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Regional equity assistance center at IUPUI awarded $8.5M in federal funding to continue its mission

For Immediate Release Nov 14, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — With an $8.5 million, five-year cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Education, the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center at IUPUI will continue providing equity-focused technical assistance and training to public pre-K-12 education systems across a 13-state region.

The MAP Center, one of four regional Equity Assistance Centers in the U.S., is a project of the Great Lakes Equity Center in the Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI.

The Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center helps school districts in Indiana and 13 Midweste... The Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center helps school districts in Indiana and 13 Midwestern states address educational injustices in school curricula and programming. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Authorized under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Equity Assistance Centers provide no-cost technical assistance related to race, sex, national origin and religion desegregation to public education systems and other responsible governmental agencies throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories to advance equitable educational opportunities for all students.

Kathleen King Thorius, Great Lakes Equity Center founding executive director and associate professor of special and urban education, is the MAP Center’s executive director and principal investigator. Through her leadership, the Great Lakes Equity Center has secured approximately $25 million in external funding. Seena Skelton, a nationally recognized expert on race and disability equity, continues to serve as MAP Center director.

“For 11 years, the Great Lakes Equity Center has worked with local, regional and national partners to prevent and respond to educational injustices, and to develop resources for systems that benefit all students,” Thorius said. “The next five years of funding will bolster our services and resources to address the increasingly challenging contexts in which we engage in social and racial justice work. We are eager and prepared to meet current opportunities and challenges with our partners.”

Building on high-impact work from the past five years, the MAP Center will offer an expanding array of equity-focused supports to state and local education agencies in Indiana and the 12 other states that make up Region 3 of the Equity Assistance Center network: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“The MAP Center team is an amazing group of scholars, practitioners and thought leaders who exemplify excellence in technical assistance resources and services,” School of Education Dean Tambra Jackson said. “The impact of their work for more than a decade has been remarkable, and I am excited to see it continue.

“It is an absolute honor for the School of Education at IUPUI to be home to the MAP Center. There is no better place for this work to live and be supported. The MAP Center embodies the spirit of our mission to improve the human condition and positively impact youth.”

Public schools, districts, state departments and other interested public organizations can connect with the MAP Center by submitting a request for services or following the center on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Nonpublic agencies, or public education agencies outside the MAP Center’s 13-state region, can also submit a request for contracted services through the Great Lakes Equity Center website.

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