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The New Reality Roundup | Spark and Build | Week 148

It’s week 148 of our new reality and we are focused on what it will take to create the future our kids deserve with a look at the investments we are making in new ideas and new organizations.

In her research on the characteristics of change agents, sociologist Pamela Oliver observed that the most successful leaders are “more optimistic about the prospect of change and about the efficacy of their participation” than most of the people around them. Over the past 12 years since we first launched 50CAN, we have strived to take this insight to heart.

When looking for local leaders to partner with, new organizations to support or new staff for our national team, we have focused on people who are truly committed to the mission of putting kids first and who believe they can make a difference for kids every day. Helping positive, constructive people bring needed change to their communities has always been our North Star and it will continue to guide our work in the years ahead.

Last week, 50CAN President Derrell Bradford announced our 46 policy goals that our network will advocate for in 2023. These locally led, nationally supported policy change campaigns are a central element of how 50CAN is working to bring the future of education to life. At the same time, over the past several years we have made three complementary bets to these local advocacy campaigns to help more visionary leaders accelerate the pace of change:

  • We are investing in fresh policies and new voices, who spark the ideas and shift the public conversation in favor of big educational changes that bring us together rather than driving us apart.
  • We are also investing in educational entrepreneurs, who build new proof points of what’s possible in an education system where kids truly can learn anywhere.
  • And we are investing in committed leaders on local school boards and in statehouses who serve the public by putting the interests of kids first.

Last time in the New Reality Roundup, we examined the shifting tides in education and the need to deliver on parents’ desire for something different while also looking at our partners’ predictions for 2023.

Today, in this Special Edition, we take a closer look at 50CAN’s build and spark initiatives with a focus on the year ahead.

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Stronger together

The 50CAN network grows every year to include more CANs, affiliates, fellowship communities, neighborhood initiatives and more. Here’s a peek at where we work.

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Luis Ortiz

State Grassroots Manager


Daniel Macy

External Affairs Manager


Victor Evans

Executive Director

Leadership Team

Michele Mason

Chief Operating Officer

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