School Equity Action Kit

published by Courtney Macavinta

Want to create a visual like this?

Get Started
Action List
to protect and serve in America
after the Women's March
You, a concerned U.S. resident or citizen.
Quality education can be the largest social justice program in the U.S.—and it's a right. Many of our most vulnerable residents are enrolled in K-12 public schools.
has been the #1 place where hate incidents have occured nationwide
Since Nov. 8, 2016:
Black 3.5X
Latino 2X
suspension rate compared to white students
they are 3x more likely to enter the justice system
7 million+ boys and girls are suspended from school each year
Black and Latino students are pipelined into analysis of data from the Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection
51% of U.S. public school students are minorities
# of school sites where 90% of students are White vs. Black/Latino
just 6.6% of the nations's publicly funded school sites
which are also under-resourced
Amid these challenges, graduation rates for Black, Latinos and Native American students already are
16 to 19% lower than whites
Action List
Use our template (below) to provide resources and drive equity via policies, practices and programs. This is about showing them that you're a concerned community member—and watchdog. If you're not sure how to respond to their reply, email us: [email protected]
5 mins.
Email your school district superintendent and local school principal
Provide a Respect 360™ Toolkit + Training for a school
2 mins.
Like our pages on Facebook to stay updated on new actions
Post on your social media accounts
U.S. schools are segregated and bigotry is on the rise. Take action: #respect4students @BeingBlackAS @therespectinst
Request an Equity Report for your school
Find out how your school is doing in regards to equity, including special education.
Send directly to your school of choice, or email [email protected] to be matched with a school.
Fund the next phase of the work
Now more than ever, frontline educators will have to create safe classrooms. Ri is developing an app to help them combat burnout, use restorative practices to repair harm, reduce school suspensions, and access social-emotional learning tools to cultivate empathy among students.
Complete the online training, receive your toolkit, connect with a local school, offer to lead the program under their adult volunteer guidelines, and reach out to us for extra support. Use "Be of Service" cards in the toolkit to guide students through a 7-step process to create a social change project on campus.
Lead a Respect 360 program for students or faculty
Membership provides students the opportunity to get involved in social justice and advocacy work, give back to their community through service learning projects, participate in leadership roles, and connect with a national network of like-minded individuals. Teachers and parents can serve as advisors.
Start a BBASxYour City Chapter
Join the BBAS policy movement
Empower students, parents and educators to make the school system a safe place for Black children.
Spread a new definition of respect
"Re-spect" at its root means "to look again" and is foundational to social justice and building empathy for vulnerable youth.
Follow education news
Set up news alerts regarding the Department of Education, your state department of education, and your local school district. Use keywords like "school suspension" and "school funding" and "school equity."
Sometimes they're dull! But you will learn about the priorities and funding decisions. You can make public comments. And one day, we hope it's you who will run—with an equity agenda.
Go to School Board Meetings
If you have kids, or mentees, use the Zinn Education Project to teach them about those who fought for equity and respect before us—they'll get a better history lesson than they might be getting in school.
(re)Educate your children
Provide resources to local teachers
Equity is also about resources. Many caring teachers don't have what they need to teach and nurture our most vulnerable youth. Go to and select Show Only "Highest Poverty" to provide supplies to classrooms.
roll over text for links
Will complete and distribute nationwide reports—Being Black at School in the U.S. and A+ Equity Schools to look at equity for all minorities. It's expanding BBASxYourCity to more regions and will release a new curriculum, "Anti-Racism and Cultural Competency 101."
Dear XX, I live within the XX school district and I'm passionate about our public schools. I wanted to connect to provide you with several resources that I feel would be of great value to your school(s) to ensure equity for all students (i.e. getting what they need, when they need it). I also have a few questions I was hoping you could answer: EQUITY Do you have an equity policy? Can you forward it to me? Or if you need support with your policy and practices, there is a great organization,, that can help. SUSPENSION DATA Do you post online the number of students suspended or expelled? And reasons for expulsion? If students of color are being suspended at disproportionate rates, what are you doing about it? For example, have you explored research- and evidence-based methods such as positive discipline, restorative practices and educator empathy building? To learn more about improving school climate and educator practices to end the school-to-prison pipeline, contact: GIRLS OF COLOR Girls are the largest growing juvenile justice population--and this is directly linked to school suspensions (OJJDP). According to National Women's Law Center: In general, schools suspend Black, Latina and American Indian/Alaskan Native girls at higher rates than white girls. Black girls are 5.5 times more likely to be suspended from school as white girls (USDOE Office for Civil Rights). "They suspend girls for minor stuff—like going against strict dress codes or 'talking back," writes NWLC. Have you reviewed the following toolkit by the center? It details how to take inventory of your policies to make sure girls of color aren't being unfairly pushed out of school. For more resources, go to: CIVICS and U.S. HISTORY CURRICULUM I'd encourage you to take inventory of your curriculum. Expand your pedagogy to teach the *actual* history of our country. For example, do you teach about the deep, long-lasting effects of slavery, which founding fathers were slave owners, and who resisted abolition and later the Civil Rights Movement? Are you exposing the other "hidden figures" who shaped our nation: scholars, inventors, authors or leaders who are not white men? Do you cover the historically marginalized, those who are: African American, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern, LGBTQ, of color, immigrants or disabled Americans—for starters? To lesson plan, your team could read: "Race and Education: A Primer of Issues and Dilemmas." And this is a rich, yet free curriculum resource: I appreciate the time you've taken to consider my thoughts on how to improve school equity, and hope you reply. And I'd love to support any changes that are needed to improve equity in our [school or district]. Please add me to the distribution list for public meetings and I'll be there. Sincerely, XX Address Phone Email
SAMPLE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP LETTER (cut and paste from below)