Advocates for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, pre-k through college, particularly those of color and living in poverty.

Equity-Driven Data-Centered Student-Focused


The Education Trust—West is a nonprofit educational equity organization focused on educational justice and closing achievement and opportunity gaps from preschool through college through research, data, policy analysis, and advocacy.

Our Vision

We envision a California where education equity is baked into every policy decision, every student is set up for academic success, and an opportunity gap no longer exists for students of color, English learners, and students from low-income communities.

Who We Prioritize

We prioritize low-income communities of color in our work, including Black, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander students, as well as English learners.

Our Core Values

Community: We elevate the experiences and voices of families, students, and educators

Equity: We support solutions that close gaps for students

Justice: We raise the profile of equity issues

Trust: We believe those closest to the problem have the solutions

Learn more about our education advocacy efforts by visiting our What We Do page.


The Education Trust–West is the California-based office of the nationally recognized Education Trust headquartered in Washington D.C. Ed Trust–West was founded in 2001 by Russlynn Ali, who led the organization until 2009 when she joined the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education.

Over the last 20 years, Ed Trust–West has become known for its unapologetic focus on racial equity and educational justice. The organization has grown to meet the demand for strategic research and advocacy to improve equity at all levels of education. We have worked tirelessly to close opportunity gaps, provide critical resources for students of color, low-income communities, and English learners, and ensure every student has an opportunity to succeed in California’s schools and colleges.

Dr. Christopher J. Nellum currently serves as Executive Director, leading the organization from a very personal perspective and with experience as an educator, education researcher, and advocate. He describes his family as impressing upon him the need to question “commonly-held” truths about Black communities and people, and to always push for racial justice and equity. For more information on what we hope to accomplish in the next chapter of Ed Trust–West’s story, check out the video below and read more on our 20th Anniversary page.