Jim Shelton is President for Education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Previously, Mr. Shelton served as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Education under then President Barack Obama. He has also worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he managed billion dollar non-profit investments targeting increased high school and college graduation rates.

Q: How is philanthropy’s role in supporting and elevating Black and Latino leaders distinct from the role of other folks in the space?

Shelton: Philanthropists are in a unique position to support leaders in multiple ways. The most obvious is by investing in them and their organizations directly, which begins by ensuring the leaders are known to them and have access to their processes. Philanthropists also have a unique opportunity to ask questions of themselves and others: Who is at the table when folks are brought together to learn about, inform, or set strategy? Whose voices are allowed to be presented as expert? Who leads the organizations we support? If you believe having diverse leadership that reflects the communities you’re trying to serve is important, then those are things you should set conditions around, and encourage with your resources.

Read the full interview with Jim Shelton about the future of Black and Latino leaders by Layla Avila at Education Leaders of Color.