WASHINGTON – Innovation For Equity, Inc. (IFE), a nonprofit organization committed to promoting innovative ways to improve life outcomes for Black learners of all ages, will host a first-of-its-kind EdTech Summit and Career Fair at Howard University from Feb 7-9, 2023.The summit— EdTech: At the Intersection of Purpose and Progress— will unite multidisciplinary leaders across the education ecosystem as well as college and university students from premier historically Black colleges and universities to foster collaboration and connection.
In keeping with IFE’s core strategy of cultivating Black leadership in education, the summit will include a hybrid EdTech Career/Networking Fair for in-person college and university students attending and those participating virtually from across the country. The summit will also feature a variety of conversations with thought leaders in the education technology and broader education field, highlighting innovation and sharing insight on career development. Students will be able to connect with mentors pre- and post-event through a partnership powered by Mentor Spaces; sponsors include HMH, Cambium Learning, Edmentum, Knowledge Leaders, Learning Innovation Catalyst (LINC), Vistria Group, and Abl.
“We are excited and proud to be hosting the first ever HBCU EdTech Summit. IFE, like Howard, recognizes the importance of Black educators in and outside of the classroom. Technology and education are more connected than ever. EdTech will provide opportunities for students and education professionals from all over the country to network and expand our ability to be effective educators and policymakers,” said Dawn Williams, dean of the Howard University School of Education.
At the summit, IFE also will honor outstanding Black education leaders from across career stages who leveraged innovation to improve outcomes for Black learners. The Awards ceremony will be livestreamed via IFE's YouTube channel. The IFE Awards will be presented to the following three champions of education this year:
Dr. Lillian Lowery, an IFE Founder who served as state schools Superintendent of Maryland and Delaware Secretary of Education before her passing in 2021, will posthumously receive the Trailblazer Award. The accolade is presented to accomplished leaders who successfully increased the number of innovative Black leaders across the education and workforce sector.
Kaya Henderson, co-founder and CEO of Reconstruction, and former Chancellor of DC Public Schools, will receive the Advancing Equity Award, an honor bestowed on a leader with a record of scaling effective and innovative solutions for Black learners.
Kimberly Neal-Brannum, Founder and Executive Director of Believe Schools was selected for this year’s Rising Star Award, which recognizes an emerging leader in the education and workforce sector that exemplifies the power of innovation to address important challenges.
“At IFE, we know that uplifting Black excellence and increasing Black education leadership play a critical role in advancing educational equity,” said Angela Romans, Executive Director, IFE. “I am honored to celebrate the work of these three inspiring leaders across public and private sectors who have fought to effect change at a time when it feels more urgent than ever.”
In addition to awards and learning events, a powerful driver of IFE’s strategy is the Senior Leadership Fellowship, comprised of small cohorts of outstanding Black leaders from throughout the education ecosystem, including leaders of school districts or nonprofits, social entrepreneurs and business leaders. The third cohort of the Fellowship launched in Jan. 2023. IFE is committed to helping accelerate their careers and supporting them as changemakers.
“IFE has reached new milestones and is up and running in exciting ways in 2023. With Angela’s expert leadership and our Board of Directors fully in place, the future is bright for our organization and the passionate leaders at its heart,” said Matthew Mugo Fields, EVP and General Manager, Supplemental and Intervention Solutions at HMH and co-founder/board member of IFE. “Our summit creates a unique forward-thinking space for community and creative thinking, bringing together and building connection between talented young people and established leaders. Against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving technology landscape, a career in education technology offers an opportunity to create meaningful change for students and teachers.”
Founded in 2018 by a cross-disciplinary group of Black education leaders, among them superintendents, entrepreneurs, scholars, policymakers and more, IFE has swiftly grown from a small group of committed individuals into an essential and active 2,000 leader-strong community that is pacesetting, collaborating and leading the way in addressing deep-rooted inequities in the U.S. education system to improve life outcomes for Black learners of all ages. IFE was launched and incubated by learning technology company HMH, and now as an independent 501c3 organization, continues to broaden its important work. Key sponsors and partners include the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, NewSchools Venture Fund, The Vistria Group, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Walton Family Foundation and more.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced two Schwarzman Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
About Innovation For Equity
Founded in 2018 by a diverse, accomplished group of education and workforce leaders, Innovation For Equity, Inc. (IFE) is a network of changemakers across the education ecosystem – leaders in PK-12, postsecondary, research, technology, and business – committed to disrupting the status quo and transforming the life outcomes of Black learners of all ages. By connecting and cultivating Black leaders in education to build collective power and scale innovative solutions, IFE reimagines a future where Black learners thrive across the nation.