Reciprocal Vulnerability- The idea that we must explore and share the things that make us uncomfortable to build stronger connections with others.

   
     
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I enjoyed working locally in Idaho at the WCA Youth REPs Retreat.

 

Hey Advocates,

On April 13, Ralph Yarl, a 16-year-old US teenager, was shot and wounded after knocking on the wrong residence in an attempt to pick up his two younger siblings. I'm saddened to hear about this, and I'm praying for his recovery and the community in Kansas City.

 
 

Over the weekend, I enjoyed working locally in Idaho at the WCA Youth REPs Professional Development Retreat. The Youth REPs inform the WCA prevention programs, create awareness campaigns, and lead efforts to educate their peers. Their peer-to-peer advocacy aims to educate young people and raise awareness about important issues around dating violence, sexual assault/harassment, and bullying. Their mission is to shift harmful social norms in order to ensure that everyone in their communities thrive in safe, healthy relationships. 

I worked with this fantastic group of high schoolers (primarily seniors) to develop their advocacy skills,...

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Here are a few interview questions you may want to add to your interview structure

  
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Pump your brakes!

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We'd love to take a Deep Dive Into Amplifying Student Voices with you!

Hey Advocates,

Unfortunately, another senseless act of violence occurred earlier this week in the US. My heart goes out to the Covenant School community.

Darlene and I were in San Diego this week at the Deeper Learning Conference. We facilitated a four-hour workshop, "A Deep Dive into Amplifying Student Voices." We believe that students need to occupy spaces where they can freely be themselves. However, society has taught us which identities are prioritized and valued. Doing so contributes to normalizing how different identities from the dominant group are devalued and othered. Schools are spaces that are supposed to serve all students; when students' lived experiences are not valued or treated as equally important, they either adapt to the culture or ostracize themselves due to feelings of oppression.

Our session was about developing a framework for fostering a culture of belonging in which each student feels valued and loved at your school. We had participants...

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Finding Joy in Equity Work: Five Ways to Create a More Inclusive Classroom

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of equity work in education. However, I would argue that since the murder of George Floyd, there has been pushback from folks who lack the understanding of what equity truly is. Equity work involves creating a learning environment that recognizes and addresses systemic barriers that may prevent certain students from succeeding, such as racism, poverty, or discrimination based on gender, sexuality, or ability.

While this work can be challenging, it is also enriching for educators and students. This post will explore five ways to find joy in equity work in education: celebrating small wins, connecting with others, embracing learning, creating meaningful connections with students, and remembering your "why." By incorporating these strategies into your daily practice, you can create a more inclusive and equitable classroom and help all students reach their full potential.

  1. Celebrate Small Wins: Equity...

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Unfortunately, addressing the absenteeism crisis is nothing new.

Hey Advocates, 

Happy Women’s History and Social Work Month! Thank you for all you do for your students and schools. We cannot do this work without building community, so again, thank you. 

A quick shout-out to the Ames and Arlington Heights School Districts as we worked together for my book study sessions. Have you ordered your copy? Need to purchase a bulk order? Let me know!


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Continuing from last week, I wanted to take a closer look at the effects of the ongoing pandemic on our students. I came across this Associated Press article, “Thousands of kids are missing from school. Where did they go?” by Bianca Vázquez Toness and Sharon Lurye. They reported, “An analysis by The Associated Press (AP), Stanford University’s Big Local News project, and Stanford education professor Thomas Dee found an estimated 230,000 students in 21 states [and Washington, D.C.] whose absences could not be accounted for.”...

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8 Equity Strategies You Can Use Today

As educators, we strive to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed. However, achieving educational equity requires a holistic approach that addresses not only academic achievement but also students' cultural, social, and emotional needs.

In my conversation with Dr. Dionne McLaughlin, we discussed 8 Equity Strategies You Can Use Today. These strategies offer a comprehensive approach to promoting equity and excellence in education that can benefit students and schools.

  1. Personalizing Data: One of the essential steps to achieving educational equity is to personalize data by looking at the pictures of students and learning about individual student stories. This information can be used to generate personalized learning goals and to monitor progress toward those goals.
  2. Promoting Equity: Creating a fair and just learning environment for all students is crucial to achieving equity. Using equity audits and an equity lens can help identify and address...
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Who wants to teach a watered-down curriculum? Raise your hand.

Hey Advocates, 

What a week it has been! I stopped in Albany, OR, to wrap up an Equity Audit with the Linn County Juvenile Department of Justice. I facilitated a virtual book study session with the Bondurant-Farrant CSD, then hopped on a plane to New York for a keynote at the Farmingdale State College.


Check out what the Leading Equity Center has to offer! I'd love to speak at your next event/training. Let's chat if you are interested in working together. 

Last week I received a response to the newsletter, which included a link to this article, "Wellesley schools settle lawsuit over 'affinity groups' for students of color." As Philip Marcelo from Boston.com reports, "Parents Defending Education has agreed to drop its suit while Wellesley Public Schools will make it clear that the groups are open to any and all students." Parents Defending Education stated in their federal civil rights complaint, "Because racial affinity groups divide children...

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Affinity spaces are spaces where you don't have to explain so many parts of yourself; people "get it"; they understand.

Hey Advocates, 

I want to give a huge shoutout and thank you to Dr. Aisha Hollands with the Portland Public Schools District in Oregon for purchasing 600 of the Leading Equity: Becoming an Advocate for All Students book. I'm humbled and thankful for the support. 

If you need a bulk order of books or want a signed copy for yourself, I'm here to help. Your support is what keeps the podcast and the Leading Equity Center going.

Talk about a busy week! Darlene ran a session with Burlington High School Students for the Advocacy Room, I facilitated a book study session with the Ottawa Area School District, and wrapped up my Equity Audit report with the Lansing School District. Here's some feedback that I received via email:

Dr. Eakins (Sheldon),

Thank you for the OUTSTANDING guidance, facilitation, leadership, and providing a comfortable and safe space for our Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee. Equally appreciated was your professionalism,...

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