Earlier this month, the Dudley Flood Center for Educational Equity and Opportunity announced the creation of the Jeanes Fellows Program, which is “is designed to provide consistent and intentional infrastructure to support community-school relationships using an equity lens.”
A press release for the announcement said this is the Flood Center’s formal attempt to help diversify who is teaching in North Carolina. It will “use a cohort model approach to intentionally respond to systemic issues of recruiting and retaining teachers of color.”
“When reimagining education, we must provide proven solutions of success with students and educators grounded in research and data to effectively contribute to the constitutional mandate of a sound basic education,” said Deanna Townsend-Smith, senior director of the Flood Center. “Research shows a diverse teaching workforce benefits every student and contributes to maintaining the dignity, respect, and well-being of students and the school communities supporting them each day.”
According to the press release, the fellows program is based on the Jeanes Teachers program, which was named for Anna Jeanes, a Quaker Woman from Philadelphia who started a $1 million endowment in 1907 to help bring mostly female Black teachers into Black schools in the South.
“These teacher leaders often served as de facto superintendents of Black schools,” said Ann McColl, a historian and co-founder of The Innovation Project. “Their unique approach to creating a path of meaningful freedom and an ethic of care for students and communities was lost during integration and the assimilation of roles with positions held by whites. The Jeanes Fellows reimagines this role.”
The Fellows program will “operationalize” action based on three “foundational documents,” according to the press release. They are: