Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI)

EnCorps staff, with the support of our Executive Director, established the JEDI Working Group in June 2020 after the recurring unconscionable attacks amidst a pandemic that disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities.

The JEDI Working Group isn’t a separate entity within EnCorps. A representative from each functional area is part of JEDI in order to inform decisions across the organization, from program development, tracking of impact data to hiring practices.

For EnCorps, words are not enough. We commit to:

  • Evaluate the impact of our programs
  • Understand the needs of students in under-resourced communities
  • Identify how we can do better

We are committed to living by our beliefs and we know that the work of the JEDI Working Group will never be done. Please take a moment to review the Why of the JEDI Working Group, learn what Actions we’ve taken and what Goals we have set, as well as the Milestones achieved to date.

STEM professionals - Encorps- Recruiting STEM teachers and Tutors

Meet the 2022-23 JEDI Working Group

Raechel Burdette

Raechel Burdette
Program Coordinator, Denver

Carolyn Fernandez

Carolyn Fernandez
Los Angeles Program Coordinator

Ashley Josias Sejour

Ashley Josias Sejour
Recruiter

Katherine Wilcox

Katherine Dews
Recruiter

Our Why

EnCorps recognizes that systemic racism in this country is pervasive. We acknowledge that under-resourced communities are most often communities of color. And we believe that education is the single most powerful tool for breaking the cycle of generational poverty. That is why we are fully committed to our mission to end the inequities within STEM education. We understand that by supporting and celebrating young people from diverse backgrounds, we affect positive change for society as a whole. It is not enough to be an ally; we must be disruptors.* We aim to disrupt the biases, policies, and structures that perpetuate inequities, injustice, and hate; and we aim to elevate the tenets of inclusion, opportunity, and understanding.
*Dr. Sheldon Eakins, Leading Equity Center

Our Actions

We challenge current educational inequity by connecting students in under-resourced schools with high-quality STEM educators and role models to eliminate the systemic injustice preventing children, from traditionally under-represented groups, from entering the STEM field. By recruiting, training and supporting diverse and committed STEM professionals and role models to teach STEM or volunteer to tutor math in communities most impacted by oppressive systems, we are able to provide opportunities and access to quality STEM education.

We will continue to create learning opportunities that challenge assumptions and push our team to transform practices that better serve students and their communities.

Our Goals

Each year we set goals to ensure that our actions meet our Why. For the 2022-23 academic year, we have committed to the following and are on track to meet our goals.

We provide on-going professional development opportunities for EnCorps Educators that focuses on providing students of all backgrounds with equitable opportunities in the classroom, such as Teaching to Meet the Needs of All Students, Framing Brave Conversations About Race and Ethnicity, and Teaching Strategies for a Culturally-Sustaining Pedagogy in Middle and High School STEM.

During Quarterly Meetings, EnCorps staff take part in training to develop a collaborative work environment where everyone feels heard.

  • In January 2023, Dr. Eakins, founder of the Leading Equity Group, led EnCorps staff in a session entitled: High Performing Teams – Restorative and Courageous Conversation Strategies.
  • In March 2023, staff took part in a JEDI Working Group-led Lunch & Learn to discuss How to Have Difficult Conversations About Race by Kwame Christian.
  • In April 2023, the all-staff team retreat will be led by Emily Roh, Antiracist Coach, Facilitator and Principal of My Invisible Knapsack. The EnCorps leadership team and Emily Roh are developing the day in collaboration with all staff.
  • We created communication channels that improve connection between remote-based employees and contribute to a culture of inclusion.
  • We have formed subcommittees within the JEDI Working Group, to focus on community-supporting passion projects that better connect us with our school partners.
  • We created recruitment metrics tied to increasing diversity among our educators. We aim to recruit 50% educators of color.

EnCorps’ has a seven-member Board of Directors. In the 2022-23 academic year, EnCorps made a concerted effort to diversify its Board with the addition of three new members who identify as people of color and who understand the communities where our EnCorps Educators work. Meet Our Board.

The application process includes discussion on the applicant’s views on diversity and inclusion to ensure that EnCorps Fellows and STEMx Tutors are aligned with EnCorps’ mission and visions. Read Who We Are for more information.

We celebrate year-round the achievement of STEM professionals of all genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, and physical abilities on our social media channels. Follow Us on Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter

Our Milestones

Countering COVID-Caused Learning Loss
Our Program staff, all of whom are educators, acted with urgency to counter the negative impact of the pandemic in under-resourced communities. In September 2020, EnCorps piloted the STEMx Tutors program. The program matches STEM professionals and STEM college students with middle schoolers struggling in math. Volunteers virtually tutor students one hour, twice a week for a minimum of one semester. 

STEM professionals - Encorps- Recruiting STEM teachers and Tutors

As of the end of the 2021-22 academic year, the STEMx Tutors program had made a tremendous impact: 84% of the students in the program improved their math proficiency.

STEM professionals - Encorps- Recruiting STEM teachers and Tutors

Expanding Our Reach

The national STEM teacher shortage is especially felt in under-resourced communities. In Spring 2023, EnCorps will expand its STEM Teachers Program work in the Greater Sacramento and Riverside areas by partnering with high-needs schools where EnCorps Fellows can complete their 10-week volunteer guest teaching in Fall 2024.

In 2022, we launched the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program in New York City with the collaboration of the New York Academy of Science (NYAS), following our launch with Denver Public Schools DSST in 2021.

To learn more, visit one of the following sections of our website: