Anti-Bias Teacher Grants
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

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Anti-Bias Teacher Grants

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Teaching for a Better World

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County believes in the power young people have to improve our world, and the power great teachers have to support them. Racism and other discrimination are the biggest barriers to a future where everyone can thrive. We know many teachers work to foster students’ appreciation for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through their instruction. We want to reward those teachers and enhance the impact of their lessons.  

United Way and our generous supporters from the Emerging Leaders and Diversity Leadership Society networks have created the Anti-Bias Teacher Grants initiative, which will make at least 10 grants of up to $1,000 each to support experienced teachers of DEI. 

Applications will be accepted starting February 1, 2022, through February 18, 2022. Volunteers will use this rubric to guide recommendations about which applications to fund. Winners are expected to be announced at the end of February 2022. You can use these instructions to help you navigate the application website. 

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Application FAQ

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Who’s eligible to apply?

These grants may be awarded to qualified K-12 teacher applicants across our four-county footprint (Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties), regardless of grade, subject, student demographics or school sector. Fighting bias is everyone’s job, and we hope to support those efforts widely.  

Are afterschool clubs or other youth programs eligible?

The lessons should be taught during the school day, even if done virtually. These awards are not intended for afterschool clubs or optional out-of-school-time programming. We believe it is important these lessons occur during school time to meet the majority of students and normalize these concepts.  

Can I co-teach these lessons with another adult, even if that person isn’t a teacher?

That’s perfectly acceptable if it follows school guidelines and the applicant is a K-12 schoolteacher.  

I’m a teacher, but I’ve never written a grant before. What answers is United Way looking for?

The rubric that reviewers will use when evaluating is simple, and scores are not the final determinant in funding decisions. Applications that satisfy these criteria are more likely to be approved. Reviewers will be looking for educators who show evidence of engaging lessons that help students envision and create a world where everyone can feel they belong. Be concise, joyful, and centered on students’ perspectives.

This is such an unpredictable school year, what if my plans are forced to change?

No worries. Submit the plan you would like to teach under the conditions you believe are most likely, but feel free to make changes as needed, just as you would for any other lesson plans. Just be prepared to share some examples of student learning before the end of the school year.  

Who will be reading my application?

A multi-racial committee of United Way supporters will review and select which applications will receive funding. Not all reviewers will have backgrounds in education, so try to avoid jargon.  

When is it due? When will decisions be announced? And how will the funding get to awardees?

Applications must be submitted by February 18, 2022. The review timeline depends on how many applications are received, but we plan to announce decisions to all applicants via email in February 2022. We will work with winning teachers’ schools to transfer funds or discuss other arrangements. 

2020 Grant Recipients


headshot of Jessica

As many who do this work have said, it’s not enough to not be racist, we need to be anti-racist-- intentionally working to challenge ideas and spark change around bias and racism. I recognize the importance and impact of this work within our families, our schools, and our communities so that we are able to build a future that is equitable and inclusive for people from all backgrounds and races. I want my students to be reflective and aware of their own beliefs, biases, and privileges. I want them to engage and initiate meaningful conversations and challenge change outside of the classroom with their families and peers. Doing this work in the classroom allows for discourse between different perspectives in a safe and open forum. With that said, I continue my own journey in being actively anti-racist and am proud to share my own reflections and growth with my students. Thanks to the United Way grant, I will further anti-bias/anti-racist learning by inviting speakers into the classroom to share their truths, access relevant and responsive materials to help in facilitating lessons, and introduce resources that students may access beyond the classroom. - Jessica L. Gonzalez

liam and melissa in front of a wall with masks on

We believe that integrating anti-bias principles into education is necessary in order to support ALL students. To facilitate conversations and learning around racism, social justice, and understanding biases, we started a book club for students last fall, and this semester we are reading and discussing The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. In addition to helping provide the books for students, the additional funds will help us reach even more students this way and provide supplemental resources such as other books, films, and any other materials that serve to bolster students' own identity development and self-actualization. Book club has been a wonderful space for both students and staff to share perspectives, explore identity, and connect with each other during virtual learning. We would like to thank United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County and its generous donors for working to promote anti-bias ideals in the classroom and helping educators put their anti-bias practices into action. In addition, we are grateful for Bay View High School, the amazing staff, and administration for not only supporting us but also joining us in this important work. - Liam Evans and Melissa Santa Cruz

martha headshot

Equity is one of my core values, and it is also in the mission of Highland Community School, where I am so fortunate to teach a Montessori 4th through 6th grade class. Anti-bias education is vital to achieving equity. I weave anti-bias lessons into my classroom community, but I have wanted a resource that would allow more consistent engagement in this work. This award will allow me to purchase copies of This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on how to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell for the students in my class, along with supplementary supplies and materials needed to enrich these lessons. The book, which was written by a Montessori teacher, includes engaging weekly lessons and prompts written for students to read and complete. The four core goals of anti-bias teaching are to nurture identity, promote diversity, identify injustice and cultivate activism, and this award will give me the opportunity to invest in a quality resource to help me achieve this. - Martha Reyes

amanda headshot


In teaching U.S. History, World Cultures, and a religious studies course called Peace & Justice, I feel that helping to dismantle prejudice and promote greater social justice is a core part of my role. This grant will allow us at Dominican High School to continue our work in equipping our students to be agents of change as conscientious and compassionate adults. - Amanda Ball

Other questions about this initiative or application? Contact Jim McLaughlin via email.