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Equity in Education Initiative started to help Black, Latinx students succeed

Posted at 10:25 AM, Nov 24, 2020

There's a new program aimed at helping Black and Latinx students succeed.

The Equity in Education Initiative was built through a partnership between Walmart and North Carolina A&T State University.

The program acknowledges many of these students start at a disadvantage, because they go through under-funded school districts.

“These students are coming in sometimes with academic gaps that are due to no fault of their own. It's not a difference in ability, it's just a difference in their zip code,” said Kevin James, Dean of the Deese College of Business and Economics at North Carolina A&T.

The program is broken up into four focus areas, addressing specific needs of different students. They include financial resources and mentorship while in school, and then network building to create career opportunities their white counterparts may already have.

“So many people actually obtain their jobs through networks, because they know someone who knows someone, and many of these students, most of them come in without those built in networks and their families don't have those networks,” said James.

The hope is that the positive effects of the program will extend outside of school, allowing successful students to invest and give back.

“It's not just about the impact on the student. It's about multi-generational impact on families and about extending those impacts into communities that often times have been under resourced,” said James.

Some parts of the program, like the Black Male Initiative, will make resources automatically available to students.

There will be an application process for the Leadership Cohort and scholarships.

The program starts early next year.