Apr 4 2024

Walking the Talk: How Foundations Can Use New Data to Better Fund Racial Equity and Justice

Grantmakers for Education


April 4, 2:00 pm ET

Slide Deck: Walking the Talk

Join us for a frank and honest discussion of new education grantmaking data, hear from racial justice funders and grassroots advocates, and learn next steps that funders should take.

The latest Justice Is The Foundation grant data, released February 29 by the Schott Foundation, paints a stark picture of K-12 education philanthropy’s priorities: despite a chorus of funders committing to change their practices amid the racial justice protests of 2020, grant dollars awarded to racial equity and racial justice work have actually declined.

Learn action steps we all can take — regardless of our budgets or program areas — to respond to this historic moment and opportunity by making transformative investments in racial equity and justice work.

This event is intended for members and other education grantmakers.

There is no cost to attend this Grantmakers for Education program. Registration closes 15 minutes prior to the program time. By registering for this program, you agree to our Learning Environment Commitment. Thank you for your patience; we review each registration in advance.

About the Speakers

Dr. John H. Jackson

Dr. John H. Jackson
President and CEO
Schott Foundation for Public Education

Dr. John H. Jackson is President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. In this role, Dr. Jackson leads the Foundation’s efforts to ensure a fair and substantive opportunity to learn for all students regardless of race or gender. Dr. Jackson joined the Schott Foundation after serving in several senior level positions. Among them, National Director of Education and Chief Policy Officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 2000-2007. In 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Dr. Jackson to serve as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.

A native of the Southside of Chicago and product of the public school system, Dr. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Xavier University of Louisiana; A Master of Education in Education Policy from the University of Illinois’ College of Education; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois’ College of Law. In addition, Dr. Jackson received a Master of Education and Doctorate of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Dr. Gisele C. Shorter

Dr. Gisele C. Shorter
President and CEO
Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Dr. Gisele C. Shorter is the third President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, which funds community-rooted educational transformation that challenges racial inequities and advances excellent, student-centered public education for all New England youth. Foundational to Gisele’s career is the deep belief that an equitable society starts with an equitable education system. Over the past 15 years, she has led large-scale community-based programs and research and policy initiatives to advance justice and equity, close health disparities and ensure access and opportunities for Black and Brown youth and communities to flourish.

Dr. Shorter most recently served as the Director of the National Education Strategy at the Raikes Foundation, where she was responsible for impact and strategy coherence across the K-12, post-secondary, education field building, and policy portfolios.

Dr. Shorter earned her doctorate in education from Columbia University Teachers College. She holds a master’s degree from Long Island University and a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College. She is a Pahara Aspen Fellow and active member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Adaku Utah

Adaku Utah
Senior Manager of Movement Building Programs
Building Movement Project

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, raised in Festac, Nigeria, grounded in her legacy of organizers, farmers and healers, Adaku (any pronouns) harnesses her seasoned skills as a political strategist, holistic healer, transformative facilitator, somatics coach and ritual artist as an act of love and commitment to her community. She enjoys co-cultivating social justice leaders and organizations to be more strategic, sustainable, and impactful.  For over twenty years, their work has centered on movements for radical social change, with a focus on gender, reproductive, race, youth, and healing justice.

She most recently was the Organizing Director at the National Network of Abortion Funds, building and mobilizing organizing power and movement building efforts with 90+ member organizations, thousands of individual members, and network leaders across the country and world.

For the past 9 years, they have also been co-facilitating Harriet’s Apothecary, an all-Black collective of healers, organizers, and artists committed to embodying Harriet Tubman’s legacy of centering abolition and healing justice in how we organize to create and sustain liberation and transformation.

She is a Senior teacher and coach with BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity), a national leadership training program designed to help rebuild Black social justice infrastructure to organize Black communities more effectively and re-center Black leadership in the U.S. social justice movement. She also teaches and coaches with Generative Somatics, a national organization that supports social and climate justice movements in achieving their visions of a radically transformed society by bringing somatic transformation to movement leaders, organizations, and alliances.


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