Four fellows from across the state will spend the year focusing on racial equity in education and how to initiate change.
The Center for Racial Equity in Education (CREED) chose four fellows as part of its inaugural cohort of the 2019 North Carolina Equity Fellowship. The Fellowship, made possible by the support of the Oak Foundation, is designed to give a teacher, principal, school board member, and journalist a year-long opportunity to deepen their knowledge of racial inequity in education. Each fellow will develop a capstone project that addresses an identified inequity. They will be guided through the experience by a mentor from the field of education to offer expertise and support.
Recipients of the fellowship were selected from over 50 applicants. The four fellows are: Rodney Pierce, teacher at Red Oak Middle School in Nash-Rocky Mount Schools; Dr. Jonita Taylor, principal at Murphey Traditional Academy in Guilford County Schools; Porcha McMillan, District Two Representative on the Cumberland County Schools Board of Education; and Emiene Wright, storyteller and journalist based in Charlotte.
The group convened for the first time on Monday August 12th, where they were introduced to the public at a reception in downtown Raleigh. They expressed eagerness to define their role and project as an Equity Fellow. “I’m excited about the possibility of addressing the real issue,” Board Fellow McMillan said. As the Journalism Fellow, Wright expressed a desire to inform the public about what is and is not working for students of color. They will meet collectively at least four times throughout the year as they embark on a shared learning journey and expand on their ideas.
“The fellowship is about responding to the racial disparities we see in North Carolina public schools,” said James E. Ford, executive director of CREED. “We can’t just point out the problems; we have tap into leadership that can catalyze change within our systems,” stated Janeen Bryant, Director of Operations for CREED. Their strategy is about producing a pipeline of education leaders ready and willing to address racial equity.
2019-2020 Equity Fellows Engagement