One of the key principles of equity work is “we can’t do it alone.” Reasons for creating an equity design team include, but are not limited to:
- It is helpful to identify a team of people who see themselves both as learners and leaders in advancing your school’s vision for equity.
- Distributed and shared leadership is important so that both problem identification and solution generation are informed by multiple and diverse perspectives.
- Equity work requires ongoing collaborative inquiry.
- It is an opportunity to ensure that the voices of those who have been marginalized by the system or are not in formal or informal authority roles are participating in problem identification and solution generation.
- A team supports public learning and provides a sense of group accountability to a shared purpose.
Through this chapter, we hope that you will think about:
- What are the considerations that should guide who is on the equity design team (Do we want a vertical team? A grade level team? Do we want individuals from different roles in the organization? Should we include students?)?
- How do we ensure that we are not reproducing an inequitable status quo as we engage in our work? If you want radically better results, you will need to work in noticeably different ways. Decisions about who is on your team and how you engage together (for example, how voice and power are distributed) provide important opportunities to visibly disrupt inequitable structures and practices and to communicate that this work stands out from “just another reform initiative.”
- What are working agreements, and why are they important for our team?
- What are the strategies and practices that will enable your team to do its best work together?