Education, Inclusivity, and the Achievement Gap

The following schools, colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations provide services and other assistance to individuals who are marginalized by disability, region, or otherwise. They provide training, career assistance, empowerment and inclusion programs, STEM/STEAM education, and modified educational services for individuals with disabilities.

Welcoming Schools

Welcoming Schools, a project of the HRC Foundation, is the nation’s premier program with training, resources, and lessons to help elementary schools in embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ- and gender- inclusive schools, preventing bias-based bullying, and supporting transgender and non-binary students.

Washtenaw Intermediate School District

The mission of Washtenaw Intermediate School District is to promote the continuous improvement of achievement for every student while providing high-quality service to our customers through leadership, innovation, and collaboration.

The Family Learning Institute

The Family Learning Institute (FLI) was created in response to the 1998 Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) statewide, standardized test. Thirty-five percent of 4th graders scored below grade level in reading; among African Americans this number rose to seventy-one percent. Concerned citizens formed the Community Academic Success Team (CAST) to support The Ann Arbor Achievement Initiative. Read more here.

A Silent Crisis: Resource Guide for Creating Safe Schools

Includes a wealth of information for teachers, counselors, administrators, and others who want to learn more about creating conditions for learning that are physically and emotionally safe for all students, including those who are, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ).

Lives in the Balance is the non-profit organization founded by child psychologist Dr. Ross Greene, originator of the empirically supported Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach and New York Times bestselling author of the influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost & Found, and Raising Human Beings. 

Our vision is to foster collaboration and empathy, transform lives, and inspire change for all children (especially the most vulnerable), to heighten awareness of the detrimental and counterproductive effects of punitive interventions, and to address the systemic issues that impede our progress.

The mission of Lives in the Balance is to provide vital, accessible resources and programs to caregivers of behaviorally challenging kids; to bring the plight of these kids into the public consciousness; to address the systemic issues that cause many of these kids to slip through the cracks; and to promote parenting and disciplinary practices that foster the better side of human nature in all children. Our efforts are organized around the following initiatives:

Open Access: Through our Outreach initiatives — which include this website, our radio programs and Facebook groups, and our annual Summit — we ensure that parents, educators, mental health clinicians, and staff in restrictive therapeutic facilities have easy access to vast resources on the CPS model at little or no cost.

Lead the Change: Through our Advocacy efforts, we heighten awareness of the obsolete, counterproductive ways in which many behaviorally challenging kids are still treated; take action whenever we learn of schools and facilities that are treating kids — behaviorally challenging or not — in ways that are punitive, adversarial, and counterproductive; and provide consultation and training on non-punitive, non-adversarial, collaborative, proactive alternatives.

Fix The System: Through our proof-of-concept project — Invest in Maine’s At-Risk Kids (i-MARK) — we’re showing how a public-private partnership can eliminate many of the systemic issues that make it hard for at-risk kids and their families to access and receive the help they need. Once we’ve shown what can be done in one state, we’ll export the model to other states, provinces, and countries.

Lives in the Balance is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible. Our programs are funded by Dr. Greene and other philanthropic individuals and organizations. If you’re interested in supporting our vision and mission, please contact us by phone or by using the contact form on this website.

At we understand that what makes a college the “best” looks different to every student, and each college search comes with it’s own unique challenges. This is why we aim to help prospective students find the school that best meets their needs through proprietary research, user-friendly guides, and hundreds of independent college rankings.

LGBTQ students face alarming disadvantages in college including alienation, harassment, and fear for personal safety. These issues are compounded by the fact that many students lack emotional and financial support from their families – 13% of young, gay men are thrown out of their homes.

Despite these setbacks, we can help level the playing field for LGBTQ students in Michigan by connecting them with resources they need to have a fulfilling college experience. That’s why we’ve created these two guides: 

These resources include:

  • A list of ten things to look for when searching for LGBTQ-friendly colleges
  • Organizations, resources and legal rights information for LGBTQ students
  • Six expert interviews with leading LGBTQ advocates in higher education
  • Scholarships, grants and an in-depth guide on how to apply for financial aid
Literacy Coalition of Washtenaw County members work together to improve literacy levels across the lifespan.  By coordinating services, resources, and planning, the Literacy Coalition supports existing literacy efforts while striving toward 100% literacy.

Choosing the right college can be a difficult task for anyone. For a student who identifies as LGBTQ, this task becomes downright daunting, as they must also try and find a place of acceptance, inclusion, and support. created the LGBTQ college guide to make this process much easier and much less stressful. The guide covers topics including scholarships and financial aid for the LGBTQ community, assessing a school’s LGBTQ community and campus initiatives, and academics, to name a few. is committed to helping all students succeed in college and make informed choices.

Protective School Climates and Reduced Risk for Suicide Ideation in Sexual Minority Youth

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth living in states and cities with more protective school climates are significantly less likely to report one-year suicidal thoughts than LGB youths living in states and cities with less protective school climates.

Bullying is lowered for all kids when schools have LGBTQ-inclusive policies and lead to improved performance for all.