Simmons Luminary Award
Click here for the full article discussing this year's recipients and the significance of the Simmons Luminary Award.
Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy and Nakia Douglas
North Texas Honoree
Raise Your Hand Texas
A nonprofit education advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening Texas public schools, Raise Your Hand Texas sponsors education research, leadership training for school principals and master teachers, and advocacy for public education at the Texas Legislature.
For principals and other school leaders, Raise Your Hand Texas supports executive coaching and training at Rice University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It also supports the Teaching Trust, which partners with the Simmons School to prepare leaders in urban schools. Other training opportunities include the implementation and evaluation of blended learning, a concept that combines self-paced online learning and brick-and-mortar schooling.
Committed to evidence-based education, Raise Your Hand Texas supports researchers analyzing topics such as successful innovation in schools, the best use of educator data and how to turn around chronically low-performing schools. Easy-to-access research results are made available to school and district leaders.
With 90 percent of Texas children attending public schools, Raise Your Hand Texas advocates for key issues that will advance public education such as full-day pre-kindergarten, charter schools and digital learning. Wallace Jefferson, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, accepted the regional Luminary award for Raise Your Hand Texas.
Video clip of recipient Raise Your Hand Texas
All Stars Project, Inc.
The All Stars Project combats poverty in inner-city neighborhoods by providing unique after-school opportunities for students, such as performance workshops, leadership training and bridge building with other community groups. Students participating in the All Stars Talent Show Network develop confidence and skills by auditioning, rehearsing and performing at All Stars events.
Other students participate in leadership training programs, which match students with corporate professionals to provide mentoring and internships. Positive interactions between the police and inner-city youth are developed at a series of workshops that use performance, improvisational games and conversation to help teenagers and police officers develop and improve their relationships.
The All Stars Project was founded 1981 by philosopher Fred Newman and developmental psychologist Lenora Fulani. Under the leadership of CEO Gabrielle Kurlander, the project has become a national advocate for and successful example of the use of after-school development to fight poverty. More than 40,000 young people participate in All Stars programs each year in seven cities, including Dallas.
The Simmons School hosted a symposium introducing the project in 2014 when the All Stars Project expanded to Dallas. Since then, Dallas All Stars has become part of Dallas Mayor Rawling's Anti-Poverty Task Force, the School Zone at SMU's Budd Center and a performance partner with SMU's Meadows School of the Arts. Gabrielle Kurlander, CEO of the All Stars Project, Inc. accepted the national Luminary Award on behalf of the All Stars Project.
Video clip of recipient All Stars Project, Inc.