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Supporting classrooms
that represent all students

Research shows that students benefit when they see themselves in their teachers and in their learning materials. Inspired by that research, DonorsChoose is now enabling people to support classroom requests from underrepresented educators and from all teachers who seek materials that reflect their students' identities.

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Equity-forward partnership pillars

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Support teachers bringing racial equity resources into the classroom

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Infuse hyperlocal support to crisis epicenters and the geographies that need it most

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Rally support around teachers and students of color across the country

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Tap into new dimensions of diversity through a customized campaign

Why Classroom Diversity Matters

Teacher and student diversity takes many forms, and #ISeeMe empowers the public to support important dimensions of that diversity.

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The dropout rate among black students decreases by 33% if they have just one black teacher between third and fifth grade.

50% of public school students, but only 20% of their teachers, are people of color. By supporting classroom requests from teachers of color, we help to retain and empower these educators.

Sources: IZA Institute of Labor Economics, The New York Times

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Girls who went to high schools with a higher proportion of female STEM teachers were 19% more likely to graduate from college with a science or math major.

Women are 3X less likely to teach math, and 2.5X less likely to teach science. By supporting women STEM teachers, we celebrate and equip role models who show girls they can be the engineers and technologists of tomorrow.

Sources: Economics of Education Review, National Center for Education Statitstics

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DonorsChoose has seen a 117% increase in classroom projects requesting resources for students to "see themselves."

All teachers can help students see themselves in their learning. By supporting teachers who seek materials that reflect their students' identities, we can help those students to feel seen and to imagine new possibilities for their future.

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

We're grateful to the education leaders, experts, and advocates who have worked with DonorsChoose to help shape and propel our #ISeeMe campaign, our inaugural Equity-forward partnership.

  • Yellow Chair Foundation — first to make #ISeeMe partnerships possible
  • John B. King Jr. and The Education Trust
  • National Book Foundation
  • Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution
  • Albert Shanker Institute
  • Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (ALAS)
  • Center for American Progress
  • National Urban League
  • Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Teach Plus
  • Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  • UNCF
  • Learning Policy Institute
  • Genein Letford, Elementary Music Teacher

Inaugural Supporters


Ayah Bdeir

Founder and CEO, littleBits

Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, which joined the 2016 Disney Accelerator program. It has also partnered with Pearson, one of the leading curriculum companies in the world to co-create curriculum to support their Science and Engineering program. Bdeir was named to Popular Mechanics's 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream in 2014 and has spoken at TED, SXSW, Solid, and CreativeMornings about the Maker Movement, the importance of democratizing technology, and the Internet of Things. Bdeir co-founded the Open Hardware Summit and was awarded a fellowship with Creative Commons for her work in defining Open Hardware. Prior to littleBits, Bdeir worked as an interactive artist, and has exhibited work at the Peacock Visual Arts gallery, the New Museum, Ars Electronica, and the Royal College of Art.
W. Kamau Bell

W. Kamau Bell

Comedian and host of CNN's United Shades of America

W. Kamau Bell is a socio-political comedian who is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning CNN docu-series United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. This year, he made his Netflix debut with a new stand-up comedy special. Kamau has hosted three critically acclaimed podcasts: Kamau Right Now!, Politically Re-Active, and Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period. Kamau is on the advisory board of Hollaback! and DonorsChoose and is the ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice.

Kamau has been nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards and a GLAAD award, and he was featured on Conde Nast's 'Daring 25' list for 2016. Kamau's writing has been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter,, Salon, The LA Review of Books, The Establishment.

Yvette Nicole Brown

Yvette Nicole Brown

Actress, host & producer

Yvette Nicole Brown is an actress and comedian. She is most notably known for her role as Shirley on NBC's hit show Community, where she starred for 5 seasons. Yvette has played roles in television and film, with strong big screen appearances in 500 Days of Summer, The Ugly Truth, The Odd Couple, and Tropic Thunder. She speaks publicly on overcoming adversity, looking beyond your immediate perspectives, and changing your viewpoints/paradigms to become a high achiever.
LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Actor, presenter, director, and author

LeVar Burton is an Actor, Director, Educator & Cofounder of the award-winning Skybrary App, host and Executive Producer of PBS's Reading Rainbow. He is well-known for his role as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and as the young Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries Roots. He has also directed a number of television episodes for various iterations of Star Trek, among other programs. Burton is the son of an English Teacher and is a lifelong children's literacy advocate.
Richard A. Carranza

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education

Richard A. Carranza is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation. He is responsible for educating 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools.

