Trellis Foundation Summit

Grantee Posters – Higher Education Policy Fellows Programs in Texas

With the funding from the Trellis Foundation, we hope to prepare current and future student leaders and advocates to tackle the Texas Legislature with a political toolbox they’ve assembled alongside their fellow peers. Our goal is simple: Equip our students and share our resources with the next generation. College students have every right to actively participate in the system that dictates their experience on their respective campuses, and we, at Every Texan are committed to making that happen. – Simona Gabriela Harry, Policy Leaders of Texas Program Coordinator at Every Texan

  • About: Every Texan’s Policy Fellowship Program provides selected students with the necessary resources, knowledge, and social justice framework to engage in and champion equitable higher education policies. Ten undergraduate students from across the state of Texas were selected to participate in the 2021-2022 fellowship cohort. Through the program tenets of empowerment, learning, and leadership development, fellows engage with and aid in the cultivation of their community through extensive policy training and participation in legislative briefings, hearings, grassroots advocacy events, and public forums. Fellows are also given the opportunity to work with Texas PACE, which consists of organizations from across Texas focused on improving equity in Texas higher education.
  • The Fellows: Fellows are students at 2- or 4-year colleges or universities from across Texas (see graphic below) for a year-long program. The 2021-2022 cohort includes students from Central, North, East, and Southeast Texas. Meet the 2021-2022 Policy Leaders of Texas Fellowship Cohort here: Education Fellowship – Every Texan
  • Fellow Responsibilities: Engage in policy training delivered by experts; attend learning sessions outside of weekly meeting times that will aid in the preparation for and execution of a co-written policy agenda; participate in a range of strategies to build momentum for a shared higher education policy agenda.
  • Resources and Readings
  • Website: Every Texan’s Policy Fellowship Program: Education Fellowship – Every Texan
  • Partners:
    • Breakthrough Central Texas
    • Education Trust
    • Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
    • Jolt
    • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
    • Young Invincibles
  • Contact: Simona Gabriela Harry, Policy Leaders of Texas Program Coordinator, at
Texas Equity Coalition and Fellowship Program - Cohort 2021-2022
Every Texan, formerly Center for Public Policy Priorities

The diversity of students and families in our public schools is a great asset. Schools must be shaped by policies and practices that recognize and sustain these assets in order to ensure all students have access to excellent and equitable educational opportunities that prepare them to succeed in college. Yet, many of the people making education policy decisions do not come from and are not connected to these diverse communities, including communities of color. Through the Education Policy Fellows Program, IDRA hopes to expand the network of diverse advocates who are able to navigate state-level education policymaking arenas in order to shape policies and expand access to decision-making spaces for the communities of color that have traditionally and intentionally been excluded. – Morgan Craven, National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement

  • About: The IDRA Education Policy Fellows Program provides real-world training to advocates of color to influence state law in Texas. IDRA’s inaugural fellow cohort operated from November 2020 through July 2021 and will serve as mentors for the second cohort of Texas fellows in 2022. Two of the fellows supported by the Trellis Foundation grant focused on developing and leading higher education and COVID-19-responsive policy agendas during the 2021 Texas legislative session. Fellows were supported by a network of experienced policy advocates to advance an equity-focused policy agenda and ensure that legislators and decisionmakers center the expertise and perspectives of people of color.
  • The Fellows: Early- and mid-career people of color interested in developing their policy and advocacy skills to effect state- and local-level policy change in education. Meet IDRA’s Inaugural Class of Education Policy Fellows here: IDRA Education Policy Fellows
  • Fellow Responsibilities: Engage in the Texas legislative process; implement a communications strategy using traditional and new media tools; coordinate coalitions of advocacy organizations; craft engaging and impactful testimony, data analyses, issue briefs and infographics to influence the legislative process; and use IDRA’s family leadership in education framework to shape policies and ensure traditionally-marginalized communities play a role in creating equitable and excellent postsecondary public education opportunities.
  • Resources and Readings:
  • Website: IDRA Education Policy Fellows Program:
  • Partners:
    • Every Texan
    • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
    • Postsecondary Advocates Coalition (PAC)
    • Texas A&M University—Commerce
    • Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition (TLEEC)
    • The Education CAFE network
  • Contact: Morgan Craven, National Director of Policy, Advocacy and Community Engagement, at
IDRA, Children First, Transforming Education