Creating conversational communities that drive change

Questions You May Consider Ahead of Completing the New Leaders Week Application

How might I describe what my SEED group could be to someone who is not familiar with it?

SEED is a peer-facilitated seminar for the people in our organization who will meet in ongoing sessions to engage in structured conversations on equity and diversity. These conversations will include the sharing of personal stories while also considering outside printed and video resources. The ultimate goal is to illuminate ways we can bring our just and equitable selves to our organization so as to support it in becoming more equitable and just. This equity and justice is shown through both our interpersonal interactions within the organization and through our policies and procedures in community and global settings

 

What kind of institutions apply to SEED?

SEED originally attracted educators from P-12 schools. Presently, SEED attracts and supports community members, educators, administrators, and parents, from all educational (public, independent, charter, religious, N-20, higher ed, etc.) and community organizations that aim to offer more equitable spaces and practices.

 

Will SEED come and do diversity sessions for us?

A SEED Seminar or Group  is a peer-led, ongoing facilitated conversation, meaning it is structured to be led by internal community members over a period of time. This model effectively ensures that the growth and change that takes place at both an individual and institutional level is generated thoughtfully from within. While some SEED leaders do conduct SEED-inspired diversity sessions, SEED is most effective as a program when the practices that have been tested and applied for over 30 years are housed thoughtfully and directly in your organization or community through SEED seminars conducted by your facilitators. SEED believes that an institution’s or community’s members  know the most about what their needs are, and the application of that knowledge is what makes SEED transformational for organizations.

Occasionally SEED co-directors or staff will engage with communities and institutions working toward justice - especially those communities and institutions that have trained SEED Leaders or are planning to send members to training.

Please see our Apply Now page.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If You Are Seeking a Scholarship

SEED is committed to partnering with communities, organizations, and institutions who demographically reflect our broader world. Toward this end, SEED has always worked to provide scholarships through grant writing and fundraising on our own and with partner sites in order to support both diversifying our cohorts and ensuring that those further from social justice are able to attend.

For cohorts 36A, B & C in 2022, the fee for a partner that is a public institution or public-facing non-profit serving marginalized communities or community organizations is $3500 per participant. The fee for a private site partner is $5500 per participant. Partners may apply for additional scholarships based on the community they serve (e.g. the % of students of color or students receiving full/reduced price meals)

The scholarship portion of the Administrative Support Form must be completed by someone authorized to approve and receive funding and to support all aspects of the SEED seminar, including finances, logistics, and promotion of equitable education in the proposed SEED site. We must receive the scholarship portion and the full Site Support Form from the administrator as well as a completed New Leaders Application from each person who wishes to become a SEED leader.

The basic criteria for scholarships are:

  1. The partner site's capacity and commitment to host a SEED seminar for at least two years following receipt of the scholarship.
  2. The partner site's commitment that if the SEED seminar does not occur, the partner will owe the total amount of the scholarship to the National SEED Project.
  3. Scholarships will be awarded based on demonstrated financial need, diversity in terms of marginalized populations, and public mission of the site.

We anticipate that scholarships will range from $1000 to $4000

Questions You May Have As You Complete the New Leaders Week Application

 

Who applies to SEED?

SEED applicants are committed to engaging in meaningful and productive conversations centered on diversity, inclusion, and equity. SEED leaders include educators, administrators, community organizers, administrators, parents, social workers, and educational consultants, among others.

Do you give scholarships to attend New Leaders Week?

Yes, SEED provides a limited number of scholarships to eligible institutions, community and nonprofit organizations. See above under If You Are Seeking a Scholarship

Why is there a character limit on some application questions, and what if I have more to say?

One aspect of SEED work is developing our personal stories and aiming to make them  specific and clear. A character limit not only helps start this process, it aims to be considerate of both the applicant’s time as well as that of the SEED staff reviewing applications.

Why do I have to name what audience I intend for SEED?