During Carranza's nearly 30 years in education, he has served in virtually every role. Prior to New York City, he was the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas, and the seventh largest in the United States. Before that, he served the San Francisco Unified School District, first as deputy superintendent and then as superintendent. Before moving to San Francisco, Carranza was the Northwest Region superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas. He began his career as a high school, bilingual social studies and music teacher, and then as a principal, both in Tucson, Arizona.

A son of a sheet metal worker and a hairdresser and a grandson of Mexican immigrants Carranza credits his public school education for putting him on a path to college and a successful career. He believes that a great education changes lives, and is excited to help the next generation of New Yorkers achieve their dreams. As Chancellor, he is building on the City's Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which supports students academically, socially, and emotionally from early childhood through twelfth grade. He is also championing initiatives to help educators strengthen their practice and to empower more parents to become engaged in their children's education.

Carranza is the past chairman of the Board of Directors for the Council of the Great City Schools, where he served as a national spokesperson on significant issues facing urban school districts. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, the American Association of School Administrators Executive Committee, and the K to College Advisory Board.

Education Week profiled Carranza as a national 2015 Leader to Learn From.(Open external link) He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from the University of Arizona and a Master of Education with distinction in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. He completed his doctoral coursework in educational leadership through Northern Arizona University and Nova Southeastern University.

Carranza is a fluent Spanish-speaker and an accomplished mariachi musician. He is married to Monique and has two daughters.

Eva Chen

Head of Fashion Partnerships, Instagram

Eva Chen is a first-generation Chinese-American who grew up in New York City. Previously the editor in chief of Lucky, Eva has also written for ELLE, Vogue, Teen Vogue,Vogue China, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, Eva currently is the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram. Eva lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes is her debut picture book.
Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert

Late Show host

Stephen Colbert is best known as the host, writer and executive producer of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS. His long-running Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series "The Colbert Report" aired on Comedy Central from 2005 to 2014 and was nominated for 40 Emmys, winning a total of 6. The show was also twice honored with the prestigious Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting.
Anil Dash

Anil Dash

CEO of Fog Creek Software

Anil Dash is an entrepreneur, activist and writer recognized as one of the most prominent voices advocating for a more humane, inclusive and ethical technology industry. He is the CEO of Fog Creek Software, the independent New York City tech company that incubated landmark startups like Trello and Stack Overflow, and created Glitch, the friendly new community that helps anyone make the app of their dreams.

Dash was an advisor to the Obama White House's Office of Digital Strategy, and today advises major startups and non-profits including Medium and DonorsChoose. He also serves as a board member for companies like Stack Overflow, the world's largest community for computer programmers, and non-profits like the Data & Society Research Institute, whose research examines the impact of tech on society and culture; the NY Tech Alliance, America's largest tech trade organization; and the Lower East Side Girls Club, which serves girls and families in need in New York City.

Described as a "blogging pioneer" by the New Yorker, Dash has a unique presence on social media, where he's been maintaining his Webby-recognized personal website since 1999, with its analysis of the technology industry and its impact on culture earning recognition and citations in sources ranging from the New York Times to the BBC to TMZ, as well as hundreds of academic papers. In 2013, Time named @anildash one of the best accounts on Twitter, and it is the only account ever retweeted by both Bill Gates and Prince, a succinct summarization of Dash's interests. As a writer and artist, Dash has been a contributing editor and monthly columnist for Wired, has had his works exhibited in the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and DJed the XOXO arts festival.

Prior to joining Fog Creek, Dash cofounded Makerbase, an online community for people who make apps and websites, and Activate, the boutique management consultancy which defines strategies for many of the most important companies in media and technology.

