The Social Innovation Award is an annual competition that brings budding alumni and corps members entrepreneurs together to compete for up to $100,000 in seed funding and engage in professional coaching.
May 25, 2016
Metro Altanta alum Rachel Willis (’04) is a finalist for the TFA Social Innovation Award for her Elevating Equity program. Elevating Equity is an organization that creates spaces for educators and community members to examine race and ensure every student receives an equitable education. Finalists will be participating in a Final Round Interview Day on May 25, 2016, competing for up to $100,000 in financial and in-kind consulting support.
The Social Innovation Award is an annual competition that brings budding alumni and corps members entrepreneurs together to compete for up to $100,000 in seed funding and engage in professional coaching. Our coaching is built for early-stage entrepreneurs designed to accelerate the development and deepen the impact of their ventures. The Award is intended to spark bold, new innovations that expand opportunities for students in low-income communities and address the root causes of educational inequity.
An award-winning educator, Willis has over a decade of experience teaching and leading in K-12 and graduate-level settings. Named the 2009 Atlanta Public Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year and 2010 Milken Educator Award recipient, Rachel served on Governor Nathan Deal’s (R-GA) Education Advisory Board and was appointed as a trustee to the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.
In 2012, Rachel was recruited to redesign a professional development program centered around culturally responsive teaching and race and equity for corps members and alumni in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. During this time, Rachel also designed and served as a co-instructor of a pilot program at Columbia University’s Teachers College focused on preparing current and aspiring principals to lead racially equitable schools.
As the founder of Elevating Equity, Rachel spends her time supporting educators and community members through their journey of leading anti-racist, culturally responsive schools and organizations.
Rachel received a B.A. from Smith College in government and an Ed.M. in education leadership from Columbia University's Teachers College.