Because part of the acceptance process to New Leaders Week includes the commitment of each new leader to facilitate a SEED seminar, it is important to have a clear idea of who your intended audience will be. As you progress through New Leaders Week, you will determine how best to introduce and implement SEED at your specific institution. Having an idea of your SEED membership will help you focus on which methods will best support your intention and environment.

Why is my school asked to support additional resources for my SEED seminar? What kinds of additional resources might I consider?

SEED facilitation is not only about the conversation; it is also about the space, tech support  and resources that support that conversation. Many in person SEED sessions include either food or beverages. Some virtual SEED Seminars are supported by send-ahead materials such as notebooks or art supplies, and articles or books, all of which aim to support participants as they engage in their growth-orientated seminars over time.

What if I don’t have an approving administrator?

You must have an approving administrator to attend New Leaders Week. Facilitation of a SEED seminar is a significant undertaking and successful implementation needs administrative support. Administrator approval to attend New Leaders Week also indicates support of building a more diverse and equitable community, contributing organizational finances, coordinating calendars, and encouraging recruitment of participants to the SEED seminar. With clear administrative support, the SEED leader can focus on creating and sustaining the SEED seminar.

What if I’m the only one from my school approved to attend a New Leaders Week? May I come alone?

While co-facilitation is modeled during New Leaders Week, a SEED seminar can be successfully facilitated by a solo SEED leader. At New Leaders Week, all SEED leaders will be connected to the extensive SEED leader network, which is accessible through a variety of means: social media, a SEED leaders-only website, and regional SEED leader networks, to name a few. A solo facilitator will find many ways to connect to other SEED leaders which will aid in session development, resource sharing, and more.

What if we already have SEED leaders at my school? Can I still apply? How do I interact with the other SEED leader(s) after I am trained?

Often, once a SEED seminar is started at an institution, that institution will generate more SEED leaders. As an institution expands its number of SEED leaders, it is able to diversify its SEED groups in any number of ways: supporting co-facilitation models, offering concurrent groups at once, or expanding its audience by creating new types of groups. Any leader coming from an institution with already established SEED leader(s) should open discussion with them about how multiple leaders can be implemented at your institution for most effective support and growth of your community.

What are your policies on refunds, switching participants, and deferrals?

Please see this page.

Refunds

The $1000 deposit is 100% refundable until six weeks prior to the start of the New Leaders Week for which participant has been accepted. It is 50% refundable until three weeks prior to the start of the New Leaders Week. After that, within three weeks of the start of New Leaders Week, it is nonrefundable.

Switching Participants

If for some unexpected reason the applicant cannot attend the session to which they were accepted, they may switch sessions in the same year only if there are available spaces. However, if the change of session request is made after the applicant is accepted into New Leaders Week, there will be a change fee of $250 billed to the applicant's institution. Once a participant and institution are accepted to a session, the institution may seek to switch a participant that it is sending. The institution and new applicant must submit a revised application with updated answers for relevant questions regarding the capacity of the new applicant to serve as a SEED seminar facilitator. SEED staff will then review the new application to ensure that new applicant has the capacity for and understands their commitment to the training and to being a SEED facilitator. If SEED determines that the new applicant does not have this capacity and/or understanding, SEED will treat this as a refund requested on the date the new application was submitted.

Deferrals

Participants and institutions who have been accepted to one year and wish to defer their participation may do so by submitting the $1000 deposit. If participant and institution remain the same in the following year, no additional application needs to be submitted. If an institution wishes to send a new participant, or a participant is at a new institution, a new application must be submitted. Participants seeking to defer between six and three weeks of the session to which they were accepted will forfeit their $500 for this year, and participants seeking to defer within three weeks of their session will forfeit their $1000.

Donate online now through our parent organization, the Wellesley Centers for Women

(Write “SEED Scholarship Fund” on the post-payment page in the “Name of Honoree” section.)

I still remember my first time at SEED New Leaders Week, in Palo Alto, California, in 1992. I had never heard of SEED and had no idea what to expect. I quickly figured out that I was going to hear stories that I'd never heard or even knew existed. In so many ways, SEED has changed my life forever.

