These are not the case studies you’re used to

by Xiomara Padamsee and Lucerito Ortiz | Nov 5, 2019

Ever since Promise54 released Unrealized Impact — a first-of-its-kind effort to quantify the state of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the education field — we’ve received many requests for narratives sharing organizations’ actual DEI journeys.

We’ve heard you loud and clear!

That’s why we are thrilled to announce the release of Promise54’s DEI Case Studies, following the work that Blue Engine, TNTP, and College Track have engaged in to deepen their organizational commitments to – and actions around – diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Unlike case studies you may have read — the ones that tend to gloss over thorny, multidimensional challenges and deeply human imperfections for the sake of a neat narrative or sales pitch — this series of in-depth qualitative studies goes deeper. We’re embracing the messy, undeniably human reality of the work we do to create thriving environments for adults, so they can do their best work on behalf of students, families, and communities.

In short, these case studies take a radically human approach.

In the radically human world we’re working to build together at Promise54, we prioritize trusting, authentic relationships and deep engagement. We believe perfection is an impossibility and embrace imperfection as part of being human, and a source of growth. We believe that process is as important as outcomes. And we know that qualitative life experience is valid and real data.

These are some of the values at the heart of our way of being in the world and doing this work. They’re also key principles guiding these three case studies. Our hope is to honestly represent the journey of each organization featured — including progress made, missteps along the way, and the challenges these organizations are still grappling with today.

The first 3 featured organizations in this series are modeling courage, candor, and vulnerability by bearing their often uncomfortable truths. And really, isn’t that what the work is all about?

Read the case studies here. We hope they energize and enrich your work, and look forward to hearing your thoughts and any questions that come up for you as you’re reading them!


Founder & Chief Executive Officer


Xiomara is: a proud Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Indian cisgender gay woman; a family-first mother and wife, daughter and sister; an enthusiastic pinata maker, former pianist, and a dedicated educator and activist. Xiomara’s 20 years of education and organizational effectiveness experience include roles as Leader of the talent advising practice and management team member at Bellwether Education Partners, Manager in Deloitte Consulting’s human capital practice, and as Vice President of Staffing & Organizational Development on Teach For America’s management team, where she built the organization’s first national talent team. Xiomara holds a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Lucerito is: the proud daughter of immigrant parents from Guatemala and Mexico, a sister, friend, native Angeleno, data nerd, foodie, Lime Hot Cheeto connoisseur, escape room lover, and very easily distracted by dogs. Lucerito's 8-plus years of experience include roles as: Senior Manager of Data and Impact and Escalera Manager at UnidosUS, Education Pioneers Fellow at The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, and Senior Admissions Officer at Harvard College. Lucerito holds a BA in Social Studies with a focus on race and education from Harvard College, and an M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Contact Lucerito:

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