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.
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
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?
More families are staying in Richmond, but the school system stills only enrolls 73 kids for every 100 born here
Ned Oliver, Richmond Times-Dispatch (March 10, 2018)
White, Affluent Parents Like the Idea of Integrated Schools - But Not for Their Kids
Lauren Camera, U.S. News (February 7, 2020)
The Richmond Racial Equity Essays launched in 2021 with the goal of promoting thought leadership and public dialogue toward advancing racial equity in Richmond, Virginia, but also as a multi-media model for other cities grappling...
Planning for Inclusive Communities
Urban planning concerns itself with the design and uses of space (or land) that focus on the physical form, economic functions, and social impacts of the built and natural environments in cities, towns and places in our communities. Although...
Building Sustainable and Affordable Housing
Housing is a basic need around which our health and stability is built, our neighborhoods are centered and housing (through homeownership) is a cornerstone for wealth building. Thus access to...
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....
Advancing Economic Empowerment
The link between capitalism and systemic racism has been with us even before the founding of the United States, as using people for profit is one of our country’s original sins. The compounding...
Shifting Power and Reimagining Partnerships
Central among our ongoing reckoning with racial justice is the question of how power is shifted and shared through partnerships. Historically marginalized communities...
Lifting Up Latino Leadership and Language Access
Latinos will soon be a majority in many cities across the U.S., yet the numbers of Latino leaders continue to lag across sectors as compared with other groups. This inequitable distribution of power...
Creating Community, Healing, and Justice
In the journey to dismantle structures of white supremacy there must be attention paid to community rebuilding and healing. Trauma from racism has negatively impacted Black and Brown people, and...
Building a Healthy Environment
Most U.S. localities are legally tasked to make decisions that protect the health, safety and general welfare of its inhabitants. While environmental health should be provided for all populations, communities...
Thank you for reading, watching, and listening to the content from the Richmond Racial Equity Essays. We hope this guide helped you delve deeper into the material and furthered your learning and...
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