Why I’m Comfortable Talking About Equity

Type: Article
Topics: Equity, Leadership Development, School Administrator Magazine

August 01, 2022

My View

Diversity, equity and inclusion discussions are happening in schools across America as dedicated educators become aware of how our institutional systems help some students succeed more than others.

The school district where I work in southern California is engaged in the work now commonly known as DEI, driven by school board policy that pledges us to “eradicate institutional bias.” Our district’s equity work involves every staff member, with all participating in three professional learning sessions during the past school year. Because I co-facilitate these sessions, I often am asked, “How are you so comfortable talking about race and equity issues?”

Throughout the last decade, I have made a concerted effort to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion as it relates to K-12 education. I was prompted by a professor in my doctoral program who taught a course on cultural proficiency that opened my eyes to my own privileges as well as the systemic injustices within our education system.

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Amy Illingworth

Assistant superintendent of educational services

Encinitas (Calif.) Union School District

This column is adapted from the author's blog, Reflections on Leadership and Learning.