Anti-racism in the Classroom:
3 Part Series with host Dimitria L. Cook
Dimitria L. Cook is the author of “Parents’ Playbook: Tips, Tweets, & Other Common Sense Advice” and “21 Reflections of the Inner Soul.” She has over 25 years of experience in the field of education, as a teacher, trainer, and leadership coach. She is a certified CalSAC (California School-Age Consortium) Trainer. Dimitria is also a poet and playwright who enjoys international traveling. Learn more about Dimitria at www.DimitriaCook.com
Equality vs. Equity
Having equal access is not synonymous with equitability. We want inclusive classrooms, yet how is this attained? One example I really love in understanding equality vs equity in the classroom includes access to technology. If an organization donates a laptop computer to every child in the classroom, this denotes equality. This is an amazing gift and families will appreciate having a device for their kids. It is a real possibility that many families may not be able to afford a new functioning computer. A missing piece from this equation is equity. Do all families have access to the internet in the home for their kids to use toward digital learning? How do we take an equal situation and create an equitable one? Maybe completing assignments on school campus where internet access is available to every child. Maybe the school sets up off site centers for kids to use the internet for assignments along with providing transportation to the sites for those students who need it. It is important to provide resources that fit the circumstances thereby creating equity.
I had the opportunity to discuss with Brittany Olayele, ESL professor and Dawn Johnson, past teacher and entrepreneur about systemic racism in the classroom and how to educate children in the classroom on the differences between equality and equity.
How is equity different from equality and why is it important in the framework of educating our kids around anti-racism?
Equality is being fair across the board with resources and access. Equity is distributing resources and access based on an individual’s needs.
Currently, systemic racism exists in the classroom. What does it look like, sound like, and feel like for educators and the kids? How do we as educators help dismantle it and create a more equitable classroom community?
Dawn As educators we can no longer hide behind feelings and emotions or fear. It is time that we get the parents involved starting from Kindergarten and bring up their concerns. We as educators have to inform our parents of things that aren’t right and challenge the system of education for change. The learning gaps are becoming farther apart especially in schools where the population of students are brown and black.
To hear more of their thoughts on equality vs. equity, listen to our discussion within the Moms Against Racism East Coast and West Coast Facebook groups.
Below are some resources that will help in understanding equality vs. equity.
5 Guidelines for Conscientious Communications:
Center for Story Based Strategy (A visual of Equality vs. Equity):