Earlier in his career, Dash founded the non-profit Expert Labs, a research initiative backed by the MacArthur Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which studied online public engagement in policy making. He also helped start Six Apart, the seminal social media company that invented the technology behind many of the earliest and most influential social media sites on the Internet.

Dash is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife Alaina Browne and their son Malcolm. Dash has never played a round of golf, drank a cup of coffee, or graduated from college.

Angela Filo

Angela Filo

Co-founder, Yellow Chair Foundation and former high school teacher

Angela Filo leads Yellow Chair Foundation, which she co-founded with her husband David Filo in 2000. Yellow Chair Foundation funds organizations working on social justice issues including educational equity, civil liberties, climate change, investigative journalism, U.S. maternal health, and global women's movements,.

Chair Foundation has been a dedicated funder of DonorsChoose since its early ambition to become a national organization serving all U.S. public schools.

For nearly a decade, Angela taught journalism and photography at Eastside College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto, California. Angela serves on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and on the advisory board for the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She is also a board member of ProPublica and is an advisory board member of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She currently co-chairs the American Civil Liberties Union's centennial campaign. Angela has a BA degree from Stanford University and a master's of journalism from UC Berkeley.

Ann Fudge

Ann Fudge

Former Chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands

Ann Fudge is the former chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands, a global network of marketing communications companies. Prior to that role, Fudge served as president of the Beverages, Desserts, and Post Division, a $5 billion unit of Kraft Foods. Before joining General Foods, she spent nine years at General Mills. Currently, she serves on a number of corporate boards, including those of General Electric, Novartis, Unilever, and Infosys, as well as on several non-profit boards. In 2010, Fudge served on President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.
Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Actress, comedian, author, and television host

Whoopi Goldberg is an American comedian, actress, and producer known for her work in theatre, film, television, and recordings. Her work ranged from dramatic leading roles to controversial comedic performances. Her notable roles include The Color Purple (1985), Ghost (1990), host of the Academy Awards show on several occasions, and starring in the television show Whoopi (2003-04). In 2007 she became a co-host on the daytime television talk show The View. Goldberg is an activist on behalf of several causes, including human rights, AIDS research, and children's issues.
Theresia Guow

Theresia Guow

Founder, Aspect Ventures

Theresia Gouw is co-founder of Aspect Ventures, a leading early stage ventures firm with a unique focus on bridging the funding gap between angels and the multi-stage VC platforms through collaboration and diversity. Aspect invests across sectors but has particular expertise in cyberbullying, enterprise software, and solutions targeting the future of work, and digital health. Theresia is a first generation immigrant and passionate supporter of educational causes that support immigration and diversity in STEM. In November of 2016 she gave a TEDx talk titled "How Entrepreneurs Can Help the American Dream Get its Mojo Back." Theresia holds an ScB in Engineering from Brown University, magna cum laude, and an MBA from Stanford University.
Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Actor and film producer

Samuel L. Jackson is a critically acclaimed and award-winning actor with notable roles in Goodfellas (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Patriot Games (1992), Amos & Andrew (1993), True Romance (1993), Jurassic Park (1993) Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Django Unchained (2012), and The Hateful Eight (2015), Shaft, (2000) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is ranked as the highest all-time box office star. Sam Jackson and his wife LaTanya focus their giving through the Samuel and LaTanya R. Jackson Foundation, which supports education, health, and the arts. Jackson and LaTanya also support their HBCU alma maters (Morehouse and Spelman College), and are top supporters of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
John B. King Jr.

John B. King Jr.

Former U.S. Secretary of Education, President and CEO of The Education Trust

John B. King Jr. is the president and CEO of The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps, from preschool through college. King served in President Barack Obama's cabinet as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Education. In tapping him to lead the U.S. Department of Education, President Obama called King "an exceptionally talented educator," citing his commitment to "preparing every child for success" and his lifelong dedication to education as a teacher, principal, and leader of schools and school systems.

