Investing in the future of equitable and empowering education
Recently, it was announced that Achievement Network (ANet) is among a few notable non-profits across the country to receive a generous gift of $15 million from esteemed philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott. This donation is the largest single gift our organization has ever received. We are deeply honored to be in such great company, for the recognition of all that we have accomplished and for confidence in what we aspire to achieve as an organization. But more importantly, it is another humble reminder of the belief in the future for the communities that we serve.
In her post, Scott reflected, “Equity can only be realized when all people involved have an opportunity to help shape it.” And this is the true power of gifts like this; they are an orientation towards trust-based agency and ensure that community-embedded organizations like ours feel authentically empowered to identify the opportunities we feel positioned to lead on and design our path forward. Gifts like this not only have the potential to shift the education space but to embody what we all aspire for — more voice and choice in communities that for too long have had the terms of our liberation defined for us and the opportunity as a collective to take one bolder step closer to designing a more equitable future.
This gift is a critical catalyst in our organization’s journey toward ensuring more equitable instructional practices across the country because the past few years have illuminated what we already knew even more brightly:
- We must focus on mitigating the inequities that exist for our most vulnerable students.
- We must stand shoulder to shoulder with educational leaders and teachers to provide them with the tools needed to empower our incredibly diverse students to reach their fullest potential.
- We cannot solve 21st-century challenges with antiquated ideas that do not engage and elevate the voices of the students we serve.
Since the announcement, we have been fielding questions about what we will do with the gift and where we go next. While there are many details aligned to our strategic plan that we will share later, we hold a commitment to paying this gift forward in a manner similar to how it was given to us. The most essential principle we are anchored on is ensuring that we leverage this gift to contribute tools and services that create more opportunities for agency for vulnerable students and their educators.
ANet is committed to working toward a future where all students are engaged in academically rich and empowering learning environments. We will continue to work directly alongside educational leaders in classrooms, schools, and school districts, equipping them with the most actionable suite of services, resources, data, and assessments in the field. We look forward to making the very most of MacKenzie Scott’s generous gift and to seeing the continued impact on the lives of the students and educators we serve, especially those most marginalized by the education system.
Thank you all for your continued partnership and support. I’m excited to share more details in the coming months.
Osarugue “Michelle” Odemwingie
Chief executive officer