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ABOUT THE DC EQUITY LAB

The DC Equity Lab is an education innovation incubator that invests in early stage education ventures in Washington, DC. We have two aspirations. First, we imagine schools, their students, teachers, and advocates as the epicenters of innovation. Second, we develop people of color and their allies as entrepreneurs for equity. Our programming equips D.C. innovators with the skill, will, and courage to design solutions that create and scale equity in schools, organizations, and communities.

“The end-user interviews were the best. Really enjoyed the opportunity to get real-time input that changed the perspective I had on the problem.”

The DC Equity Lab sparks innovation in the spirit of equity and channels it to transform our schools and communities. We merge design-thinking methodologies and the mindset of equity to inspire insights, ideas, and bring them to life using the feedback of the end user.

Systemic racism dissipates when we acknowledge its existence, assume responsibility for its deconstruction, and employ a comprehensive strategy that empowers the most oppressed to be agents of reconconstruction. Schools are foundations of reconstruction and transformation. In action, this looks like students and their families participating as beta testers, validating ideas, and giving input. These quotes from our first event illustrate the power of this experience for entrepreneurs. When our programs elevate the voices of young people of color and their allies to solve real problems and empower people of color to solve real problems, we redefine citizenship, activism, and strengthen our democracy.

“I didn't come in with a fully-formed idea, but I enjoyed being challenged to confront it and help it evolve. Testing it with users was a unique experience that I wasn't expecting, but it was incredibly valuable.”

“This experience really reinforced how important it is to keep a community perspective, no matter what level you are working at. I feel re-energized and re-committed to the students of DC.”

At the DC Equity Lab, we believe that people are capable of solving their own problems. We also believe that people can identify the most pressing problems worth solving. We want to design relevant programs that meet the needs of our schools and communities.

Where do we need to design for equity? Give us your feedback by completing this poll.

THE TEAM

Caroline Hill
Founder and Principal Innovation Engineer

Caroline is a catalyst and architect for equity. For the past 12 years, she has worked in D.C. public and charter schools as a teacher, mentor, coach, and leader. She aspires to create learning environments that provide equal opportunities to all students. Caroline believes that preparing all students for a life of infinite choice requires new and different solutions. This challenge inspires the exploration of innovative learning and school models that optimize the role of teachers, leverage classroom technologies, and engage young people as agents in their own learning. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Master of Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Maia Blankenship
Chair

Maia is a passionate changemaker and champion for human capital in education with a commitment to ensure more educators are valued, supported and empowered to accelerate student learning. She serves as the Executive Director and organization-wide leader at Achievement Network (ANet) which provides instructional tools, formative data and coaching support to over 100 public schools in the District of Columbia.

Maia brings over 15 years of experience with process improvement, strategic planning, organizational design and talent strategy to the education sector. As strategy consultant she is passionate about supporting school districts, charter schools and education organizations with recruitment, talent strategy, people development and retention planning.

Alicia Robinson
Secretary

Alicia is a connector. She is the founder of EdPlus Consulting, which was born in 2013 out of a desire to improve educational equity for marginalized communities. With a focus on attracting, selecting, and retaining quality people for work with district and charter public schools and high-impact education organizations, EdPlus works with those invested in education as a social justice issue to bring the right people to the right work. Alicia has fifteen years of hands-on experience in early childhood through 12th grade urban education as an instructor, non-profit manager, and talent/human assets executive. EdPlus Consulting engages in recruitment searches for schools and education organizations, individual coaching for talent professionals and career searchers, and professional development for those leading talent management initiatives within high-impact organizations.

Emily Hueber
Treasurer

Emily Hueber is the Assistant Principal and a former 9th and 10th grade Math Teacher at E.L. Haynes Public Charter High School. Her commitment to be a leader for equity in education is what drives the work with students every day, with a specific passion exposing female students to career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. At Haynes she works to fulfill the mission to prepare every student regardless of race, socioeconomic status, and home language for the college of their choice. She previously taught at Columbia Heights Educational Campus in Washington, DC and MATCH Public Charter Middle School in Boston, MA. Emily earned her Master's Degree in Secondary Education from American University and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Delaware. Emily is a Citybridge Education Innovation Fellow and graduate of Leading Educators and New Leaders for New Schools Emerging Leaders Program.

Lauren Bryant
Innovation Engineer

Lauren is an operator for equity. Lauren moves ideas to action and connects people, evoking the spirit of 20th century telephone operator. She geeks out over the human-centered design process and believes that this methodology can empower people to optimize their creativity and impact.

Lauren aspires to open a learning environment that will enable people to access their individual creativity to create and build solutions for the world. Lauren is a 2011 graduate of Georgetown University with a B.A. in Classical Studies. Fun Fact: she managed the women’s basketball team during their 2010 and 2011 NCAA tournament appearances.

Shane Donovan
Innovation Engineer

Shane Donovan is an education innovator who believes school should empower children to design ways to improve the world. He graduated from Harvard College in 2009 and has been teaching students to apply scientific thinking ever since. He has been a teacher coach and summer school principal for Teach for America, an Education Innovation Fellow, and a Teach Plus Policy fellow. He is currently a teacher of physics, robotics, and biology, as well as science department chair at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School. He also coaches a FIRST robotics team, cross country team, and track team. He believes in making school relevant by focusing on scientific thinking, design thinking, and engineering in curriculum design, and in using competency-based learning to unleash students' potential.

Romaine Asberry
Event Management

Romaine S. Asberry is a curator, logistics guru, and DC expert. She is the Founding Assistant Principal at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington DC. With experience in program initiatives, instructional coordination and staff development, she has built communities of learners, families, and students.
Prior to working at E.L. Haynes, she worked for 13 years as a classroom teacher and as a mentor with the District of Columbia Public Schools. Born and raised in DC, Romaine is the mother of three amazing children.

Michelle Molitor
Strategic Partner

Michelle is an evangelist and catalyst for equity. She founded the Fellowship for Race & Equity in Education (FREE) with the mission of creating equitable educational spaces for all students through honest and open dialogue across difference, and collective anti-racist action. She worked with a number of national equity organizations to develop Race & Equity in Education Seminars, held for schools and education organizations both locally and nationally. The equity work was built in response to the urgency for culturally responsive systemic change for our most vulnerable students—not just in DC, but nationwide. Michelle Molitor is also a founding staff member of the E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, opened in Washington, D.C. in 2004, where she served as the Principal of the Elementary School through 2014.

Dawei David Fu
Strategic Partner

Fu leads 4.0’s work to develop education entrepreneurship communities across the country. He previously led 4.0’s expansion into NYC, and before 4.0 worked in investment banking for Barclays. He gives back by advising Streetlight Schools (an innovative K-7 school in Johannesburg, South Africa) and never turns down an offer to show off over 20 years of piano practice.