Before becoming education secretary, King carried out the duties of the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, overseeing all policies and programs related to P-12 education, English learners, special education, and innovation. In this role, King also oversaw the agency's operations. King joined the department following his tenure as the first African American and Puerto Rican to serve as New York State Education Commissioner.

King began his career in education as a high school social studies teacher in Puerto Rico and Boston, Mass., and as a middle school principal.

King's life story is an extraordinary testament to the transformative power of education. Both of King's parents were career New York City public school educators, whose example serves as an enduring inspiration. Both of King's parents passed away from illness by the time he was 12 years old. He credits New York City public school teachers particularly educators at P.S. 276 in Canarsie and Mark Twain Junior High School in Coney Island for saving his life by providing him with rich and engaging educational experiences and by giving him hope for the future.

King holds a Bachelor of Arts in government from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, as well as a Master of Arts in the teaching of social studies and a doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University. King serves as a visiting professor at the University of Maryland's College of Education and is a member of several boards, including those for The Century Foundation, The Robin Hood Foundation, Teach Plus, and the American Museum of Natural History. He also serves on several advisory boards, including Former First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Initiative, the Rework America Task Force, the GOOD+ Foundation's Fatherhood Leadership Council, the National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement at the University of California, and the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

King lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his wife (a former kindergarten and first-grade teacher) and his two daughters, who attend local public schools.You can follow King on Twitter via @JohnBKing.

John Legend

John Legend

Singer, songwriter, producer, and activist; Founder of FREEAMERICA

John Legend is a critically acclaimed, multi-platinum singer-songwriter. He has garnered 10 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Tony Award and an Emmy Award, among others. Legend is the first African-American man to earn an EGOT and one of only 15 people in the prestigious EGOT club. He has released six albums over the course of his career: "Get Lifted" (2004), "Once Again" (2006), "Evolver" (2008), "Love in the Future" (2013), "Darkness and Light" (2016) and "A Legendary Christmas" (2018), which was followed by his "A Legendary Christmas Tour.

Beyond his music career, Legend is a principal partner in Get Lifted Film Co., a film and television production company based in Los Angeles. As a philanthropist, Legend initiated the #FREEAMERICA campaign in 2015 to change the national conversation surrounding our country's criminal justice policies and to end mass incarceration.

Carol Sutton Lewis

Carol Sutton Lewis

#ISeeMe Co-Chair;
Founder, Ground Control Parenting

Carol Sutton Lewis is the founder of Ground Control Parenting, a website for the parents of children of color, with a particular focus on boys. Carol founded and manages the Carol Sutton Lewis and William M Lewis, Jr. Charitable Foundation. She has served as a board member for several education organizations, including Stanford Law School. Lewis graduated from the High School of Music and Art in New York, now Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, in 1976. She went on to receive her B.A. degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, and her J.D. degree from Stanford Law School in 1983. Carol is on record that "ISeeMe" is more properly "ISeeMyself" :)
Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o

Actress, author, and producer

Lupita Nyong'o is a Kenyan actress and producer. Her first feature film role was in the film 12 Years a Slave, for which she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as multiple accolades, including the Screen Actors Guild Award, the Critics' Choice Award, the Independent Spirit Award, and the NAACP Award. She has since starred in Mira Nair's Queen of Katwe, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ryan Coogler's record-breaking box office hit Black Panther, and most recently in Jordan's Peele's critically acclaimed horror film Us. Nyong'o earned a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in Danai Gurira's play Eclipsed. Lupita is author of the book Sulwe, a picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.
Maria Castañón Moats

Maria Castañón Moats

Vice Chair - US and Mexico Assurance Leader, PwC US

Maria Castañón Moats is a Vice Chair and PwC's Assurance Leader for the US and Mexico. In this capacity, she serves as a member of both the U.S. Leadership Team and the Global Assurance Executive Leadership Team. Maria's professional experience spans accounting, financial reporting, investigations, and M&A.

