Due to enduring legacies of historical and systemic racism, disparities in resource allocation persist among schools and neighborhoods. At The Budd Center, housed within SMU's Simmons School of Education and Human Development, we strive to address these inequities by leveraging resources and bolstering community-led initiatives aimed at realizing an inclusive educational vision for children and families.


To improve the education system through equitable, productive, mutually beneficial, community-centered partnerships that positively impact education.


Our vision is to ignite social and economic justice through community-driven collaboration. We equip educational and social sector change agents to engage in equitable community-driven collaboration to close opportunity gaps for students in under-resourced schools and communities.

Partnering with West Dallas

Young child giving a thumbs up gesture in class

In 2007, The Budd Center, then the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition, began working in West Dallas to address critical issues like affordable housing and community safety. The work of the coalition led to the creation of The Budd Center's flagship project, The School Zone (TSZ), a collective impact partnership that provides children the educational, social and emotional tools they need to break the cycle of poverty. The Budd Center leads this partnership, currently comprising 33 nonprofits, 15 public, private and charter schools, the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) and SMU. The Budd Center's focus is the Pinkston High School feeder pattern in West Dallas, where historically underperforming schools have shown improvement in academic outcomes since our partners began working together collaboratively through The School Zone.