Racial Equity Leadership Network Application

The Racial Equity Leadership Network is targeted at executive leaders in school districts in the South that are committed to reducing inequities in their districts and exhibit readiness to implement innovative, transformational change in their system.

Candidates selected for inclusion in the Racial Equity Leadership Network may vary in the size of the district they lead, demographic composition, budget, geographic location, and in the types of equity challenges they identify. Our selection will be foremost guided by the districts’ ability to demonstrate a true need and willingness to seek equity-centered systemic change and their commitment to be a consistent participant and contributor to the Racial Equity Leadership Network. Ultimately, the Racial Equity Leadership Network will come to be reflective of the racially and economically diverse communities that constitute our southern region.

Learn more about the RELN program overview, benefits, eligibility, and partners.


Fellowship Application

Interested applicants should submit the following responses in PDF format, not to exceed 10 pages, to our Applicant Review Team at racialequity@southerneducation.org. The components of the application will include:

  1. Candidate Information
  2. District Description & Data
  3. District Goals, Priorities & Equity Orientation
  4. Identification of District’s Racial Equity Leadership Design Team
  5. Optional: Additional Attachments (Up to 5 total beyond the aforementioned 10-page limit)


Download Application

  1. Candidate Information
  1. Candidate’s Full Name
  2. Title/Role and Tenure in the District
  3. Demographics: Candidate’s Gender, Ethnicity/Race, Date of Birth
  4. Identify previous fellowship programs in which you have participated.
  5. What attracts you to this fellowship experience?
  6. What has been your experience addressing racial equity issues and/or reducing disparities in your district? What lessons or insights did you gain?
  7. What gifts and contributions would you bring to this fellowship cohort?
  8. What questions or concerns are you grappling with in your work to address inequity in your system?
  9. Do you have support/approval to participate in all five two-day Network Convenings? Y   N  
  10. Please indicate specifically how you heard about the Racial Equity Leadership Network. (indicate multiple sources if applicable) 


  1. Candidate’s District Description & Data
  1. District Name
  2. District Office Address
  3. District Vision & Mission
  4. Organizational Structure (organizational chart)
  5. School Board Members (list by name)
  6. District Size (number of schools & total number of students)
  7. Student Demographics (% of students by race/ethnicity, % of students on free/reduced lunch)
  8. Teacher Demographics (% of teachers by race/ethnicity)
  9. District Total Budget $____________ 
  10. Type of District: (urban, suburban, rural, or other?)
  11. Student Achievement Data (please provide data that illustrate the racial inequity or disproportionality that exist in your system)
  12. Please list any partner organizations that are supporting the district to achieve its strategic priorities. Briefly describe the type of support they typically provide? (i.e. financial, programmatic) 


  1. District Goals, Priorities & Equity Orientation
  1. What are the current strategic priorities/goals of your district (i.e. high level goals)?
  2. In order to accomplish your strategic priorities, identify 1-2 areas you believe your district must address to make progress?
  3. How would you describe the key racial equity challenges in your district today?
  4. What do you think your system needs to learn and be able to do to make progress or in order to solve the aforementioned equity challenges?
  5. To what degree or how explicitly does your district name race and equity as a significant issue in the district?
  6. Please describe the specific data/measures you use to understand your organizational impact and how often the collection of these measures occurs. How do you use this data to continuously learn and improve?
  7. Describe your efforts engaging families and communities in advancing equitable outcomes and/or transforming student experience in your district? Where have you had success? Where (or with whom) has community and family engagement been a challenge? What do you want to learn or improve in this area?
  8. Does your district view disparities in students’ health as a key part of your racial equity strategy? How does your district support students’ physical, social, and emotional health?


  1. District’s Racial Equity Leadership Design Team

Fellows will be asked to either enroll an existing team or convene a new team that will serve as the District’s Design Team.  This team will be responsible for identifying a racial equity challenge and designing and implementing an approach and strategies to advance progress on the key equity challenge the team identifies. We strongly recommend including at least one member of your cabinet level team (i.e. Chief Academic Officer, Deputy Superintendent) to promote support and consistency.

  1. Please list the Names and Roles of your District’s Design Team (inclusive of 5-7 members).
  2. Describe your rationale for the composition of your team. Describe how you will ensure the necessary capacity for your design team to be fully engaged in the Network, as well as how you will ensure that the learning of your design team will strongly influence the work of your broader organization. 

Statement of Confidentiality
All information and data provided in response to this application by the candidate and/or district will remain private and will not be shared with the public without expressed written consent by an authorized party. Applicant information and data will only be used by the Applicant Review Team to determine candidates’ interests, needs, and conditions for successful participation and contribution in the Racial Equity Leadership Network.

Statement of Non-Discrimination
It is the policy of the Racial Equity Leadership Network to ensure equal opportunity without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. None of the aforementioned factors will significantly disqualify or qualify you to be an ideal candidate for the work that we will embark upon in this program. 

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