Self-Help Shares

Lessons from the Pandemic: We Can Expand Racial Equity in Education

By staff
  | Apr 01, 2021

As an equity-focused lender, my greatest takeaway from this time is that we cannot be so prescriptive in our solutions that we miss what is actually needed in the moment.”

          -  Brittany Bennett Weston – Charter School Sector Leader, Commercial Lending

Students at Maureen Joy Charter School

Pictured above: students at Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, NC. The school took a thoughtful approach to family engagement throughout the pandemic and provided services such as on-site meals for students and grocery funds for families in need.


This week we’re sharing a blog post from a new website for the CDFI Racial Equity Collaborative on Education. In “Pandemic Lessons on Equitable Lending in Education,” Self-Help’s Brittany Bennett Weston discusses how some public charter schools quickly adapted to meet student and community needs during the pandemic. Citing national data, her charter school lending experience. and personal experience, Brittany discusses the importance of “creating systems that support the whole person within the broader social context.”

The CDFI Racial Equity Collaborative on Education is a collaborative focused on making racial equity an integral part of our charter school lending. The eight members of the CDFI Racial Equity Collaborative are Blue Hub CapitalCapital Impact PartnersIFF, Nonprofit Finance FundLISCLow Income Investment FundReinvestment Fund and Self-Help.

The Collaborative is finding ways to go beyond traditional loan underwriting metrics to consider a charter school’s curriculum, culture, discipline practices and more. As Brittany explains further in her recent blog post:

“For the last three years, the CDFI Racial Equity Collaborative on Education has been a community of peers committed to infusing a racial equity lens into our work as lenders to public charter schools and other education organizations. Our learning is ongoing and calls us to expand our notions of quality or effective school models beyond academic results based on standardized testing. Through our work with educational equity experts, we have learned best practices for creating equitable learning environments that support an affirming school culture and provide necessary supports to all students.”

You can read Brittany’s entire post here.


Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones: Get a Vaccine!

Two people who have received a COVID vaccine

Sharing this information from the Center for Disease Control:

Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.

Please receive a COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible! Contact your doctor, your local pharmacy, or go to your state or county websites to find out more.

And Don’t Be April Fooled by Fake Vaccine Help!

Unfortunately, there are bad actors out there who are scamming people on vaccines to make money. Please note this message from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) set up a new toll-free telephone number (877-355-0213) for tips on how to avoid COVID vaccine scams. If you call the Helpline, you will hear these tips in English or Spanish:

  • You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine. That’s a scam.
  • You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine. That’s a scam.
  • Nobody legit will call, text, or email about the vaccine and ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. That’s a scam.

Please spread the word about this new resource to help people in your community avoid COVID-19 vaccine scams. Also, share the CFPB’s resources on how to prevent coronavirus-related scams and protect your finances during the pandemic.

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