Public Education Learning Series: Creating Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive K-12 Public Schools

Thursday, September 13, 2018
9:30am to 11:30am EDT
Most WRAG events are only open to our members. Please refer to the text at left for attendance eligibility.
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Eligible to attend: All WRAG Members and non-member education funders.
Registration: WRAG Members, please register online (free). Non-member funders ($50/person), please email Rebekah Seder, seder(at)

Decades of racist policies and practices have created racially and economically segregated public schools, across the country, as well as here in our region. Undoing this legacy of segregation so that all young people can attend diverse schools, where they are welcomed and valued, and receive high quality and culturally responsive educations, is complex, to say the least. The good news is that there are pathways for philanthropy to act. 
Join us to hear from Dr. Susan Eaton and Dr. Suchi Saxena of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University. Drs. Eaton and Saxena will discuss the research related to school segregation and the practice of racial integration in the 21st century, highlight promising practices and models from around the country, and provide an overview of various funding strategies and roles for grantmakers interested in advancing equitable school diversity. 
Related reading: Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive K-12 Schools: A New Call for Philanthropic Support

WRAG's 2018 Public Education Learning Series is generously sponsored by


Dr. Susan Eaton is Director of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at the Heller School. At the Sillerman Center, Susan and her colleagues engage funders and their advisors, socially concerned scholars and non-profit practitioners to increase and enhance grantmaking to social justice causes. Susan is also Professor of the Practice at the Heller School and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Susan is an author of Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at Its Best (The New Press, 2016), about efforts that welcome and incorporate immigrants into their new communities. She also is the author of The Children In Room E4: American Education on Trial (Algonquin, 2007), which chronicles a landmark civil rights case and life in a classroom and neighborhood in Hartford, and The Other Boston Busing Story: What's Won and Lost Across the Boundary Line (Yale, 2001), a qualitative interview study of the adult lives of African Americans who had participated in a voluntary school desegregation effort in suburban Boston. She is co-author, with Gary Orfield, of Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education (New Press, 1996).

Prior to her appointment at Heller in 2015, Susan was research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. Susan also founded and co-directed the storytelling project One Nation Indivisible, which amplifies the voices and work of people creating and sustaining racially, culturally and linguistically integrated schools and other social institutions. She has also been a frequent advisor, consultant and writer for national and regional foundations in the United States. Her writing has appeared in numerous scholarly and popular publications including the New York Times, the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, the Nation, Education Week, Education Next, Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Law & Policy Review, Race Poverty & The Environment and many others. Susan holds a doctorate in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Dr. Suchi Saxena is committed to driving equity and innovation across the American education. Her focus on system-level change and leadership is grounded in ensuring that all kids thrive and can drive their own learning. She is known as an advocate for, and collaborating with, children, families, and educators in high-poverty communities.

Dr. Saxena served as the Raikes Foundation Fellow on Non-Cognitive Factors and Learning from 2014-2015, helping launch the Funder’s Collaborative for Innovative Measures while driving a non-cognitive innovation agenda across the White House and the U.S. Department of Education. As a systems entrepreneur, she founded Mixer, a new school enrollment platform that seeks to support racial and socioeconomic integration. Suchi spent eight years with the New York City Department of Education, directing the talent and turnaround work for two persistently lowest-achieving New York City public schools in Harlem and the Bronx, and leading the growth of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Dr. Saxena earned her B.A. in economics from Wellesley College, an MPA from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs, and is a 2015 graduate of the doctoral program in education leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.