While individual self-reflection is necessary for locating your personal responsibility in doing equity work and developing your identity as an equity leader, inequities are rooted in system-level problems, which means they require system-level solutions. Through the previous chapter, your team will have gained a better understanding of what school feels like to your students and how they are making sense of their experiences. This chapter will help you and your team look “upstream” to interrogate how these student experiences are shaped by the school itself. How schools are organized, how they utilize time and distribute resources, what they assume about students and teachers, and the messages they send (about the purpose of schooling, the way learning happens, etc.) all contribute to students’ daily experience, understandings of themselves, and understanding of what school is. You have to understand how your system creates the outcomes it produces, for if you don’t want to reproduce inequity, you must disrupt the system that creates and perpetuates it.
This chapter includes resources to unearth the assumptions you might hold as a group of people working together or that are embedded in the way you “do school” as well as tools you could use in identifying how inequity manifests in your own school. We hope that by the end of this chapter, you begin to see how systems are perfectly designed to produce the outcomes they produce and identify what steps you need to take as an organization to disrupt the current system.