• Commitment to Equity Institute

    A Year-Long Professional Learning Series

    2020-2021

The Commitment to Equity Institute is a year-long virtual learning series designed to support educators, students, and community members in achieving racial and educational equity in their schools and districts. Whether institute attendees are new to this work or already have some experience, the goal of the collaborative cohorts is to support all participants in creating brave spaces for doing this transformational work in their learning communities.

The Commitment to Equity Institute is currently at capacity. Please fill out the form below to get on the waitlist and we will be in touch if we are able to add additional spots. Thank you!

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Why Commitment to Equity?

Pegasus Springs Education Collective and School Reform Initiative are collaborating to offer professional learning to educators who are committed to practices of leadership and teaching that prioritize interrupting inequities and dismantling racism in their schools. This professional learning opportunity is a virtual offering, as we continue to navigate the stressors of COVID-19. Now more than ever, educators need tools that support a change of mindsets and practices that prioritizes racial and social justice, focuses on culturally relevant pedagogy, lifts student voices, and dismantles systems in schools that perpetuate inequities. We believe that educational equity is the practice of ensuring that all students are able to be successful, regardless of their external or internal racial, social, or cultural context. We understand that as long as race, social, and cultural factors continue to predict the future life chances of children in our schools, we must work to support educators to disrupt these inequities at the individual, classroom, school, and systemic level.

The most challenging work that educators take up in schools tends to be conversations about equity and its implications for leading, teaching, and learning. While there is a range of injustices in our educational system that need to be vigorously addressed, it is the conversation about race that is the most challenging. The conversation about race and equity is challenging not only because of the persistent inequities in our schools and communities, but also because the conversation surfaces deep issues of identity, privilege, history, power, and the very purpose of our educational system. The Commitment to Equity Institute will support leaders, teachers, and students to address these issues in ways that begin in a safe space, move to a brave space, and ultimately lead to a bold space, where those who have felt marginalized the most are empowered to use their voice.

Commitment to Equity / Cohorts & Learning Pathways

Leading with Equity

Galvanizing collective action to advance a culture of equity

Administrators and teacher leaders will engage in a yearlong course of study to support them to design concrete, achievable goals for school improvement, with a specific emphasis on educational equity through adult learning and collaboration. The learning focuses on three core dimensions: Equity Leadership, E-Continuous Improvement by Design, and Cultures Conducive for Change. Leaders will learn and grow, design new initiatives with feedback from colleagues, and work to dismantle the inequitable systems in their schools through a continuous improvement action research project.

Leading with Equity / Institute Goals:

  1. Develop an equity mindset for leading
    • Develop a personal why for school leadership focused on equity
    • Understand one’s own racialized trauma and its impact
    • Recognize the impact of white privilege on capacity to lead schools that serve racially diverse groups of students
  1. Understand the school / district systems and processes through the lens of an anti-racist leader
    • Develop educational equity goals
    • Analyze school and district data through an equity lens
    • Shift discourse about gaps in student outcomes away from conversations with biased-based beliefs
  1. Demonstrate understanding of continuous improvement science and the PDSA cycle by identifying a gap/problem of practice, enacting change, and collecting data on impact
    • Develop campus improvement plans with goals, objectives, and strategies that focus on achieving educational equity
  1. Work toward developing a sustainable equity culture in the school / district / organization
    • Understand stages of systems thinking, change, and sustainability
    • Organizational change (knowledge, beliefs, actions alignment)

Teaching with Equity

Activating practices and understandings for equity

Teachers will engage in an on-going seminar on becoming an anti-racist educator, so they can analyze the impact of racism on teaching and learning and are equipped to talk about racism/anti-racism with colleagues and students in Reflective Learning Communities.

Teaching with Equity / Institute Goals:

  1. Know one’s own equity journey / mindset / beliefs
    • Develop a personal why for this work and learning
    • Understand one’s own racialized trauma and its impact
    • Recognize the impact of white fragility and white privilege on learning about race
  1. Understand foundational knowledge and concepts
    • 400-year history of racism in America
    • 4 I’s of racism/oppression (Ideological, Institutional, Internal, Interpersonal)
    • Micro/macro aggressions, stereotype threat and internalized oppression
    • Characteristics of white dominant culture and how it shows up in schools and classrooms
  1. Develop skills
    • How to interrupt bias by calling it in and calling it out
    • Recognize bias and the 4 I’s of oppression and undo its impact
    • Learn to facilitate conversations about racism and anti-racism across racial differences
      • With students
      • With colleagues
    • Commit to implement changes with support from colleagues

Learning with Equity (for Students, Grades 7-12)

Empowering student voice to advance a culture of equity

Students will engage in learning that gives them tools to talk about race, oppression, and bias in a safe space. They will develop skills as student leaders to engage in and facilitate difficult conversations with their peers and adults about racism and its impact on their capacity to learn in schools.

