The mission of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund is to achieve equity in education by working with those affected and inspiring all to end racism and poverty.

Our Working Definitions of Equity and Equity in Education

By equity we mean the just and fair inclusion into a society in which everyone can exercise their individual agency and achieve justice, in order that everyone can reach their full potential. Equity work includes increasing awareness, deepening understanding, and taking actions, particularly at the institutional and structural levels.

Equity in education refers to learning environments that hold high expectations for every child, from birth to adulthood, and provide whatever opportunities and resources are needed to help reach those goals. Equity in education also acknowledges and actively works against structural barriers that oppress people of color and people living in poverty.

We believe these working definitions, although not definitive or thorough, are an important step in developing the lenses needed to be agents and partners in whatever equity work is needed and effective.

Strategic Approaches

The following strategic approaches are currently guiding the creation of programs to achieve our mission:

  • Build assets within children’s homes, schools, neighborhoods, and society to reverse the affects of structural racism and poverty
  • Invest in a small number of highly distressed neighborhoods as the center of our work against poverty and racism
  • Support people most affected, especially parents, to navigate and change the barriers they see
  • Promote greater awareness and understanding of the disparities resulting from structural racism, the effects of poverty and the intersection of the two
  • Encourage healing in our society by supporting dialogue, action, policies and practices that advance racial and economic equity