About the Initiative

I feel like you got to challenge yourself to do a lot of things.

Chicago, IL, Black male, 15-22, lower-income

Equitable Futures is designed to support the professionals and advocates who work to open up more equitable opportunities for young people to explore their career and life goals: educators, program designers, direct service providers, policymakers, advocates, and funders. This website also serves as a platform for partner organizations that work in these same spaces. 

The work of Equitable Futures is anchored by quantitative and qualitative research conducted with Black and Latino young people, and young people experiencing poverty, between the ages of 15-24. The main focus of the research is to explore how these groups of young people think about their future lives when it comes to education and work. The core insights from this 2018-2019 research are captured in a report, Striving to Thriving. In 2020 and 2021, researchers for Equitable Futures conducted a National Youth Poll to study the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other events on young people’s thinking about their educational and employment goals. 

Equitable Futures is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of its Education Pathways strategy. The Pathways strategy focuses on better supporting students during key transition points in their education to employment journey so they can have the professional skills, agency, and social capital needed to thrive in the workforce.

Every day, a new idea pop up into my head. Like, oh, I can do this…I’m just trying to just get my hands into everything that I can…I want to be well-rounded like in everything that I can be.

Chicago, IL, Black female, 15-22, lower-income

Our Advisors

Helping young people navigate the path from high school to postsecondary education and into the workforce requires bridges between key transition points, and our advisors have expertise in many of the steps along these pathways. Our advisors include educators, scholars, researchers, funders, and program leaders who are working to improve young people’s lives and career choices. They helped to draw insights from the research conducted for Equitable Futures and to activate the research to create tools and resources.

Artwork and images on Equitable Futures are credited to the individual youth artists who created them. When not credited, photography was sourced from Unsplash.com under an open and free license and from EduImages by All4Ed under a Creative Commons license.