New $10 Million Grant to Promote Equity Leadership and Educator Well-Being

The SWIFT Education Center, part of the Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas, was awarded a $10 million federal grant to promote equity leadership and educator well-being among educational leaders in Black, Hispanic and Native American communities.

Students work together in an elementary school in Cumberland County Schools, North Carolina. Credit: Claire BilesThe three-year award comes from the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. SWIFT will provide for principals and leadership teams professional learning and networking opportunities with Historically Black, Hispanic-serving and Tribal University faculty to foster a more diverse educational workforce. School leaders' professional learning will focus on developing student social and emotional competencies as well as ways to promote the well-being of educators.

“We are at a moment in education when many pressing concerns converge. We face an urgent need to make transformative changes in our systems to bring equity, safety, security and freedom into education, and at the same time our educators are facing intense burnout due to multiple and overlapping crises,” said Amy McCart, research professor and SWIFT co-director. “We have to offer educational leaders the strategies they need to both make change for their students and support their own well-being.”

In addition to McCart, the project is being led by SWIFT’s Dawn Miller, associate director of partner engagement and systems design; Melinda Mitchiner, associate director of partnership development and business operations; and J. Hoon Choi, assistant research professor and associate director of research and evaluation.

The project will support over 50 principals and their leadership teams in schools that serve Black, Hispanic, and Native American communities.  Partner schools and districts will be San Diego Unified Schools, California; Cumberland County Schools, North Carolina; Sunnyside Unified Schools, Arizona; Millington Municipal Schools, Tennessee; and Green Dot Charter Schools, Perea Elementary and Arrow Academy of Excellence, all in Tennessee.

Photo: Students work together in an elementary school in Cumberland County Schools, North Carolina. Credit: Claire Biles