The Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA) by InnovateEDU is excited to launch our 2023 New Champions Fund opportunity on April 3rd, 2023. 

Beginning in 2022, EALA has granted an annual unrestricted competitive sub-grant and year-long mentorship to support leaders of color, or allies of the equity in education movement, who are actively working to support students with disabilities, including students who are also marginalized, come from underserved communities, or experience poverty. Additionally, EALA has provided two additional $5,000 sub-grants to runners-up as determined by the panel of New Champions judges.

As a part of this process, funding applications are vetted by the EALA review team and reviewed by the diverse group of New Champions Fund Judges using this EALA New Champions Rubric.

Eligibility Criteria

Are you a leader of a community-based organization (CBO), school or district, non-profit, or for-profit organization (under $2 million in revenue)?

Are you a leader of color or ally of the equity in education movement?

Are you actively working to support students with disabilities, including students who are marginalized or come from underserved communities and those experiencing poverty?

Have Questions? Looking For Additional Support?

As we are actively looking for applicants who are not- yet-recognized for their exceptional work and who may be first time grant applicants or someone who is unsure about the grant-application process, we want to support you through this grant application process.

Open, drop-in office hours are available at the following dates and time. Please follow the links below to register:

Judging Rubric

Please keep in mind that we are looking to fund a new champion who is actively working to support students with disabilities, including students who are marginalized or come from underserved communities and those experiencing poverty. When writing your responses to the proposal questions, please keep in mind the focus on serving these communities of learners.

Additionally, before completing your submission, please review the EALA New Champions Rubric the judges will be using to determine the 2023 New Champion.

2023 New Champions Judges

The New Champions Judges are leaders in the cross-section of equity, innovation, and education.

Together, they represent a diverse collective of industry leaders in the non-profit, advocacy, digital literacy, K-12 education and edtech sectors, all committed to advancing equity and opportunity in the field.

Ash Kaluarachchi Headshot
Ash Kaluarachchi
Brent Maddin Headshot
Brent Maddin
Caroline Hill Headshot
Caroline Hill
Christine Fox Headshot
Christine Fox
Deborah Hanmer Headshot
Deborah Hanmer
Dewayne McClary Headshot
Dwayne McClary
Jonathan McIntosh Headshot
Jonathan McIntosh
Laurie Wolfe Headshot
Laurie Wolfe
Megan Ohlssen Headshot
Megan Ohlssen
Melanie Dukes Headshot
Melanie Dukes
Melissa Martin Headshot
Melissa Martin
Rachel Brody Headshot
Rachel Brody
Sasha Simon Headshot
Sasha Simon
Simmi Groomer Headshot
Simmi Groomer



LiberatED, Dena Simmons Ed.D

LiberatED centers radical love, healing, and racial and social justice in education so that all children can live, learn, and thrive in the comfort of their own skin. They work alongside youth, educators, and educational leaders in school and school district communities, particularly those that are predominantly Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other People of Color (BILPOC) and that have been systemically and institutionally marginalized. They partner with educators and educational leaders to support the implementation of LiberatED’s liberatory practices not only in their own lives for greater self-care and wellness, but also in their school communities to meet the unique social, emotional, academic, and mental health needs of students.

A Message From LiberatED…

We plan to use this funding to support the inaugural Youth Leaders Program this fall. For this particular project, we will recruit youth leaders from the New England Region and New York City, host the Youth Leaders Program, and engage in reflective analysis to develop subsequent youth leaders programs and the LiberatED curriculum. The LiberatED Youth Leaders Program is a 8-month fellowship that provides youth activists an opportunity to partner with LiberatED educators and researchers committed to creating culturally affirming school programming and evaluation.

At LiberatED, we don’t want to make programs for youth and educators. Rather, we want to make programs with youth and educators to ensure our work is relevant, meaningful, and community-centered. The LiberatED Youth Leaders Program will partner with BILPOC secondary students to co-develop academic programming so that young people remain the center of their learning experiences and contribute to creating communities of care and belonging at their schools. LiberatED’s Youth Leaders Program is an invitation for youth to share their thoughts and ideas through stories, feedback, and conversations on how youth, including exceptional youth, want to lead, learn, and thrive at school.

