What Does Leading for Racial Justice Look Like?

Peter Dewitt
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
10 Minute Read
February 10, 2021

On Feb. 10, I had the pleasure of talking with Jennifer Cheatham from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and John Diamond from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on our Education Week show A Seat at the Table.

When participants register to view the live or on-demand show, they are able to input one question they would like me to ask our guests, and the questions they offered focused on many different facets of racial equity. The following are just some of the questions that were asked, and in the video that is linked below, our guests provided many very deep and impactful answers.

Some of the the questions were:

What is the best forum to have open discussions about equity to help develop a plan to create more equity?

What did you learn about leading for equity in Madison, known for its white brand of liberalism?

What are the particular issues that majority-white schools need to attend to when looking at equity and making improvements?

What are some of the ways we can measure the racial climate of our building without speculating about racial issues?

What are some important ways that individuals (especially those of us who are white) can become involved in their community to promote racial equity in schools?

My current district leadership is quite hesitant to take a deep dive into racial equity and cultural responsiveness. The hesitation takes the form of “we like the ideas but want to give school leaders the flexibility to define for their schools” and has severely slowed any change, policy, or procedure. I’m looking for strategies to lead up—engaging district leadership in being leaders of change, not sustainers of the status quo.

Peter DeWitt, "The Does Leading for Racial Justice Look Like? ", as originally published on EdWeek, 05-16-2022, https://www.edweek.org/events/live-online-discussion/a-seat-at-the-table-with-education-week-leading-for-racial-equity

Photo by Yasin Yusuf on Unsplash

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