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
- Blog: A College Students’ Guide to Accessing Snap Benefits: A College Student’s Guide to Accessing SNAP Benefits – Every Texan
- Policy Agenda: Guided by core tenets of equity and student voice, Texas PACE envisions a postsecondary education system in Texas that advocates for college access, affordability, completion, and student supports. Read their full policy agenda here PACE+Policy+Agenda_new.pdf(squarespace.com)
- Website: Every Texan’s Policy Fellowship Program: Education Fellowship – Every Texan
- Breakthrough Central Texas
- Education Trust
- Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
- Young Invincibles
- Contact: Simona Gabriela Harry, Policy Leaders of Texas Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
- Evaluation Report: Key Themes from Interviews with IDRA Education Policy Fellows and Program Directors – IDRA-Education-Policy-Fellows-Program-Evaluation-Report-2022.pdf
- Podcasts: IDRA fellows – Dr. Altheria Caldera, Araceli García, Thomas Marshall III and Christina Quintanilla-Muñoz – share their powerful reflections through this four-part podcast series:
- Education Advocacy Hinges on Community Collaboration – In this episode, IDRA fellows describe what attracted them to the fellowship and what they gained from it.
- An Inside Look at Advocating with Communities of Color – In this episode, IDRA fellows describe their experiences advocating with communities of color in the Texas Legislature.
- Education Policy Fellows Get Things Done in the Suppression Session – In this episode, IDRA fellows discuss the good, bad and ugly of the 87th Texas legislative session.
- The Future of Education Advocacy and Being Pushy – In this episode, IDRA fellows share their thoughts on the future of advocacy, their advice from what they’ve learned, and their personal plans post fellowships.
- Projects and Contributions: Fellows worked with statewide coalitions of students and families to engage with legislative offices, attended hearings of the Senate and House Higher Education Committees and produced actional data analyses and materials to advance a policy agenda. Read fellows’ work here https://www.idra.org/idra-fellows/
- Website: IDRA Education Policy Fellows Program: https://www.idra.org/education_policy/idra-education-policy-fellows-program/
- 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 email@example.com