Ensuring Education Equity

The quality of one’s education has a significant impact on both their access to opportunity and life outcomes. Yet, many Black and Brown children lack the access to a quality education within and across communities. Equity in education is the pursuit of creating an educational system that caters to students of all kinds and develops their educational experience accordingly. This means that no matter what a student’s background, language, race, economic profile, gender, learning capability, disability or family history, each student has the opportunity to get the support and resources they need to achieve their educational goals. There have been significant and purposeful barriers to an equitable education for communities of color and thus it will take intentional changes to policies and practices to close the education gap. The essayists in this series attempt to name the historical and current barriers to an equitable education and outline some steps to move toward greater equity in K-12 education in Richmond and beyond.

Featured Essays and Media

A Rich Education
Benjamin P. Campbell

Towards a Vision of Racial Equity in Richmond Schools
Taikein Cooper and Geneive Siegel-Hawley

Between Two Litanies: Equity and Public Education in Richmond
Dennis Williams II

Interview with Don Coleman
Don Coleman

Discussion Questions

Read through the following questions and answer them based off what you learned from the readings:

1. Ben Campbell proposes what he calls a “Rich Education’’ through “Rich Schools,’ that “contribute to the genuine health, wealth, literacy, interest, and human capacity of students”. What are your thoughts on some of the past/current barriers to a Rich Education/Schools he presented? On the funding solutions he proposed?

2. Taikein Cooper and Geneive Siegel-Hawley present Real Integration as one of the solutions to educational inequities our communities face. What is your relationship to integration? What kind of schools (demographically) did you go to K-12? How did this shape your perspectives and opportunities?

3. Dennis Williams argues that the central barrier to advancing racial equity in education is white backlash? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Are there examples of white backlash to racial equity that you can identify in your community?

Discussion Questions

  • If you live in Virginia take a look at this article and this report to see the disparities in educational outcomes and funding. Can you find another organization that is doing work to close educational gaps? If you live outside of Virginia, what are the educational disparities that exist in your community? Can you find and follow 1-2 organizations that are trying to close the gaps from a funding reform and policy level?

  • Check out this report on Real Integration and read one of the sections related to the 5 “R’s” of real integration that interests you. Identify one thing you can do to support that solution locally.

  • Listen to an episode of Nice White Parents Podcast and discuss it with a friend or colleague. What resonates with you? What challenges you? What are some practical takeaways you can incorporate?

Featured Work

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