Prior to her current role, Maria served as the Regional Assurance Leader for PwC's East Region, after serving a 5- year term as PwC US' Chief Diversity Officer where she led the strategy and execution of the firm's diversity and inclusion efforts. Maria has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting and was named number three on Fortune's inaugural 50 Most Powerful Latina's List in 2018.

Alexis Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian

Co-founder of Reddit & Initialized Capital

Desirée Rogers

#ISeeMe Co-Chair;
CEO, One Brown Girl; Former White House Social Secretary

Desirée Rogers is Chairman of Choose Chicago, a tourism agency for the city of Chicago, a position she has held since 2013. Mrs. Rogers was also Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Publishing Company from 2010-2017 and has an extensive track record in mature brand rebuilding. Previously, Desirée served as the White House Social Secretary for President Obama, where she spearheaded the establishment of the White House as the people's house. She completed over 250 events during her tenure. In addition, she has an extensive network of relationships built over 25 years and experience working in both the public and private sectors. Rogers has a BA degree in Political Science from Wellesley College and an MBA from Harvard University.
Nina Shaw

Nina Shaw

Talent Attorney; Founding partner of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano

Nina Shaw is a founding partner of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. Her practice is in the television, motion picture, and live stage area. A native New Yorker, Nina was born and raised in Harlem and The Bronx, educated in the New York City public school system and is a graduate of Barnard College and Columbia Law School. Among her clients are successful and award winning actors, writers, producers and directors as well as entrepreneurs and entertainment executives. She began her legal career in the Entertainment Department of the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers. Nina is a Variety Dealmaker Impact honoree and has been named repeatedly to The Hollywood Reporter's "Women in Entertainment Power 100" list. She is a recipient of the WIF Crystal Award, and in 2013 was named Entertainment Lawyer of the Year by the Beverly Hills Bar Association. Most recently, she was honored by Essence Magazine with its 2016 Black Women in Hollywood Power Award, and also in 2016 Nina was profiled in the New York Times: "She's the Hollywood Power Behind Those Seeking a Voice."

Nina has a long-standing commitment to the education of children and in particular is an advocate for the education of girls and women. She is currently Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs. Additionally, Nina is among the founding organizers of Time's Up.

Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson

Photographer & Multimedia Artist

Lorna Simpson was born in 1960 in Brooklyn, New York, and received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. When Lorna Simpson emerged from the graduate program in 1985, she was already considered a pioneer of conceptual photography. Her initial body of work alone helped to incite a significant shift in the view of photographic art's transience and malleability.

Lorna Simpson first became well-known in the mid-1980s for her large-scale photograph-and-text works that confront and challenge narrow, conventional views of gender, identity, culture, history, and memory. In the mid-1990s, she began creating large multi-panel photographs printed on felt that depict the sites of public - yet unseen - sexual encounters. Over time she turned to film and video works in which individuals engage in enigmatic conversations that seem to address the mysteries of both identity and desire. In Simpson's latest works, characteristic ambivalence is presented with hazy ink washes to present isolated figures amidst nebulous spaces - a return to and departure from her earlier unidentified figures in a deepened exploration of contemporary culture.

Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Miami Art Museum; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. She has participated in such important international exhibitions such as the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany, and the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy. She has been the subject of numerous articles, catalogue essays, and a monograph published by Phaidon Press. Most recently, in 2016, Simpson's new body of works were exhibited at Salon 94, New York and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas.

Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer

Actress, author, and producer

Octavia Spencer is an actress, author, and producer, and is one of few black actresses to have received three Academy Award nominations. She is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and a Golden Globe Award, and her notable roles include include A Time to Kill (1996), Fruitvale Station (2013), Smashed (2012), Snowpiercer (2013), Get on Up (2014), The Divergent Series (20152016), and Gifted (2017). She also received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for the film Hidden Figures (2016) and The Shape of Water (2017). Her film producing credits include being executive producer on Green Book (2018). Spencer has started a children's book series, titled Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective. She has published two books in the series, titled The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit (2013) and The Sweetest Heist in History (2015).

Inaugural Partner connects nonprofit innovators with Google resources to increase access to meaningful learning experiences that ensure everyone can participate in the digital economy.

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