A short reading on the importance of defining the “why” behind equity work before defining the “what”


While it may seem intuitive to define what the work is or what is being done, simultaneous and competing actions may lead to losing a sense of direction or purpose. In this resource (see Attachments) from the National Equity Project, the reading speaks to the importance of having a clear moral purpose, especially in the context of equity work.

Preconditions for Success

We encourage people to start with thinking about the “why” before the “what” because this process is about doing work in ourselves to improve conditions of learning, not to “help students be better.” Equity work means meaningfully engaging all young people in learning that matters to them and to their future, so while we hope for the ultimate change to be experienced by young people, we must also realize that the locus of this work lies within ourselves.

Preferred Citation

“Lead with Why” developed by the National Equity Project