The National Urban League along with affiliates from around the country, and our national partners, convened on Monday, May 7, 2018 for an update on the work done under the Equity & Excellence Project (EEP).

The convening opened with an overview of the EEP, the current work to date and a presentation of the seven focus areas. There was a brief discussion of ESSA and how the seven focus areas are even more important as the law moves to implementation at the state level. The focus areas were further underscored by an update from the Washington Bureau that highlighted how, upon review, several state ESSA plans violated areas of the law including failure to properly disaggregate student data and identify student groups and low performing schools for additional supports.

Urban League Affiliate CEOs had an opportunity to share effective practices, partnerships, and strategies from within their states over the last year. This exchange of ideas provided an opportunity for shared learning, collective problem solving, and deepened partnerships among the Affiliate Movement.

Dr. Michael Nettles, SVP of the Education Testing Service (ETS), presented a detailed analysis of the “Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving the National Postsecondary Degree Attainment Goals.” The presentation, linked below, gave an in-depth look at where men and women of every race and ethnic identity are in the college completion goal set by the U.S. Department of Education. The presentation sparked questions and concerns around the concept of college readiness and the financial barriers Black and brown people face on the road to graduation; both are areas where the National Urban League has signed onto letters urging Congressional action and supported through direct programming.

Affiliates had the opportunity to hear from representatives from the National Urban League’s marketing and communications team about the No Ceilings on Success campaign and the resources developed to help them tell their stories in their markets.

In addition to NUL communications support, the Collaborative for Student Success presented an overview of the support that they can provide affiliates in pitching the media and crafting messaging for niche publications (presentation below).

The day ended with commentary on the tools affiliates and other advocates can use to advance equity in their community on a panel discussion moderating by the Robyn Ince, Vice President of Education programming at the National Urban League, with guests from the Education Trust, the Opportunity Institute and the Learning Policy Institute.

To learn more about our convening, see the presentations below.