Benny Vásquez Joins KIPP Foundation As First Chief Equity Officer
New York, NY — June 3, 2019 — The KIPP Foundation is proud to announce Benny Vásquez has joined the organization as its first Chief Equity Officer. Vásquez most recently served as the Co-Executive Director of the Center for Racial Justice in Education and is the co-founder of The CARLE (Critical Analysis of Race and Learning in Education) Institute.
“Benny Vásquez has devoted his professional career to increasing equity in education and breaking down barriers for students of color and students from marginalized communities,” said Richard Barth, KIPP Foundation CEO. “We’re honored to have Benny help us deepen our commitment to racial equity both at the Foundation and throughout our network of KIPP Schools across the country.”
“KIPP is a leader in the education field and has a really large impact across the country in predominantly communities of color,” said Benny Vásquez, KIPP Foundation Chief Equity Officer. “KIPP has the opportunity to become an example of how schools can live their values, and commit to creating liberatory spaces for everybody who enters our school buildings. KIPP has a responsibility to do it right and get it right.”
As the organization’s first Chief Equity Officer, Vásquez is responsible for setting and implementing an overarching vision of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) that works to eliminate systemic organizational marginalization and promotes inclusion and anti-racist practices. In his role, Vásquez will work closely with KIPP regions across the country to build a strategy for implementing equity measures at the school level, particularly in the way the regions develop school culture.
A self-described life-long learner and justice seeker with a passion for the intersectionality between educational reform and anti-racism, Vásquez previously served as the Director of Diversity at the Town School and co-chaired the Diversity Committee for the New York Association of Independent Schools. He also served as the Director of Education at GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), where he worked with teachers across the country to create safer schools for all students regardless of gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation.
Vásquez was born in Brooklyn and received his bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at Columbia University and a master’s in public administration from the Wagner School at New York University.
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 224 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994 as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll 96,000 students in all grades from Pre-K through high school. Nationwide, KIPP students complete their bachelor’s degree at a rate of 35 percent, comparable to the national average for all students and approximately three times higher than the average for students from low-income families.