Mission, Vision, Values & Impact
We invest in community-driven organizations, schools and strategies that advance racial equity in education—to ensure that all Denver Public Schools students receive a high-quality education that recognizes and values individual and community strengths and cultural difference, enabling students to attain academic achievement, personal growth, and college and career success.
Our ultimate aim is an equitable, accountable, responsive Denver Public Schools system where race and/or income are no longer barriers to excellent student outcomes.
Prioritizing Racial Equity
Success must be measured not just by what is achieved for students as a whole, but what is achieved for student groups that have been historically underserved by the public education system, particularly Black, Latinx and Indigenous students.
Centering the Strength in Lived Experience
Public school students, their families and communities bring strengths, perspectives and knowledge—developed through lived experiences and rooted in identity and culture—that are vital to improving public education systems and individual outcomes.
Change in public education should be directed by those with the most at stake: families and the local communities that schools serve.
Relationships across the public education ecosystem—whether between communities and schools, school leaders and ecosystem leaders, or funders and grantees—should offer meaningful value in both directions.
Collaboration Across Difference
Leaders in public education must be willing to work together, including across lines of ideological difference, to effect lasting change.
Continuous Innovation and Improvement
Dramatically expanding access to high-quality education means developing, evaluating and iterating on new approaches. With racial equity at stake, we cannot move backward nor accept the status quo; we must chart a bold new path forward.
Since 2018, RootED has provided more than $19 million in grants for autonomous schools, community-led organizations and special initiatives that have impacted 82,576 students. And, more than $6 million in grant funding has been given to 86 BIPOC-led organizations.
We fund and support public nonprofit charter schools and semi-autonomous innovation schools in Denver Public Schools with strong student success, with an emphasis on improving outcomes for students of color, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities, and English language learners. We believe students, schools, and communities thrive when they have the access, tools, and resources to drive change, so we provide funding and strategic support to organizations that authentically engage their communities to create high quality, responsive public schools.
Special Initiatives funding provides the flexibility to take advantage of collaborative or time-sensitive opportunities that inform the current or future activities of the education ecosystem. To date, RootED’s investments have focused on COVID responsiveness, teacher pipeline diversity and education research projects.