Elon University to host LatinxEd, an N.C. educational equity and opportunity organization

Through a partnership between LatinxEd and the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education, the organization will move its operation to Elon’s campus providing the opportunity for collaboration and shared research.

A new partnership between the educational equity and leadership organization LatinxEd and the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education means the North Carolina-based Latinx education initiative will be hosted on Elon University’s campus.

The LatinxEd logoLatinxEd seeks to invest in Latinx leadership and expanding educational equity and opportunity in North Carolina by reimagining equitable, inclusive learning environments that recognize, honor, and serve the diverse needs of the Latinx immigrant community. Previously hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the educational nonprofit will relocate its operations to the Koury Center in the heart of Elon’s campus.

“We’re excited to join with LatinxEd in its mission to make higher education a reality for more Latinx students and to help their families navigate the challenges they face in navigating the education system and accessing college,” said Ann Bullock, the Dr. Jo Watts Williams Dean of Education at Elon. “Having LatinxEd located on Elon’s campus will provide ample opportunities for collaboration including shared research efforts, professional development opportunities and the development of new programming.”

Ann Bullock, the Dr. Jo Watts Williams Dean of Education

LatinxEd was founded in 2018 by Elaine Utin and Ricky Hurtado, who both faced obstacles as they sought out higher education opportunities as high school students from Latinx immigrant families. With the support of partners including the Belk Endowment and the Oak Foundation, LatinxEd has developed initiatives that connect practice to policy and engage in system change to improve public education.

“Deepening our roots in Alamance County after spending the last 2 years listening and learning to the community on what they would like to see in education through the Alamance Forward project feels like the right next step for our organization.” said Utin, executive director of LatinxEd. We are thrilled to be partnering with an institution like Elon University who shares our vision of expanding opportunity for more students who may be the first in their family to go to college.”

Its flagship initiative, Somos Carolina, creates inclusive learning experiences for Latinx high school students to grow as scholars and leaders. It’s designed to help students better embrace their cultural identities, become innovative problem-solvers and break new ground as civic leaders. The program includes the Semillas Summer Camp for high school students and the establishment and support of Somos Carolina clubs at high schools to help support connection and achievement for Latinx students.

LatinxEd co-founders Elaine Utin and Ricky Hurtado

LatinxEd’s College y Consejos program is a free online college advising space for Latinx students in North Carolina with one-on-one conversations with virtual coaches. Its 20 Under 20 network recognizes young Latinx leaders in the state while its LatinxEd Fellowship offers a six-month immersive learning opportunity to fellows including leadership coaching and strategic communications support. Within Alamance County, home to Elon University, LatinxEd’s #AlamanceForward listening tour is a community project to identify barriers to opportunity and create a pathway toward greater educational equity. #SomosNC offers the same kind of listening tour, but with a statewide focus.

The new partnership between the Watts Williams School of Education and LatinxEd complements and will coordinate with Elon University’s efforts to increase education access and success. The university’s Center for Access and Success is home to initiatives and programs including the It Takes a Village Project, Elon Academy, the Odyssey Program and First-Generation Support Services, which combined offer support to students and their families from kindergarten to beyond college graduation.

Additionally, the Alamance Scholars program is a partnership between Alamance Burlington School System, Alamance Community College and Elon designed to provide a pathway for high school students to receive their bachelor’s degrees and then begin their teaching careers in local schools. Elon is also home to the Freedom Scholars initiative, a college access program for local high school students with a focus on civic engagement and leadership.