Southern Education Leadership Initiative
The Southern Education Leadership Initiative (SELI) was developed nearly 15 years ago to mark the 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the decision that broke the spine of legalized segregation in public education. The belief was that there still remains work to be done in fulfilling the promise of Brown and in ensuring that all children, irrespective of race, class, gender or national origin, receive an excellent education. A new generation of thinkers and leaders with big ideas and hearts was needed to carry on Brown's work, and must be given opportunities where they can grow academically and professionally.
SELI has stayed committed to these ambitious goals, and has since 2004 provided over 200 students with this inspiring leadership development opportunity to work on education equity issues throughout the South. Through SELI, talented and diverse young leaders have conducted important research, policy analysis, advocacy, and organizing efforts across the region in 97 nonprofits and foundations. SELI alum can be found today working as educators, policymakers, researchers, community organizers and committed civic leaders dedicated to improving the life chances of all children.