MDC is partnering with the Oak Foundation to learn more about the intersection of race, educational equity, and learning differences by building a learning and action network across North Carolina called "Learning for Equity: A Network for Solutions," or LENS-NC.
Selected organizations will receive funds to advance their work to reduce race and income disparities in educational outcomes among students with learning differences and create learning environments where marginalized students with learning differences will thrive.
Members of the Network will regularly meet with other Network members to learn, address common challenges, and explore opportunities to amplify effective strategies for change at classroom, school, community, district, and state levels.
Oak Foundation’s Learning Differences Programme strategically partners with and invests in organizations that improve education for students with learning differences. Learning differences are defined as diagnosed or undiagnosed specific learning disabilities (such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia) as well as other related neurological processing challenges that can impact learning (such as attention deficits, sensory processing disorders, and executive function challenges).
Oak Foundation and MDC recognize that there are likely few organizations working at the exact intersection of learning differences and equity. Given this, organizations that focus on educational equity who are paying attention to the experience of students with learning differences and organizations that focus on learning differences but who have a commitment to address equity are both eligible to apply.
Oak Foundation and MDC are ultimately seeking to engage a diverse group of organizations that is:
- Geographically reflective of the state
- Representative of a cross-section of the entry points into work to reduce race and income disparities in educational outcomes among students with learning differences
- Seeking to create learning environments where marginalized students with learning differences will thrive.
The Oak Foundation and MDC seek to bring together organizations in North Carolina working at the intersection of learning differences, race, and poverty to:
- Equip them with skills needed to lift up the voices of those most marginalized and improve educational outcomes for students with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning differences who experience further marginalization due to racism and/or poverty.
- Influence systems to embrace and adopt policies and practices necessary for educational equity.
- Promote cross-site learning and engagement through conversations and convenings facilitated by MDC.
Organizations seeking to become part of the network must:
- Be a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization or a have a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)3 tax status.
- Be a North Carolina-based organization or an N.C.-based affiliate of a regional or national organization.
- Work at the grassroots, local, regional, or state level to advance equity and address race and income disparities among students with learning differences.
- Propose a project that aligns with one or more of the five focus areas outlined in the funding announcement to address disparities and advance equity among students with learning differences.
- Demonstrate how input from the people most affected by inequity (students, families, teachers) are or will be included in the project plans.
- Possess capacity to fully participate in the learning and action network, including committing two to three staff and other constituents to attend convenings, participate in additional learning opportunities, and carve out time for internal reflection and application of learnings.
For more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.