06 Jun 2018
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The Business of Social Justice


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Heidi Brooks (MBA 2003) is the chief operating officer of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening public education through grants and advocacy. The foundation’s mission aims at ending the school-to-prison pipeline through disciplinary reform and further ensuring that schools with high needs receive the resources and funding to meet them.

“There is nothing more important than building the foundations for social change,” says Brooks. “Rosa Parks’ civil disobedience didn’t just happen because she wanted to sit one day; and gay marriage didn’t become legal in one day. These kinds of changes have decades of investment behind them.”

As COO, Brooks oversees strategic planning, operations, and finances, as well as the evaluation of programs to determine ways operations can be more efficient and have the greatest impact.

She says the work of the foundation—partnering with teachers’ unions and grassroots advocacy groups to make lasting and impactful policy changes—may be more important today than ever, as the Trump Administration threatens budget cuts to public education or possibly to eliminate the Department of Education.

“I’m always up for a challenge,” Brooks declares.

(Published June 2018)

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Class of MBA 2003, Section E

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