Hidden in Plain Sight: The Opportunity to Bridge District Equity Gaps by Fostering Collaborations with BIPOC Solution Providers

Despite extensive educational reform efforts, social position and identity continue to affect the academic success of historically and systematically excluded students in the United States. To address this, it is imperative to involve BIPOC communities in the creation and selection of education solutions aimed at reducing this inequity. Although BIPOC solution providers possess the expertise and innovative solutions required to meet HSE students’ needs, they often encounter barriers that limit their access to districts and education markets. To bridge this gap, Digital Promise’s Center for Inclusive Innovation has introduced two innovative approaches: Learning Salons and Solution Showcases. Learning Salons facilitate collaboration and engagement between BIPOC solution providers and district leaders, addressing specific challenges faced by HSE students. Solution Showcases offer an event where district leaders can explore teaching and learning solutions designed by BIPOC providers. This report focuses on the experiences and perspectives of BIPOC solution providers and district leaders navigating the education landscape and highlights their insights from Learning Salons and Solution Showcases. It also highlights factors to consider in overcoming barriers to partnerships between districts and BIPOC solution providers.