February 15, 2022

Liberatory Learning Community Cohort Program Underway

Transcend and the Reinvention Lab at Teach For America offer space for school communities to design toward equity and liberation

Communities across the country, February 15, 2022 — Transcend, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to support communities to create and spread extraordinary, equitable learning environments, in partnership with Teach For America’s Reinvention Lab, is proud to share news of a seven-month cohort program to reimagine schools by designing with historically marginalized students and communities at the center.  

The program, which launched in November 2021, supports school communities to make shifts –  even in the midst of the pandemic –  in the daily experience of students, families, and staff.  School teams work to align these with long term, liberatory visions in order to center community members who have experienced  oppression, including those who are Black, Indigenous, Queer, and/ or other marginalized identities. The program’s goal is to drive equity and liberatory learning for all students using the Transcend Leaps for Equitable Learning as a guidepost. 

At the start of the seven-month cohort, each school identified members of their community, including a school leader, and committed to joining six sessions over the course of the program. These sessions were designed and led by Transcend school design partners who support school communities to drive innovation. The program was open to all school communities, with each team including at least one Teach For America alumni. 

“The Reinvention Lab is thrilled to partner with Transcend to launch the Liberatory Learning Community because the experience is designed in a way that allows school teams to move from theory into practice,” shared Michelle Culver, co-founder of the Systems Learning Lab at Teach For America. “Teach For America has always recruited people with a deep commitment to equity in their leadership, and this community allows for such leaders to do the transformational work of finding the places in their school models they want to better align to this commitment. Beyond that, participating schools receive  the coaching, support, and community to see these changes all the way through to result. My hope is that participating schools live even more fully into the visions they have for themselves and their students, and that they become proof points for the kind of learning we know young people across the country have always deserved.”

The 2021-2022 Liberatory Learning Cohort includes:

  • Caliber Academy in Vallejo, CA
  • Detroit Prep in Detroit, MI
  • Dreamhouse ‘Ewa Beach in Kalaeloa, HI
  • High Tech High Media Arts in San Diego, CA
  • Winston Campus Junior High School in Palatine, IL (Community Consolidated District 15)

Martin Da Costa, principal of Winston Campus Junior High, shared “Being part of the Liberatory Learning Cohort means that every day our students experience a more just education that centers their experience regardless of their background. What has excited me the most about this opportunity is how I have seen our staff members, students and community rise to fulfill their leadership potential and how the structures and process has elevated their voice. While still a ways to go, this experience has already started to impact our school community by shifting power dynamics, uplifting diverse voices and perspectives, and supporting us to reimagine the impact education can have not just on our young people but on our larger community overall.”

Participants take part in the Liberatory Learning Community at no cost to their school, thanks to generous support from the Reinvention Lab at Teach For America. 

About Transcend

Transcend is a national nonprofit that supports school communities to create and spread extraordinary, equitable learning environments. The organization was founded on a belief that we must reimagine schooling, using a community-driven approach, so all children can realize their infinite potential. Transcend pursues its mission by partnering directly with schools on design journeys while also sharing powerful models, tools and insights across the sector. To date, Transcend has worked directly with hundreds of schools and leaders in over 30 states, and has influenced thousands more. Ultimately, Transcend strives to fuel significant leaps in education so all young people can thrive in and transform the world.

For more information, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter. 

About The Reinvention Lab at Teach For America

The Reinvention Lab powers innovation at Teach For America and fuels the future of learning, pursuing systemic change at the intersection of equity and innovation. It is an exploratory space within a larger organization that accelerates those leading learning reinvention at the intersection of equity and innovation (no matter their affiliation to Teach For America); activates Teach For America staff and alumni towards learning reinvention, and incubates pilots with the potential to transform how Teach For America operates.

Transcend is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates nationally.