With every passing year, it seems that our collective awareness of educational inequity is growing.
I say “collective” with some unease, because for people who belong to marginalized groups and others who have taken the time to educate themselves well on equity issues, the awareness has always been there. Equity work is not a trend; it’s not a new thing.
But the chorus that is raising awareness about equity issues is getting louder, because more voices are speaking on bigger platforms: More books are being published, more podcasts and films are being produced, and new forums, like Val Brown’s incredible Twitter chat, #CleartheAir, are helping to reach more people. I’m hearing more educators talking about issues like systemic racism, school pushout, and the opportunity gap, more educators seeking information about restorative practices, more educators who once upon a time might have assumed they weren’t part of the problem and suddenly realizing that, in fact, we all are.
And awareness is a good first step, but it’s not enough. We need to know what to do with that awareness, what actions we can take to move the needle toward justice.