Diversity = Excellence
By, Tim Johnson, Director of Denver Fellows
Excited to share that 38% of our fellow corps members this year identify as people of color. This is a 5% increase from last year and a 21% increase from four years ago. Our operations team – Rosy Marquez, Maureen Malcolm and Meredith Trevino – deserve a big shout out for their efforts here.
To put this in context: In Denver Public Schools, 26% of teachers identify as people of color and nationally about 20% of teachers identify as people of color.
We moved the needle in three primary ways:
- Intentionally narrating the value of diversity with a particular emphasis on racial and ethnic diversity that mirrors the demographics of the students we serve (with an understanding of both intra and inter group diversity)
- Creating a Diversity Statement (see below) and publically sharing our data on corps diversity
- Emphasizing outreach at colleges with a high diversity index
The more diverse we are, the stronger we are in our shared commitment to our mission and kids. For example, an August study conducted by Denver’s Department of Accountability, Research and Evaluation (ARE) found that students participating in Math Fellows posted some of the biggest growth gains in Denver, the equivalent of well over 100 additional days of learning in math. Stay tuned for more on our 2017 results as data becomes available.
Denver Fellows seeks to attract educational leaders committed to a year of service in order to eliminate opportunity gaps and provide students with access to small group instruction in math and literacy. We value team members from all races, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders, physical abilities, political and religious beliefs. Fellows work directly with students every day and in the small group context and have an incredible opportunity to get to know individual students in order to build influential mentoring relationships to motivate and support student growth.
Increasing the diversity of our fellow corps and team is critical to our ability to close opportunity gaps and provide a high-quality experience for our students. We work to foster a culture of inclusiveness in our daily interactions as team members and with students in a way that values individual contributions, opinions and experiences. We believe that a culture of inclusivity empowers the creative capacity of each individual that is born from their distinct life experiences.
We value each individual who commits to a service year with Denver Fellows and is a member of our team working toward a common mission and vision. At the same time, we place a particular emphasis on a fellow corps and team that reflects the racial and economic backgrounds of the students we serve.
In terms of race we place significant focus on ensuring the representation of Latino and African American individuals given that more than 90% of the students we serve share these backgrounds.
We emphasize corps and team member diversity in order to increase our positive impact on students and student outcomes.