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October 26, 2020

It's a Homecoming: Adeola Whitney returns to Reading Partners, this time as CEO

Adeola Whitney is set to kick off her new leadership role as host of an educational equity conversation with author and Emmy award winner, Jeffrey Blount

Oakland, CA — October 26, 2020

Adeola Whitney brings deep industry and Reading Partners knowledge to her CEO role

Reading Partners proudly announces, today, the arrival of a new CEO, Adeola (Ola) Whitney. This leadership selection represents a homecoming for Ola who previously worked at Reading Partners from 2013 to 2016. During her prior tenure at Reading Partners, Ola served as vice president of regional operations and then chief regional operations officer. Over the past four years, Ola has been the chief regional officer at iMentor.

Throughout her career, Ola has demonstrated exemplary leadership and commitment to educational equity and service. Her energy and excitement for empowering students through early literacy was one of the primary motivators that brought her back to Reading Partners.

“What gets me so excited is the fact that Reading Partners was started over 20 years ago by three caring community volunteers who aimed to address a dire inequity they saw in our education system,” said Ola. “That same spirit lives on today on a much broader scale with tens of thousands of volunteers and other supporters all striving through their actions — and their belief in literacy as a foundational right for all students — to eradicate the opportunity gap that exists between students experiencing economic challenges and their peers from more affluent households. Realizing how many people have coalesced in this fight for educational equity shows me that the sky’s the limit for Reading Partners and the students and communities we serve.” 

A long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

During her years at iMentor, Ola helped create a new strategic plan that centered on a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the wake of numerous recent examples of racial injustice, Ola is eager to contribute to Reading Partners’ ongoing efforts to integrate race equity, diversity, and inclusion into the organization’s core values.

“I’m excited to bring what I’ve learned about diversity, equity, and inclusion to Reading Partners,” said Ola. “I’m thrilled to know that the organization is already engaged in this important work at all angles — from staff members, to AmeriCorps members, to board members, and the broader community.”

Ola to host a free, virtual community conversation about race and educational equity with Jeffrey Blount on November 18

On November 18, Ola and Reading Partners will host an open conversation and Q&A session with Jeffrey Blount. The free, virtual event will examine the interplay between race and educational equity in America. Jeffrey, an accomplished author and Emmy award-winning director, will explore themes highlighted in his latest novel, The Emancipation of Evan Walls, such as the complexities of being “young, gifted, and Black” in America.

Key details about the virtual event:

“I’m honored to be part of Reading Partners’ virtual community event because it is an organization that believes in the empowerment of our youngest generation through education, and specifically literacy,” remarked Jeffrey. “Reading Partners’ dedication to helping all students reach their awesome potential in school and beyond resonates with me personally as much as it would with Evan Walls, the central character of my book.”

For anyone wanting to read The Emancipation of Evan Walls prior to the virtual event on November 18, copies can be ordered from independent bookstores such as Politics & Prose, and Kramerbooks, among other outlets.


About Reading Partners

For over 20 years, Reading Partners has empowered students to succeed in reading and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring. Since its founding, the national nonprofit organization has mobilized nearly 70,000 community volunteers to provide proven, individualized literacy tutoring to more than 65,000 elementary school students in nearly 450 under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia. Visit to learn more about our program impact, or connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Jeffrey Blount

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