UNCF Releases New Resources for Students, Parents and Community Members

Brochure outlines resources and tips for getting into college and advocacy toolkit provides effective strategies for community-led advocacy in the current K-12 education landscape


With only seven percent of black students performing at or above proficient on the 12th grade math NAEP exam in 2015, compared with 32 percent of white students, UNCF—the preeminent voice in African American education—continues to expand its efforts by providing tools and resources to support a college-going culture.

Today, UNCF unveils Getting into College: A Readiness Guide, a tool to support students as they explore the college-going journey and The Lift Every Voice and Lead Toolkit: A Community Leader’s Advocacy Resource for K-12 Education, for community leaders seeking to engage in the local K-12 education landscape.

Getting into College, UNCF’s college readiness brochure, provides a comprehensive college readiness checklist, outlines the pivotal steps in preparing for college, and shares additional websites and resources that are useful to students as they prepare for their post-secondary journey. The resource will be highlighted during the high school-focused stops on UNCF’s upcoming Empower Me Tour and available online for students, parents and community members to review, download and share.

The Lift Every Voice and Lead Toolkit: A Community Leader’s Advocacy Resource for K-12 Education is a step-by-step guide to local education engagement and advocacy, developed as a supplement to Lift Every Voice and Lead: African American Leaders’ Perceptions on K-12 Education Reform, the second report in UNCF’s three-part series1 on African American communities’ perspectives on K-12 education. The 2017 study found that leaders wanted tools such as talking points, statistics on racial disparities, and other resources to support their efforts in improving the quality of education for students.

The report also found that nearly 90 percent of African American community or “grasstop” leaders believe they have a strong responsibility to help improve the education that African American students receive, and ranked education as the second-highest social policy issue, behind the economy and jobs. One grasstop leader interviewed for the report suggested “the African American community has to stand up and say that we value education and the schools that provide the education, and we are not going to let these assets not provide the kind of high-quality education we think our children need.”

“While leaders expressed a significant interest in K-12 advocacy, only one in three were very confident they possessed the knowledge and skills to advocate for students effectively. These leaders play an integral role in initiating transformational change in communities; it is important that they have action-oriented resources to assist in their advocacy endeavors,” said Dr. Meredith B.L. Anderson, author of the new toolkit.

The toolkit offers tangible examples and strategies, and highlights organizations that have effectively engaged in education efforts at a local level, including Black Girls Code and Life Pieces to Masterpieces.

“Building better futures for black students is a community-wide effort. With these new resources, UNCF is working to not only guide education reform work that embraces collaboration among grasstop and grassroots leaders in the community, but to fully support students and parents from cradle to college,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF President and CEO.

Developed by UNCF’s K-12 Advocacy division, the brochure and toolkit seeks to amplify a college-going culture, where African American parents are knowledgeable about the college-going process and more African American students are academically prepared for a post-secondary education.

[1] Done to Us, Not With Us: African American Parent Perceptions on K-12 Education is the first report in this three-part series. The third report, focusing on the voices of African American youth, will be released later this year.

Download Getting into College: A Readiness Checklist here.

Download The Lift Every Voice and Lead Toolkit: A Community Leader’s Advocacy Resource for K-12 Education here.

Contact your local UNCF office for more information.



About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF annually awards $100 million in scholarships and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF and #UNCFk12.