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Equity Literacy: More Than Celebrating Diversity

Equity literacy means more than hosting multicultural arts-and-crafts fairs or diversity assemblies. It involves real conversations about issues like racism, economic inequality, sexism, homophobia and ableism.

“Follow me and I’ll show you the problem,” John said as he rushed past me into the hallway. We moved quickly down a broad corridor past a
diversity-themed student art display. The Dean of Students at a suburban high school — I’ll call it Green Hills High — John was delighted as the student body grew more racially and economically diverse. Once populated almost exclusively by middle-class white students, Green Hills now drew from an expanding low-income Hmong refugee community. Meanwhile, due to gentrification in a nearby urban center that left many poor and working-class families priced out of neighborhoods where some had lived for generations, the percentage of African American students was rising steadily at the school.

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