"SEED has changed my life. SEED gave me the microphone that I needed to share my voice. I felt that I was engaged in the work before; however, SEED was the first training during which I felt that I was challenged.... The way that I returned to my district prepared and equipped to lead a year-long seminar was unmatched!

-- Grant-funded public school teacher

We are reaching out to ask you to partner with us on our first-ever National SEED Scholarship fundraising adventure. Our intent is to raise $35,000 to provide the transformative SEED journey to educators from under-resourced schools and communities.

In the last four years, with funding from the Kellogg Foundation, we trained 57 leaders from 34 schools that serve over 50% students of color and over 50% students who receive free and reduced lunch. Although the Kellogg grant has ended, our commitment to providing under-resourced schools with SEED leader training is as strong as ever.

Last fall, we also launched the Peggy McIntosh Fund for Educational Equity and Social Justice to raise money more broadly for SEED. Our new initiative, however, is focused specifically on providing funds to those schools most in need of financial assistance for their SEED work. We hope you will help us, since you know the impact SEED can have.

NLW A 2016 645
SEED New Leaders Week Session A, 2016

I want to express my gratitude for bringing this amazing program to our school. Christine found the training experience to be deeply impactful both personally and professionally and she has been doing an amazing job sharing what she has learned with our community. While Christine spearheaded the work this fall, the entire SEED group is gradually taking on more leadership on staff development and dialog facilitation. Colleagues have been swapping articles and video clips and teaching ideas to bring our scholars into the fold as well. We have a long way to go but SEED is helping us pave the way!

-- Grant-funded charter school superintendent

Join us in growing this strong scholarship fund for SEED leaders, because we can't do it without you. For instance:

  • Fund one book for a new SEED leader: $10
  • Feed a new SEED leader for a day: $50
  • Fund starting collection of books for one new SEED leader: $100
  • Fund New Leaders' Week materials for one teacher: $250
  • Fund materials and food for one series of SEED seminars: $500
  • Fund one day of New Leaders' Week: $750
  • Fund ongoing year-round mentoring for one school: $1500
  • Fund a full scholarship: $5000
  • Fund co-leaders from one school: $10,000
  • Fund SEED seminars at five schools: $25,000
  • Any amount will build the foundation and ensure that SEED can grow

I was, honestly, just this close to leaving the classroom before joining SEED as a participant in 2014-15 -- and helping to lead the SEED seminar in 2015-16 has confirmed my decision to stay. There are two to three other teachers in this year's seminar who were also thinking about leaving, and SEED has been the shot in the arm we all needed. We find renewal, authenticity, and humanity in our SEED seminar -- a powerful contrast to the industrial testing and dehumanization that public school education sometimes asks us to go along with. Thank you.

-- Public high school teacher

Every item moves us closer to making the magic of SEED available to schools with little or no funding for professional development at all.

As you know, SEED can thrive in schools when and where there is a great desire to create a just, equitable, diverse school community.

Wouldn't it be great if any school that wanted to have a SEED seminar could? Imagine all the lives of students and teachers that could be impacted and empowered.

Please join us. You can send your donation securely online through our parent organization, the Wellesley Centers for Women (write "SEED Scholarship Fund" in the on the post-payment page in the “Name of Honoree” section) or mail it to:

The National SEED Project
Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
(Attention: SEED Scholarship Fund)

Read more about how SEED teamwork changed an urban public school

With appreciation,
Emmy Howe and the rest of the National SEED Project Co-directors,
Gail Cruise-Roberson and Jondou Chen

SEED Leader Regional Networks

SEED maintains several regional networks for SEED leaders at all levels of experience, both veteran and newly trained. These groups meet regularly, under the guidance of an experienced leader and/or SEED staff member, to discuss topics of interest, share expertise, ask questions, and provide support to each other. Some also take part in local events or help develop events for the wider community. Occasionally, regional events are open to people interested in learning more about or being more involved in SEED.

