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Before EduDream launched as an organization, it was just an idea to bring greater voice and attention to educational issues at the time, including persistent achievement gaps, school integration, access to high quality schools, and college access, persistence and success for low-income students and students of color. Co-founders Michelle Oliva and Monica Martinez began having conversations in late 2014 about pressing educational issues and different ways to shed a light on them. The intent was to gain momentum as the Obama administration was transitioning out and new leadership would begin developing education plans for 2016 and beyond. This led to discussions about starting a blog as a way to contribute new and ongoing conversations on educational research and policy.

As discussions and planning continued, dreams became bigger and the idea of a blog morphed into the possibility of starting an educational consulting organization. This idea emerged from our professional experiences collaborating on evaluation projects which lacked cultural responsiveness, dismissed equitable evaluation practices, or included people of color on evaluation teams to convey diversity, but without deep and deliberate engagement for these perspectives. We were motivated to lead this work ourselves, to have a greater impact, as women of color. We also believed we had the expertise and competencies, formal education and training, and demonstrated impact to be successful. Our competitive advantage as women, daughters of immigrants, and leaders of color allows us to bring this lived experience and perspective to our consulting work.

Thus, by early 2015, planning was underway to establish an educational consulting organization. Because Monica was in New York at the time, progress was slow, but once she moved back to Chicago in summer 2015, plans quickly accelerated and EduDream officially launched on May 5, 2016.

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