Funding and management assistance from NewSchools Venture Fund will fuel efforts to cultivate more Black and Latino education leaders

February 1, 2018


(Nashville, TN) – Conexión Américas is proud to announce its selection as a member of the Diverse Leaders cohort at NewSchools Venture Fund.

Conexión Américas is one of eight organizations in the 2018 investment group. Each cohort member is committed to increasing the pipeline of Black and Latino leaders in education and will execute concrete plans to increase their representation in schools, districts and other education organizations. In addition to the funding, NewSchools will provide management assistance and create a community of practice for the cohort members.

The investment will support Conexión Américas’ Mosaic Fellowship program, a transformational strategy to develop and connect education leaders of color to enact change to ensure equity and excellence in education in Tennessee. Currently in its inaugural year, the Mosaic Fellowship has engaged 15 leaders who are reimagining and improving public education in Tennessee, and represent communities that are currently underserved by Tennessee’s public schools.

“NewSchools Venture Fund’s support will strengthen and amplify the voices of education leaders of color in Tennessee,” said Renata Soto, co-founder and executive director of Conexión Américas. “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that a diverse group of leaders are helping shape and inform solutions to our complex educational challenges.”

“I am proud of NewSchools’ commitment to this work,” said Frances Messano, a managing partner at NewSchools Venture Fund who co-leads the Diverse Leaders strategy. “The lack of diversity in education leadership is widely known and frequently lamented. Now, the time has come to do something about it. The 2018 Diverse Leaders cohort is an impressive group that will make a difference,” she added.

“NewSchools is taking bold steps to increase the number of Black and Latino leaders in education,” said Deborah McGriff, a managing partner at NewSchools Venture Fund who co-leads the Diverse Leaders strategy. “Across the sector, especially when you’re looking at district-level positions such as superintendents and school board members, or national boards of directors at education nonprofits and charter schools, Black and Latino leaders are still greatly underrepresented. Education leaders must better reflect the racial and ethnic backgrounds of America’s increasingly diverse student population.”