This book walks through the steps organizations can take when starting equity work in their school and includes accompanying activities for each of the different steps.
Introduction to Starting Your School's Equity Journey
Get oriented to this book to learn how it can help you on your organization's equity journey.
Background of the Starting Your School's Equity Journey Book
Chapter 1: Why Does Equity Work Matter? What is Equity? What is Equity Work?
“Solving the problem of racism is America’s unfinished agenda, and it must be regarded by educators as a moral imperative.” -Asa Hilliard
Understanding the why and what of equity
A list of terms and definitions to help you and your team find a common language around equity work
A short reading on the importance of defining the “why” behind equity work before defining the “what”
A powerpoint from the National Equity Project with activities and reflections for defining equity
A reading to ground individuals’ understanding of equity accompanied by reflection questions
A resource providing a definition for race
An article on 17 words you should know when talking racial equity
Resources explaining the Targeted Universalism framework
The way in which we talk about equity matters. This guide will help frame conversations and build a common language around equity.
Chapter 2: Creating your Equity Design Team and Setting Working Agreements
“When you engage with people, you build your own insight into what’s being discussed. Someone else’s understanding complements yours, and together you start to weave an informed interpretation. You tinker until you can move on.” -Marcia Conner
Determining the who and the how
A set of guides to walk your team through the process of creating and implementing community agreements
Equity work is not easy or comfortable. This activity explores what it means to lean into discomfort.
This artifact describes the norms that NCS uses to ground our collective work, conversation, and collaboration.
A list of characteristics that perpetuate White Supremacy Culture
Description of team roles and responsibilities
Chapter 3: Methods and Approaches for Guiding Equity-focused Inquiry Work
“Inquiry is basically a challenge to what we think we know… Through inquiry, you learn how to navigate through your not-knowing.” -AH Almaas
Your approach matters. How can you choose an approach that best matches your goals?
A 2-day Institute designed to introduce the National Equity Project’s Leading for Equity framework and See, Engage and Act Methods
An introduction to the Liberatory Design framework + resources
Chapter 4: Understanding Context
“In order to see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must understand where we have been.” - Ella Baker
Ensuring that your work is grounded in the context around you
A Powerpoint presentation and accompanying activity exploring the history of education in the US
Resources for incorporating material from the 1619 Project into your classroom
Individuals engage with curated material to learn about the context behind a particular area/field
Tips for creating an ArtifactX that is specific to your context (state, county, district, school) or a particular subject area
A host of resources to learn about whiteness and the history of racism and structural racism in the US
Chapter 5: Leading from the Inside Out - My Equity Self Reflection
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” -Anais Nin
Meaningful individual reflection is a necessary part of doing equity work
An activity that connects identities, beliefs, and values to how we shape our decisions and behaviors.
An activity to acknowledge the strength of a group’s diversity and for individuals to reflect on how their identities impact their work
Take a moment to think about your origin story as an educator
Chapter 6: Deepening Your Understanding of Your Students' Experiences
“When we are seen by the heart we are seen for who we are. We are valued in our uniqueness by those who are able to see us in this way and we become able to know and value ourselves.” - Rachel Naomi Remen
Strategies for understanding the experiences of the students you serve
The school visit toolkit provides an immersive and reflective experience that interrogates how equity plays out in school environments committed to equity.
Learn how empathy interviews can help in understanding the perspective of the “user,” or in this case, your students
The Student Shadow protocol offers a structured approach for educators to gain insight into the everyday experiences of the students they serve.
Chapter 7: Organizational Equity Reflection
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” -Anonymous
Once you have individually reflected on positionality and equity, the next step is to reflect on equity as a group
The equity self study uses self-reflection and perspective sharing to define equity and the context around it.
The first step in understanding equity is to notice where equity is present and where it is not. Take a moment to reflect on your school environment.
This tool outlines how quantitative data can be used to diagnose an equity challenge.
A tool to help support continuous reflection on equity
Big Idea - Organizational Equity Reflection
Chapter 8: Prioritizing an Equity Challenge and Committing to an Equity Imperative
“There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” -Margaret Wheatley
Based on you the your context, individual and organizational reflection, and experiences deepening student understanding, create an equity imperative
How to create a description of the purpose of your organization’s equity work and why it’s critical
Chapter 9: Equity-Centered Data Use
“You can use all the quantitative data you can get, but you still have to distrust it and use your own intelligence and judgement.” -Alvin Toffler
How data can be used in service of equity
This concept paper describes an approach to data that helped support a citywide movement that raise educational attainment rates in Chicago over the course of a decade.
An article about how the chief research officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board is using data to better serve indigenous communities
A Guidebook from Chicago Beyond about research equity