ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning Announces New Leadership and Summer Agenda


July 1, 2020

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning Announces New Leadership and Summer Agenda

Vice President Tina Gridiron will lead the Center’s strategic vision for education equity

Iowa City – ACT announced today that Tina Gridiron will lead as Vice President of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. Gridiron, who joined the Center in 2019, brings extensive experience in philanthropic, non-profit and education leadership through her 14 years at Lumina Foundation, as Board member and Vice Chair of the Board of Grantmakers for Education, and as a student affairs professional with more than 10 years focused on diversity, inclusion and student success. Her insights and experience will focus and enhance the work of the Center with its external partners, and shape ACT’s broader efforts to close gaps in equity, opportunity and achievement in education and the workforce. Gridiron has been a long-standing champion of student voice, and consistently ensures the inclusion of diverse perspectives in designing change initiatives. She is a collaborative leader with a commitment to excellence, integrity, and results. Truly, the right fit for elevating ACT’s mission and supporting learners’ success in this season of uncertainty.

Gridiron is also pleased to step in and launch the Center’s summer equity agenda. In particular, this summer ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning will bring together leading minds in critical areas such as housing and food insecurity, the digital divide, social emotional learning, and education technology. “These issues impact students and families at all ages, so we are intentionally bringing together experts from the K-12, postsecondary and policy advocacy areas for a student focused discussion about evidence-based practices that we can use to close gaps in the system and ensure that all students succeed” said Gridiron.

The Center’s new “Equity in Action” webinar series will begin on July 15 with a session focused on the Digital Divide and its deep impact on education equity in the face of COVID-19. The series will continue with a panel of experts and education leaders examining housing and food insecurity and showcasing the strategies needed for students in both K-12 and higher education. Webinar speakers include Richard Culatta, CEO of International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); Dr. Arsenio Romero, Superintendent of Deming Public Schools and a Regent for New Mexico State University; Sara Goldrick-Rab, the Founder of the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice; Dr. David Miyashiro, the Superintendent of the Cajon Valley Union School District; and Richard Carranza, Chancellor of New York City Schools. Future webinars will investigate the social and emotional learning efforts that schools will need as they plan to reopen in the fall, and what new realities and obstacles the class of 2021 will face in midst of their college-going process and planning.

The Center’s expanded focus on public engagement and thought leadership has led to a new collaboration with the American Consortium on Equity in Education to develop podcasts, stories, and other substantive content focused on the urgent need to address racial equity and other issues, and elevate the visibility of best practices in education equity. The podcast series kicks off on Education Talk Radio on July 13 with an in-depth conversation with ACT CEO Janet Godwin. Future episodes will examine topics including insights from the first decade of ACT’s scholarship endowments at the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College, as well as the positive impact of the American College Application Campaign (ACAC) on college-going aspirations and enrollment for first-in-the-family college students and students from families with low incomes.

“ACT was founded with an eye toward achieving education equity, and we reignited that mission when we launched the Center four years ago,” Janet Godwin, interim CEO said. “Now more than ever, it’s critical that we engage in outcomes focused conversations and work toward addressing systemic inequity and closing achievement gaps for all learners. Tina’s leadership of and vision for ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning are critical toward that end.”

About ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement for underserved populations and working learners. Through purposeful investments, employee engagement, and thoughtful advocacy efforts, the Center supports innovative partnerships, actionable research, initiatives, campaigns, and programs to further ACT’s mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success.