Diversity & Inclusiveness

Our Journey with Diversity & Inclusiveness

We’ve always believed that to be an effective force for change, we must be diverse, from our staff to our teacher corps to our alumni. Our position has evolved over time. It will continue to shift as we learn more about what helps create a diverse and inclusive culture and what our current barriers are.

Today, we are more committed than ever to building a community where individuals from all backgrounds can contribute their unique value toward our mission.

We believe diversity is fundamental to ending educational inequity and have made it one of our core values and top priorities.

Diversity: One of Our Core Values

Our Diversity Statement

  • Diversity Statement
  • Impact on Students
  • Long Term Impact
  • Collective Strength

Diversity Statement

Teach For America seeks to enlist the nation’s most promising future leaders in the movement to eliminate educational inequity. We know these leaders will be diverse in ethnicity, race, and economic background. Their places on the political spectrum and their religious beliefs will be similarly varied, and we seek individuals of all genders and sexual orientations and regardless of physical disabilities.

Maximizing the diversity of our organization is important so that we can benefit from the talent and energy of all those who can contribute to our effort, and also to increase the opportunity for engagement in the circles of influence in our tremendously diverse society. Moreover, we seek to be diverse because we aspire to serve as a model of the fairness and equality of opportunity we envision for our nation.

At the same time that we value each individual who commits to our cause, we also place a particular focus on attracting and fostering the leadership of individuals who share the racial and/or economic backgrounds of the students underserved by public schools.

In terms of race, we place the most significant focus nationally on ensuring the representation of African American and Latino individuals, given that more than 90% of the students we reach share these backgrounds. At the same time, we also seek to recruit American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, and Asian American corps members and staff members, given that we reach many students of these backgrounds in certain Teach For America regions. We emphasize racial, ethnic, and economic diversity to enhance our impact.

Diversity and Inclusiveness Collage

Impact on Students

We have seen that our most effective corps membersthose who have seen the greatest academic progress with their studentsrepresent all races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds.

When teachers are from historically underrepresented racial backgrounds or low-income families, however, they have the potential to have a profound additional impact. Such teachers can be particularly persuasive with students regarding the potential for success in education and in life.

Long Term Impact

Alumni who share the racial and/or economic backgrounds of our students can also be particularly influential in the long-term push for societal change, because of their rich perspectives and credibility, and because their leadership in and of itself demonstrates the value of that change.

Collective Strength

While it is the responsibility of each person within Teach For America to make decisions with sensitivity to the needs and desires of our students and communities, we have seen that individuals who are themselves from underrepresented racial or low-income family backgrounds can often ground the discussions and advance the thinking of our diverse corps, alumni groups, and organization in important ways.

Diversity & Inclusiveness Vision