Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

Let’s Talk: Education Equity from Advocacy to Implementation

Over the past few years, the State of Michigan has dramatically increased its investment to support out-of-school-time learning. There is greater bi-partisan recognition that an exceptional and equitable education system requires investment in learning opportunities after school and over the summer. 

Budgeting the dollars is only part of the solution. Education advocates are ensuring there is an equitable process to distribute funding so kids who need more support receive it. 

This Let’s Talk event featured education advocacy leaders who secured public dollars and took an innovative, equitable approach to implementation by listening to community members for whom the education system is currently failing.

Deondra Ramsey of the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLeap), Erin Skene-Pratt of Michigan Afterschool Partnership and Punita Dani Thurman, vice president of strategy at The Skillman Foundation, discussed what must happen in education policy creation, implementation, and funding to ensure all Michigan youth thrive. They shared a case-study example of Michigan’s $50M grant fund for out-of-school program providers and talked about what’s ahead in Michigan’s next budget cycle.

Moderator Terry Whitfield, Partnership Manager of Policy and Systems at The Skillman Foundation, asked the panelist how can we change the view of how we are confronting the challenges in front of us?

Punita Dani Thurman reminded us that we all play different roles, but all have roles to play. Deondra Ramsey mentioned that it takes accountability, openness and transparency. Erin Skene-Pratt likened advocacy work to a four-legged chair – we need everybody’s support or our chair of advocacy will tip over.

Want public dollars to have their greatest impact? Watch the recording to learn from leaders who are working toward this very end.

The Skillman Foundation

The Skillman Foundation is a grantmaking organization established in 1960 by Rose Skillman. We have granted out more than $730 million and have served as a vocal advocate to strengthen K-12 education, afterschool programming, child-centered neighborhoods, youth and community leadership, and racial equity and justice.

We are in the process of developing a new strategic framework, co-designed with Detroit youth and their champions.

Comments (1)

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  • Verne Brown - http://N/A

    Very Interesting Conversation ! Out of School time is easiest no brainer for me and cost little or NO money.

    My focus is only Detroit Public Schools. Here are a few NO money just activities to help MOST ! This is NOT rocket science just free information. Mentoring at free breakfast time before school starts. In the cafeteria because children. Just a 15-20 ‘ conversation ! Cass Tech Optimist Club took high school students pre-engineering, WSU Cass Tech. Student engineering student to Engineering company to meet an CT engineer during Spring Break. Health Care already set took 2 phone calls.

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