inc. National Board of Directors. Leaders of both organizations are optimistic about the potential of this collaboration.

"I deeply respect the leadership of EEP’s outstanding Board of Directors and the key contributions EEP has made in advancing the national debate about the urgent need to close our country’s achievement gap. This work aligns powerfully with Stand for Children Leadership Center’s commitment to change the odds for millions of children who are not receiving the quality education they deserve,” said Eliza Leighton, Co-founder of Stand for Children and board chair, Stand for Children Leadership Center.

Jonah Edelman, CEO of Stand said, “I’m thrilled that we’re joining forces at a time of unprecedented opportunity to achieve transformational change. EEP and Stand for Children Leadership Center are sending a loud message about the importance of partnership and collaboration. Together, we’re positioned to shape the national debate on public education while building powerful statewide organizations across the country that will make a profound impact for students, from the state capitol to the classroom.”