The Southern Education Leadership Initiative (SELI) is an intensive, eight-week, paid summer fellowship for Emerging Leaders interested in advancing racial equity and improving education across the pre-K through college continuum. Placed in nonprofits, school districts, or state education agencies in the South, SELI Fellows spend the summer developing as leaders, engaging with valuable stakeholders, and acquiring practical job skills through direct learning experiences.
A continuation of SEF’s legacy of educating leaders in the South, which spans more than a century, SELI’s 2004 launch marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. Our initiative recognized that there is still important work to be done to ensure that all children, irrespective of race or class, receive an excellent education. Through SELI, talented and diverse young leaders have conducted important research, policy analysis, advocacy, and organizing efforts for over 100 partner organizations over the course of its 16-year tenure. SELI alumni can be found today working as educators, policymakers, researchers, community organizers, and committed civic leaders dedicated to improving the lives of all children.