Learning with Equity / Institute Goals:

  1. Know one’s own equity journey
    • Develop a personal why for one’s commitment to equity
    • Understand one’s own racialized trauma and its impact
    • Recognize the impact of white fragility and white privilege on student learning and sense of belonging in schools
  1. Develop Leadership Skills
    • Increase self-efficacy to lead and engage in conversations about race using structured protocols and processes
    • Develop self-awareness, empowerment, and empathy to understand and connect with peers across racial difference
  1. Engage in Restorative Practice
    • Experience conversations in affinity groups and across race, using tools that lift every voice in the space
    • Learn collaboration, problem solving, and collective responsibility for community work
    • Identify collective goals for one’s school community

Note: All but Teaching with Equity Cohort 4 are now FULL. Please continue to registration for “Teaching with Equity” Cohort 4 or get on the waitlist and we will notify you if we are able to open up additional spots. 

Schedule Overview 2020 – 2021

(All times are Eastern Time)

Lead Facilitators

Leading With Equity

  • Deirdre Williams

    Dr. Deirdre Williams is the Executive Director of School Reform Initiative (SRI). She is also a former biology teacher and turnaround principal with the Apollo 20 initiative in Houston Independent School District, the eighth largest district in the nation. Her career began in public health, where she led the Centers for Disease Control research studies of HIV/AIDS and its impact on marginalized communities in Houston, TX.  She learned from her research that a quality education or the lack thereof was the contributing factor to diseases plaguing poor communities.  This research created her sense of urgency and passion for public education. Under Dr. Williams’ leadership as the Leadership Development Officer at Harris County (TX) Department of Education, schools experienced increased academic performance, decreased drop-out rates, increased attendance rates, and increased teacher performance.

  • Anastacia Galloway Reed

    Anastacia Galloway Reed is a Professional Development Associate with the Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center. Anastacia maintains a diverse portfolio of clients across the country, with experience that ranges from supporting initiatives such as implementing project-based learning, building a culture of trust and collaboration within a staff, developing literacy across the curriculum, and creating a trauma-informed pedagogy. Strengths-based leadership, asset-based facilitation, principles of Critical Friendship, and embodied leadership are also some of the many tools Anastacia has honed throughout the years. Nationally, Anastacia has worked with education leaders on school reform and facilitated workshops at national conferences for organizations such as School Reform Initiative, Coalition of Essential Schools, and Big Picture Learning, while also supporting change initiatives in New York, New Mexico, Ohio, California, Colorado, Texas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, Arizona & Georgia.

Teaching With Equity

  • Gene Thompson-Grove

    Gene Thompson-Grove is a founding member of the School Reform Initiative (SRI), the premier source for materials, resources, and professional development related to creating transformational learning communities fiercely committed to educational equity. She leads institutes and works with educators on SRI critical friendship, facilitative leadership, designing adult learning, and collaborative, reflective practice. Gene was a Visiting Clinical Professor at Brown University’s School of Education and a Senior Associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. In addition to SRI, she works closely with the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), the Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP), and All Kinds of Minds (AKOM).

  • D. Farai Williams

    Farai Williams is the founder of Dynamizing Equity and facilitates for individual clients & groups. Dynamizing Equity™ (dEQ) uses a facilitation-based process that engages our bodies in dialogue in order to recapture the ability that we have to express ourselves totally. This allows people to change ideas, systemic structures and also shift racial responses and outcomes towards equity. As a body/mind practitioner and racial equity strategist, Farai is committed to supporting individuals and communities in centering radical healing and equitable outcomes. With a deep curiosity in culturally responsive teaching and neuroscience, she boldly holds authentic and compassionate space for people from many diverse backgrounds and experiences. Farai holds an M.F.A. from the I.A.T.T. at Harvard University.

Learning With Equity

  • Daniel Baron

    Daniel Baron is a founding member of the Global Institute for Transformative Education He is also the Founding School Leader of the Bloomington Project School and former Executive Director of The School Project Foundation. Daniel has spent 40 years working in public, private, and Native American education, and pre-K through college, as a teacher, coach, whole school change facilitator and School Leader. He is a founder of Harmony School and the Harmony Education Center in Bloomington, Indiana. He is a National Facilitator for The School Reform Initiative and was Co-Director of the National School Reform Faculty from 2000-2006. He is an expert in transformative learning and leadership. For the last 40 years, Daniel’s work has focused on providing exemplary professional development to school districts and facilitating equity-based projects across the country.

  • D. Farai Williams

    Farai Williams is the founder of Dynamizing Equity and facilitates for individual clients & groups. Dynamizing Equity™ (dEQ) uses a facilitation-based process that engages our bodies in dialogue in order to recapture the ability that we have to express ourselves totally. This allows people to change ideas, systemic structures and also shift racial responses and outcomes towards equity. As a body/mind practitioner and racial equity strategist, Farai is committed to supporting individuals and communities in centering radical healing and equitable outcomes. With a deep curiosity in culturally responsive teaching and neuroscience, she boldly holds authentic and compassionate space for people from many diverse backgrounds and experiences. Farai holds an M.F.A. from the I.A.T.T. at Harvard University.