Innovation For Equity—Nonprofit Dedicated to Improving Outcomes for Black Learners—Kicks Off Virtual Summer Summit Series

IFE convenes diverse, cross-disciplinary education leaders for critical conversation, collaboration and community

BOSTON – June 18, 2020 – Innovation For Equity, Inc. (IFE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting innovative ways to improve life outcomes for Black learners of all ages, will bring its third annual summer summit online this year, offering a timely series of interactive virtual events that will explore ways to address the challenges facing the education space in the COVID-19 era and beyond. The sessions—on June 23, July 15, and Aug. 6—are free and open to the public.

Founded in 2018 by a cross-disciplinary group of African American education leaders, among them superintendents, entrepreneurs, scholars, policymakers and more, Innovation For Equity has swiftly grown from a small group of committed individuals into an essential and active community that is pacesetting, collaborating and leading the way in addressing deep-rooted inequities in the U.S. education system and closing the learning gap for the Black students. The nonprofit is sponsored by a number of key partners, including learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Vistria Group, New Leaders and more.

“IFE is rooted in collaboration and connection. We believe that by drawing together the perspectives of education leaders from across public and private sectors, we can apply innovative, fresh thinking to pervasive challenges in the space,” said Matthew Mugo Fields, EVP and General Manager, Supplemental and Intervention Solutions at HMH and co-founder of IFE. “Our conversations this summer are all the more urgent as we navigate an education system forever altered by the pandemic. We will work together to mitigate learning disruption as well as seek new opportunities to advance educational equity for the benefit of Black learners.”

In addition to its annual summit, generally held each August in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Innovation For Equity also organizes an emerging leaders fellowship program, hosts an annual awards and recognition program and commissions ongoing research. Each event corresponds with these key founding initiatives; learn more here and register today:

  • Black Learners and COVID-19: With the IFE Fellows (Tuesday, June 23, 4 – 6 p.m. ET): Facilitated by the inaugural class of IFE’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship, this provocative discussion flips the script on the deficit-minded approach, discussing opportunities to leverage the pandemic and increase equity for the benefit of Black learners.

  • Black Learners and COVID-19: Research Meets Practice (Wednesday, July 15, 4 – 6 p.m. ET): Get a front row seat as leading scholars Tyrone Howard, Dena Simmons, and Chris Emdin engage in a powerful discussion with school system leaders about the strengths and limitations of programs, policies and practices designed to address the needs of Black students during these challenging times.

  • Clap For ‘Em: Awards Ceremony and Reception (Thursday, Aug. 6, 4 – 6 p.m. ET): Join us for the virtual edition of the annual IFE Awards Ceremony and Reception celebrating leaders who have leveraged innovation to improve outcomes for Black learners. Get ready to dress up, chat, and even dance in front of your computer as we gather virtually to honor the work of three deserving changemakers.

To register for this year’s IFE Summit Event Series, visit Innovation For Equity.


About Innovation For Equity

Founded nearly two years ago by a diverse, accomplished group of education, technology, policy and business leaders, Innovation For Equity, Inc. (IFE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting innovative ways to improve life outcomes for Black learners of all ages. IFE’s mission is to commit to equity, with a focus on scaling innovative and effective solutions and increasing African American leadership across the education ecosystem.


Katie Marshall

Communications Manager

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt