November 21, 2019
A Moral Imperative: Educational Equity in Chicago Public Schools – Co-Hosted with The University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement – Sarah Duncan, Dawn Ramos & Maurice Swinney, Moderated by Beth Swanson
Duncan co-founded the Network for College Success in 2006 to support school leaders with research and data, peer networks, and coaching to improve student outcomes, particularly high school graduation and college success. She has close to 30 years of experience designing and implementing academic, enrichment and jobs programs; fundraising and board development; and finance and planning. Early in her career, she coordinated the I Have a Dream program at Ariel Education Initiative, a program of Ariel Foundation, which also launched Ariel Community Academy leveraging a grant from the City’s Small Schools Initiative.
With 15+ years at Chicago Public Schools, Ramos has contributed to positive transformation of the learning environment in roles of increasing responsibility. Her expertise includes special education, coaching, curriculum development, designing professional learning opportunities, leadership team facilitation, budget planning, logistical operations, and family and community engagement.She began her career with the college textbook division of Barnes & Noble.
The district’s first chief equity officer, Maurice is responsible for advancing all facets of equity in the public schools. At the heart of the mission is to identify and root out inequity whether in resources, staffing, academic supports, social and emotional supports, or access to high-quality programs. Other priorities include diversifying the public school district’s workforce, ensuring resources are distributed equitably across Chicago’s public schools, and supporting efforts to award more contracts to minority- and woman-owned businesses. Before moving to Chicago in 2012 to lead Tilden Community Career Academy, Swinney was an associate principal at St. Amand High School in Ascension Parish, Louisiana.
Swanson was appointed in May, 2019 to lead this venture-philanthropy fund dedicated to fighting poverty. Previously, Swanson was vice president of strategy and programs at the Joyce Foundation, where she oversaw a $50-million grant portfolio. As deputy chief of staff for education in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration, she helped launch the full-school-day initiative and established the city’s Summer of Learning program. She was executive director of the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, an administrator at Chicago Public Schools, and was named a Crain’s 40 Under 40 in 2013.