We believe in the power of diversity, because each corps member’s unique background and life experiences add tremendous value to our work. It will take a movement of leaders who are diverse in every respect for our country to reach the day when all children are able to attain an excellent education.
Having a diverse corps not only enables us to have a bigger impact on the students we teach, but ensures we don’t limit the voices and ideas our alumni bring to the table as leaders working to bring about educational equity. While we value all forms of diversity, we place particular emphasis on recruiting individuals who share the racial or socio-economic backgrounds of the students we teach, 90% of whom are African American or Latino. Corps members who share their students’ backgrounds serve as powerful role models and have potential for a profound additional impact based on their personal experiences.
How We're Working to Increase Our Diversity and Inclusiveness
We aspire to be a model of the diversity and inclusiveness we envision for our nation. Here are some examples of what we’re doing to live up to this standard each and every day:
- Upholding Diversity as one of the five organizational Core Values we strive to embody in our day-to-day work and regularly reflecting on what it means to live up to this value.
- Recruiting at over 380 schools across the country, including state universities, private institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions.
- Partnering with campus-based student organizations, such as the Black Student Union, Hispanic Student Alliance, Asian Student Network, Native American Student Association, student governments, and national Greek organizations, among others.
- Building national partnerships with organizations such as Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), United Negro College Fund (UNCF), The National Council of La Raza, National Black and Hispanic MBA Associations, and National Urban League, among others.
- Partnering with Goldman Sachs to offer paid summer internships to eligible African Americans, Latinos, and Natives who have also been accepted into the incoming Teach For America corps.
- Focusing efforts on strengthening relationships with communities of color through initiatives such as the Native Achievement Initiative and Adelante! (a Latino staff-led group that dedicates itself to increasing Latino recruitment and retention).
- Designing and hosting shared-identity Summits for corps members of color: an intensive leadership and professional development program with a focus on community building.
We're continually seeking additional opportunities to increase diversity and inclusiveness and welcome thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Challenges We Face
The effects of educational inequity are demonstrated by the under-representation of African American and Latino students in our country’s colleges and universities.
- African Americans make up 14% of the college-aged population (18-24 year-olds), yet make up only 5% of graduates at the top 400 colleges and universities **
- Latinos make up 20% of the college-aged population, yet make up only 6% of graduates at the top 400 colleges and universities **
In comparison, Teach For America has achieved a higher level of diversity in our corps. We are committed to growing our diversity at an even more accelerated pace.
** US Department of Education, 2012; Institute of International Education, 2004. "Top 400 colleges and universities" refers to the 430 schools listed as "most selective" or "more selective" by US News & World Report, 2008
Data valid as of: Oct 2013