By engaging youth in healing-centered communities, we expect to better understand from young people how SEL & racial justice can support positive mental health toward more welcoming learning environments and how co-created tools, strategies, and approaches can meet the needs in schools now and beyond.

Keep Up with LiberateED
 Read more at linktr.ee/liberated_sel
 Follow @liberated_sel on Instagram
 Follow @LiberatED_SEL On Twitter
 Find LiberatED on Facebook
 Email info@liberatedsel.com


STEM4Real, Dr. Leena Bakshi McLean

STEM4Real provides socially just and culturally relevant STEM teaching and standards-based teaching strategies through collaborative professional learning, culturally responsive instructional materials and diverse children’s literature. They focus on shifting teacher pedagogy by grounding their work with a justice centered lens that makes equity paramount in their vision.

A Message From STEM4Real…

With this funding, we plan to leverage current STEM4Real partnerships, particularly focusing on the access of special education students. Through our facilitated Lesson Study Process (LSP), we hope to empower teachers with the tools and resources to meet the needs of diverse learners, especially those with disabilities and who come from underrepresented and under-resourced communities.

Our educators will connect lessons to students’ lived experiences and identities, create an inclusive environment in the classroom where students from underrepresented communities feel seen and heard and cultivate a classroom community that affirm the inherent value of all people, regardless of their background. Through this inclusive and socially-just classroom environment, students acknowledge societal injustices, use STEM principles to problem solve and begin the process of equity, which will lead us to the path of equity first in our education system and then the rest of society.

We understand that opportunities for quality STEM education differ between abilities, racial and ethnic communities, SES and that increasing representation in STEM professions can result in better well-being and a just society. Our goal in the STEM4Real Network is to ensure educators recognize systemic inequities exist and commit to equity as one of the foundational values in education.

A future as a STEM professional may not necessarily be for every student, but we believe every student should have the choice to make that decision, including students with disabilities and special needs. In order for students to make this choice, they need access. STEM4real has the potential to open doors of opportunity for all of our students.

Keep Up with STEM4Real
 Read more at stem4real.org
 Follow @STEM4Real on Instagram
 Follow @STEM4Real On Twitter
 Find STEM4Real on Facebook
 Subscribe to the STEM4Real Youtube Channel
 Email info@stem4real.org

Dr. Charles Cole III

Dr. Charles Cole III focuses on building agency amongst the end-users of public education including students, their parents, and the community. Throughout his career, He has held roles as a social worker, a program director at prominent youth organizations, a teacher trainer and supporter, a top official in a school district, and a scholar before starting his organization.

A Message From Dr. Cole…

We have one major goal and reason for this funding–Build and execute our expansion plan worthy of our end-users.

I built this organization to serve youth like me. Youth that may have been homeless, grew up in poverty, watched their friends murdered, etc. that were tired of waiting on systems that never served us. We continue to grow this work because our team understands with profound clarity that no one or no entity is coming to save us.

This funding will help build my capacity as a leader to execute this mission with fidelity. When successful, we won’t just serve more youth in more places, we will create more books, blogs, videos, funds, and assets for our target population. We will equip our people with more tools to live the lives they deserve.

Our vision is to push a public education system that actually centers the students and families they were built to serve. We help build the agency of our end-users to be able to do just that. We want our students to know what is quality for them, how to recognize it, and how to get it when it is not happening. All of those ingredients lead to our goal of building community agency in hopes of improving education.

Keep Up with Dr. Charles Cole III
 Read more at charlescoleiii.com
 Follow @ccoleiii on Instagram
 Follow @ccoleiii On Twitter
 Subscribe to the Dr. Charles Cole III Youtube Channel

More Info

Explore the Request for Proposals document below. Make a copy and draft your responses before navigating to the submission portal.

Submission Portal

The submission portal for Spring 2023 applicants is now open!