A List of Nonprofits Focused on Equality in Education

The past month in this country has felt like the start of a second Civil Rights Movement. More than has ever been the case since the 1960s, Americans of all backgrounds are shifting their beliefs to accept the need for swift and assertive action against inequality.

At CNDLS, inclusive teaching is one of our core values. And we’re not alone; there are many good organizations that share this value. You’ll find a description of some of them below.

In no way is this list exhaustive, nor are we directly advocating for the work of these groups. But after reviewing broader lists published by outlets like New York Magazine, Huffington Post, and Ben & Jerry’s (yes, the ice cream makers have been an active voice on this front), we thought this could be a helpful resource for people interested in supporting the work of equity and inclusion in higher education.


NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

“Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.”


National Museum of African American History and Culture

Established by an Act of Congress in 2003, the NMAAHC opened in 2016 to “promote and highlight” Black peoples’ contributions to American society and culture. It offers educational programs and displays information going back to the 1600s all the way to the present time to offer a perspective on American history that is often missing in our history textbooks during primary and secondary education.


Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Since its founding in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund has awarded over $300 million in scholarship assistance and funding for Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and Primarily Black Institutions (PBI). They support and represent a network of 47 such schools that conferred nearly 40,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the 2018 fiscal year. 


Year Up

“Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through careers and higher education,” the organization’s website reads. Operating in 35 campuses across the country, Year Up provides academic counseling and career advice to young adults aged 17-25 through a four-month program that also includes a stipend for participants. They report that 90% of program graduates are employed and/or enrolled in postsecondary education within 4 months of graduation.


Black Girls Code

A well-known organization that is introducing Black teens to coding and software engineering, setting them up for success in the modern economy. The program also helps Black girls expand their understanding of what they can accomplish and “build a new generation of coders,” according to the organization’s founder, Kimberly Bryant.


The Education Trust

From their website: “a  national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families. Through our research and advocacy, Ed Trust supports efforts that expand excellence and equity in education from preschool through college, increase college access and completion particularly for historically underserved students, engage diverse communities dedicated to education equity, and increase political and public will to act on equity issues.”