The moral task at the center of our work is to rally the city around equity and opportunity for all children.
Our mission is to incubate the people, ideas, and conversations needed for equity-driven innovation in DC’s public schools. Specifically, we identify and develop a robust cohort of leaders, entrepreneurs, and school designers, deploying particular efforts to recruiting leaders of color. We incubate and invest in the best of their ideas; and together, bring to market the next generation of transformational public schooling.
At CityBridge, we believe equity is the cultivation of belonging.
Belonging is being able to participate in the design of political, social, and cultural structures and having the right to contribute and make demands upon society and institutions.
Ultimately, belonging should provide every person the opportunity to define and pursue their destiny. To work toward a more equitable future, we must address the ideas, policies, and structures that disenfranchise and disempower people based on their identity. Given the long history of racism in school systems, we center race in our work.
The public education system was designed primarily for the benefit of white, middle-class children and demanded that all other cultures either segregate or assimilate. Our work begins with the understanding that many marginalized students and educators, particularly those of color, have been and continue to be excluded from the design of educational systems. But that past cannot be our future.
To help create that equitable future, CityBridge partners with stakeholders across the city to incubate liberatory schools and other educational ventures—programs that deliver on the talent and potential inherent in all children.
We pursue this goal in two domains:
PUBLIC EDUCATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Incubating, launching, and transforming schools and projects that will deliver on the talent and potential inherent in children, especially those disinherited by poverty or race.
Galvanizing local leaders to advocate, consistently and across time, for educational equity and excellence.
These values guide our interactions with each other and with our colleagues in the field:
We set a high bar for our work—both the process and the product—in order to realize the impact we want to have in the world. What we produce is thoughtful and rigorous, delivers on its stated purpose, and is ultimately worthy of our children.
We model the future we want to occupy—in our relationships with each other, our entrepreneurs, and our external stakeholders. We invite diverse perspectives, build inclusive coalitions, and work in authentic partnership with all who want to create a better world for DC students.
We embrace the curiosity and boldness needed to envision—and build—what does not yet exist. We dream expansively, learn voraciously, and dare greatly in all our endeavors.
We embrace the learnings from our successes and failures and hold ourselves and our partners accountable to ever-increasing standards of equity and excellence. We set clear goals, assess tangible progress, and prioritize meaningful improvement and development.
We acknowledge that the work of eliminating racism and other forms of bias in ourselves and in society is continuous, hard, necessary work—and that no one can do it alone or perfectly. We extend generosity and forgiveness when mistakes are made and learn alongside each other in our journey toward a more free and inclusive society.