SD Resources Roundup, Dec 2018: Equity Audit, Culturally Relevant Education & Boston Desegregation

It’s a busy time of year, so it felt like a good time for a short post about a few great resources that I’ve come across recently. I didn’t want these to get lost in the holiday and end-of-semester shuffle. And, if you happen to have time, check out the new resources page at the SD Notebook, which lists all previous resource-related posts, and/or search by topic at the new drop-down menu on the right side of the homepage. As always, hope you find something useful!

Beloved Community: Equity Audit

Beloved Community just released a free online equity audit that can be used by organizations of any size, type, field of work, etc. As they describe in this overview, the audit builds off previous equity evaluation tools by: including diversity, equity and inclusion in a single tool (see here for their definitions of each and for the standards that structure the tool), and considering both human resources as well as financial and operational resources. As they describe:

  • “The Equity Audit is informed by our DEI Standards and Indicators (DEISI) and requires leadership to consider the role of equity in their governance, finance, operations, program, pedagogy, and culture (adult culture and youth culture). In addition to addressing the key functions of any school or workplace, our Equity Audit assesses DEI for all of the key stakeholders in the organization.” See the picture below for each component of the audit framework. 
  • “We’ve designed this so that any type of organization — schools, district or network of schools, nonprofits, hospitality, manufacturing, large consulting firms, foundations, mechanics — everyone can take the Equity Audit and get guidance on their equity journey. We ask you a few key questions to describe your organization and then use that information to assign you with the most relevant indicators.”

They estimate that the audit itself should take about 45 mins, and the report is available for download immediately after. They then suggest holding a 2 hour meeting to present results to your team and to discuss the findings. As noted, the online tool is free; however, there is also the option to pay extra for a more detailed audit report as well as a consultation call with a Beloved Community team member. For more info on time, cost, use etc, they have a user guide to help you get started.

Equity Audit Framework from Beloved Community

NYU Metro Center: Culturally Responsive Education Stories

I was excited to find this- it’s visually engaging and rich with content. Here’s how it starts:

  • “When students are fully seen supported, and affirmed in their unique identities and experiences, they have the potential to go on and do great things.”

Yes and yes. The website then has a very detailed definition of culturally responsive education, which includes that CRE “fosters positive academic, racial and cultural identities; develops students’ ability to connect across cultures; empowers students and inspires them to fall in love with learning.” Then, there are two main components:

Beyond Busing: Boston School Desegregation Archive

This is a large digital archive of resources related to school desegregation in Boston. It covers the time period between the Brown decision, through the height of the Boston busing crisis in the early/mid-70s and up to the late 80s, when Boston’s desegregation order was transferred from court oversight to the city’s school committee. This came out last February, but I somehow just came across it recently. Especially since Boston’s response to desegregation was famously horrible and because it is my home city, I wanted to include it here. As the name implies, the archive is about more than the busing crisis. From the home page:

There is a lot to dig through, and I encourage you to take a spin if you have a few minutes. The archive itself contains more than 4,500 pieces and it’s growing all the time. There are also a number of useful supplementary resources. Here’s some of what you’ll find:

Teachers, graduate students, non-profit researchers, community organizers, curators of interest civil rights art exhibits (like this one) – dig in! As someone who’s based in the Boston area, I’ve seen how difficult it can be to talk about school integration here, given its brutal legacy. So, I find it especially hopeful when I find something that can help us learn from this difficult history and talk about what it means today.

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