The BUILD Initiative’s Equity Leaders Action Network (ELAN) is a leadership program funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Ballmer Group. The ELAN was created to address four challenges in early childhood programs, entities, and organizations: racism, fragmentation, lack of beneficiary voice, and absence of policy leadership intentionally committed to racial equity.
The inaugural cohort of 38 ELAN Fellows participated from 2017-2020. The BUILD Initiative has selected a new cohort of ELAN Fellows for 2021-23. They include leaders from Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. The 29 current Fellows work in government at the state, federal, county, and city level, in advocacy organizations, school districts, and other programs. A majority work in early care and education, health or mental health systems, while others work in family support, food access, workforce, home visiting, racial equity and social justice programs, or early childhood more generally.
- Support leaders in developing the will and skill to question personal assumptions and institutional and structural policies and practices and work collaboratively to develop strategies that promote early childhood systems that are explicitly and measurably equitable and excellent for all children.
- Build the capacity of members to critically examine, with a racial equity lens, institutional and structural policies and practices in the distribution of state and federal resources (e.g., funding and services).
- Advance change through intentional actions that avoid further disadvantaging children and families of color and those in poverty, and members of the early childhood workforce.
Fellows participate in carefully developed activities including national meetings, discussion groups, Communities of Practice, faculty mentoring, individual projects, and site visits. These activities support a primary objective of the ELAN — the personal and interpersonal development of Fellows to position themselves to take action within their institutions for institutional change and with other institutions for structural change.
Explore Equity Leaders Action Network Resources
Implications for Racial Equity Leadership Development: Lessons from the Equity Leaders Action Network
Report June 13, 2022
This document reflects the collective learning gleaned from three years of creative work within the Equity Leaders Action Network (ELAN) learning community. In it, we describe foundational concepts that we believe need to shape racial equity leadership efforts, core racial equity leadership competencies, and racial equity leadership capacities that need to be nurtured in racial equity leaders. There were many lessons learned in designing and implementing the ELAN. The energy, wisdom, and collaborative spirit racial equity fellows and faculty brought to the ELAN community helped enormously to refine, amend, and improve what we learned about ourselves, each other, and how to carry out racial justice and equity leadership development.
Report June 1, 2021
The Equity Leaders Action Network (ELAN) is BUILD’s fellowship program to support state- and county-level early childhood leaders committed to advancing toward racial equity. It was created in response to four challenges reflected in early childhood program, entities, and organizations: racism, fragmented early childhood systems, lack of community and beneficiary voices, and a dearth of policy leadership intentionally committed to racial equity. This brief summarizes the ripple effects of the project.
Planning Tool October 30, 2017
The Equity Action Framework is designed to support individuals and groups that want to advance racial equity in early childhood systems. The goal of a racial equity approach is to develop policies, practices, and programs that provide opportunity, promote fairness and access, and remediate racial inequities.