If you are interested in participating in a regional network, please contact info@nationalseedproject.org and indicate your region.

During COVID social distancing, most Regional Networks have transitioned to Zoom gatherings.

Bay Area SEED

In addition to Saturday meetings for SEED leaders, Bay Area SEED has hosted a free, public SEED Showcase Day for more than 60 people with workshops on racism, SEED, disability rights, women in science and technology, and using picture books as tools to introduce topics of justice for all ages.

Chicagoland SEED

Chicagoland SEED meets four to six times throughout the year to support trained SEED leaders in public, private, higher education and other non profit institutions. Sessions are held at homes and all who attend bring parts of a meal to share. Additionally, Chicagoland SEED uses its email network of current and former facilitators to organize trips to other organizations’ events. They have seen plays, heard speakers such as Chimamanda Adichie and Ta-Nehisi Coates, attended a powwow, participated in trainings and presented at conferences. Outings always provide networking opportunities and a chance to share updates on SEED-related work in their respective spaces.

DC SEED

The DC-Metro Regional Network is open to SEED leaders from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The DC-metro based coordinators welcome Maryland and Virginia SEED leaders from anywhere in those states (including Baltimore and Richmond). Gatherings will be both in-person and online.

SEED SOUTH

The Southern States Regional SEED is open to SEED leaders from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Lousiana and more. We meet on the last Monday of the month of every month over Zoom. We use this space to share resources, support each other, and spread the SEED love.  

Mumbai (India) SEED

SEED has been active in Mumbai, India, since 2014. As a regional network, the Mumbai team works to spread diversity work in Mumbai and other parts of India. The Mumbai network offers a glimpse of how SEED may look like in the context of India/South Asia. We also host SEED leaders traveling to India to engage with SEED-related conversations in this context. Currently, Amrita Nair and Rohit Kumar are facilitating ongoing SEED seminars at Apni Shala Foundation (which also serves as a current base for all SEED-related programmes) and engage with other schools and non-profit organisations as best suited.

New England SEED

The first of the regional networks, NE SEED has met each September to May since 1996. Meetings have covered an array of topics and served as an essential setting for the professional growth of participants, many of whom have attended NE SEED for a dozen or more years. NE SEED has been a place where new SEED methods and pedagogy have been created, tried out, and shared. It is a challenging, ever-changing conversation, often focused on how to work with students and community members on difficult topics of racism, transphobia, xenophobia, and homophobia as they reflect current events and manifest in school and community life.

New York City Metro Area SEED (CT, NJ, NY)

The Greater NYC SEED Regional Network group is open to SEED leaders from New Jersey and Connecticut as well as the New York area (including Westchester, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx). Gatherings are divided between in-person get-togethers and online chats.

Greater Philadelphia Regional SEED

The Greater Philadelphia Regional SEED is open to SEED leaders in Philadelphia and its surrounding counties, including South Jersey. This group will meet four to six times a year in-person for collaborative meetings or to attend group events.

Washington State/Pacific Northwest (WA/PNW) SEED

WA/PNW SEED is a network for those interested in connecting with other SEED-trained facilitators living in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest. It provides an opportunity for members to network with one another and share stories of challenge and success in our own SEED-related work. Together we explore new resources and further our own learning through the course of several in-person meetings throughout the school year. This community is open to all past and current SEED leaders looking for connection and support.

The National SEED Project partners with schools, organizations, and communities to develop leaders who guide their peers in conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward social justice. At SEED New Leaders Week, 50 to 60 educators, parents, community leaders, and others are immersed in multicultural SEED materials and methods in preparation for leading SEED seminars in their own schools and communities. Because SEED leaders must have the backing of their institutions or organizations, we ask that a site support individual  submit a Site Support Form in support of the applicant or applicants from their institution. 

Site Support Individuals must complete the Support Individual Form (link at the very bottom of this page) in order for applicants from their institution or organization to be considered for SEED New Leaders Week and the 2022-23 SEED Project Year. Thank you for first carefully reading the instructions below. You may submit this form once for up to nine applicants from your institution or organization.

