Southern Policy & Practice Network (SP&PN)


The Southern Policy & Practice Network (SP&PN) is a co-created learning collaborative featuring key stakeholder organizations from Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas. This initiative is focused on addressing ways to improve education equity for Black, Latino, and low-income students from different yet interconnected vantage points in areas of education advocacy, research, and the business community. Poised to address these challenges in intentional and concrete ways the network’s core objectives will be carried out with the purpose of:

  • Easing the challenges of collaboration by identifying core messages and building cohesive communication strategies to support them,
  • Advancing learning through partnership by promoting coalition building among peers in similar contexts but that operate in different spaces,
  • Enhancing reach and gaining traction among policymakers and journalists,
  • Designing a digital learning community for ongoing connectivity amongst network members as well as access to equity-centered communications learning materials and coaching, and
  • Providing practical communications tools and training to communicate what is working and what is needed most among students in the South from a policy and practice perspective.

Impact Statement: SEF aims to impact policy and create systemic and meaningful change for Black, Brown and low-income children as a result of the Southern Policy & Practice Network.


Southern Policy & Practice Network Kick-Off

July 24-25, 2018 - Atlanta, GA

In a time of increasingly divisive politics, the issue of quality education and how best to provide it to our students has likewise become politically charged and divisive. Challenges continue over school funding, governance strategies, disciplinary tactics, and how these issues negatively and disproportionately impact Black, Brown, and low-income students. Advocates who passionately answer the call to address these matters are increasingly presented with their own set of frustrating issues: financial and human capital shortages, overextended communications support, and time and distance that act as barriers to greater coordination of their efforts.

In answer to these pressing problems, the Southern Education Foundation convened the Southern Policy & Practice Network (SP&PN) on July 24th-25th in Atlanta, GA, to enhance the members’ organizational communications infrastructure, leverage data and research, support networking between the members, share knowledge, and ultimately help the members positively influence policymakers toward more equitable education policies for their respective states. The convening also brought SP&PN members together with student advocates from our Southern Education Leadership Initiative to provide a fresh student perspective on making SP&PN responsive to the next generation of leaders and their challenges.


See photos from the Kick-Off event below:


The first SP&PN convening kicked off by giving advocacy leaders an opportunity to inform the tools that will be devised to support their efforts ensuring that the resources offered to them will be both useful and co-created.


Network members learn from communications leaders & gather methods for leveraging communications tools and resources to support their efforts.


Members meet within groups to discuss issues specific to their respective states.


Additionally, they thoughtfully determined actionable initiatives that can be carried out by their team in the short-term.


View the full picture album below.

SP&PN Kick-Off Event

On July 24th-25th in Atlanta, GA, SEF held the kick-off convening for The Southern Policy & Practice Network.

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