ARLINGTON PUBLIC SCHOOLSOFFICE OF DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
Establishing Equity Teams – Equity and Inclusion Toolkit
The goal of the Equity Team is to promote institutional change within the school system to better serve students and staff by ensuring each student receives what they need to reach their academic and social potential. Equity Teams are designed to induce open and honest conversations about issues like racism, economic inequality, sexism, homophobia, and ableism. Establishing an Equity Team supplies direction and leadership in practices, procedures, policies, and culturally relevant professional development by continually examining and discussing potential inequities within APS (Arlington Public Schools).
Equity Teams should represent cognitive diversity: differences in how we reason, interpret, and solve problems. Diverse ways of thinking, which can be affected by identification with a particular group (gender, race, socioeconomic status, to name a few), produces something extra – a bonus. When people with varying “tools” for solving complicated tasks come together and work inclusively to find solutions, the results are powerful (The Diversity Bonus, University of Michigan professor and social scientist Scott Page).
- Be mindful of cultural taxation when selecting your team as diversity of thinking is important and the ability to engage in uncomfortable conversations.
- Seek out and include parents from underrepresented groups of the school community. Reach out to parents whose race, class, language, nationality, and education, background is different than your own.
- Representation from Building Leadership Team to ensure two-way communication from a top down and bottom-up approach that reaches the instructional level.
- The equity team members should reflect the race/ethnicity and national origin diversity of the APS community; representing perspectives based on gender and differing ability levels; and socio-economic status.
- All members should have a connection to the school community Tip: Team Size will vary depending on the size of your school and interest. We recommend elementary schools limit their group to 15 members. Secondary school teams should have about 25 members. Sub-committees are recommended for larger groups.
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