Applicants themselves must also each complete the New Leaders Week Application.

Please complete this form as soon as possible, and no later than January 31, 2022 for our February 27-May 15 session and April 30, 2022 for our summer sessions. Last year, we filled all spaces before the April deadline, so we encourage you to submit all materials well in advance of that date.

Refunds, Switching Participants, Deferrals

Fees

The fees for SEED participation in 2022 are:

The fees  for SEED participation in either the 12 week Spring 2022 virtual session or the two 7 day, in person sessions in summer 2022 are:

  • $5500 is the fee for private schools and private  site partners.
  • $3500 for all public schools and public site  partners. Additional scholarship funds are available based on communities served by the site and demonstrated need.
  • Scholarships are available for eligible institutions which include public N-20 schools, community organizations  and other institutions with demonstrated need.

Applicant spaces will not be reserved until all application and support forms are accepted and approved by SEED and a $1000 deposit ($500 for those receiving scholarships) is received by SEED for each accepted applicant. The entirety of the payment can be made then, or else the second portion of the payment is due four weeks following the end of the applicant's/applicants' New Leaders Week. Please note our policy on Refunds, Switching Participants, and Deferrals.

The SEED fee covers:

  • A year-long professional development opportunity for approximately 15-25 local colleagues, led by the organization’s newly trained SEED leader(s)
  • Ongoing assistance from SEED co-directors, SEED staff, and other experienced SEED leaders
  • Access to SEED leaders-only resources and online community
  • Print and digital media resources for adults and youth
  • Regional networks for SEED leaders
  • Monthly calls with SEED leaders and SEED staff
  • Weekly check ins during Craft Cabin
  • Monthly office hours
  • Three check in leader reports during the year
  • As needed support via the info@ line

Schools and sponsoring sites are asked to provide an additional $500 per seminar for books, handouts, materials, and food, to be provided directly to the seminar leader(s) (not to SEED) and handled locally.

  • SEED expects institutions and organizations to support the year-long SEED seminar and seminar leader(s), through strong verbal endorsement from administration, and through material support, such as funds to purchase books and DVDs for the seminar (which can start an equity library onsite), access to copy machines and printers, time during all-faculty/all-staff meetings for SEED, and backing to ensure seminars have a regular meeting place and nourishing food.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If You Are Seeking a Scholarship

SEED is committed to partnering with communities, organizations, and institutions who demographically reflect our broader world. Toward this end, SEED has always worked to provide scholarships through grant writing and fundraising on our own and with partner sites in order to support both diversifying our cohorts and ensuring that those further from social justice are able to attend.

 For cohorts 36A, B & C in spring and summer 2022,  the fee for a partner that is a public institution or public-facing non-profit serving marginalized communities or community organizations is $3500. The fee for a private site  partner is $5500.  Partners may apply for additional scholarships based on the community they serve (e.g. the % of students of color or students receiving full/reduced price meals)

The scholarship portion of the Administrative Support Form must be completed by someone authorized to approve and receive funding and to support all aspects of the SEED seminar, including finances, logistics, and promotion of equitable education in the proposed SEED site. We must receive the scholarship portion and the full Administrative Support Form from the administrator as well as a completed New Leaders Application from each person who wishes to become a SEED leader.

The basic criteria for scholarships are:

  1. The partner site's capacity and commitment to host a SEED seminar for at least two years following receipt of the scholarship.
  2. The partner site's commitment that if the SEED seminar does not occur, the partner will owe the total amount of the scholarship to the National SEED Project.
  3. Scholarships will be awarded based on demonstrated financial need, diversity in terms of marginalized populations, and public mission of the site.

We anticipate that scholarships will range from $1000 to $4000

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@nationalseedproject.org.

Many thanks for helping to support greater equity and understanding at your institution.


Click here to complete the Support Individual form for the in-person training; Click here to complete the Support Individual form for the virtual training

— Cheryl Robinson, Supervisor, Office of Minority Achievement, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia

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