Equity at DCPS means creating an environment in which we eliminate opportunity gaps, interrupt institutional bias, and remove barriers to academic and social success, particularly for students of color. To promote equity, DCPS will provide access, inclusion, and affirmation, offering the most support where the greatest disparities have persisted.
Who Are We?
DCPS works to define, understand and promote equity so that we can eliminate opportunity gaps and systematically interrupt institutional bias. The Equity Strategy and Programming team supports DCPS’ equity priority by leading both adult and student facing work in order to address and rectify our district’s equity gaps. We also work to ensure that our students farthest from opportunity are provided with opportunities, skills, and engagements that support their success. Lastly, our team aims to center equity as a central lens and practice for all DCPS staff, partners, and stakeholders.
Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
At DCPS, we believe anti-racist educators must commit to taking individual and collective action to dismantle racism. The DCPS’ Equity Framework describes this as making shifts in individual identity and mindsets and practice, as well as collective culture and policy building.
Anti-Racist Educator University
Anti-Racist Educator University (ARE-U) is not a random act of equity. It is a strategic lever aligned to the district’s broader value of equity as a value and strategic priority. ARE-U provides DCPS staff with shared learning rooted in anti-racism. This offering is unique in that it applies pillars of anti-racism and the DCPS Equity Framework with action through Context Experts, Professional Learning Communities and Micro-Credentialing. PLUs and certification are available at no cost to DCPS staff. Sign up to participate today*.
*This form must be accessed using a DC Public Schools staff email account.
The Equity Framework[PDF] is a living document that communicates clearly how we define equity in DCPS and how we pursue it. Equity at DCPS means creating an environment in which we eliminate opportunity gaps, interrupt institutional bias, and remove barriers to academic and social success, particularly for students of color. To promote equity, DCPS will provide access, inclusion, and affirmation, offering the most support where the greatest disparities have persisted. Read more about equity at DCPS[PDF].
Responding to Incidents of Hate and Bias
No matter the intent, report the incident.
DCPS does not tolerate incidents of hate or bias among or towards students, staff or the community. For a more details on responding to incidents of hate and bias in DCPS, review the DCPS protocol for responding to incidents of hate and bias and watch this Title VI: Race-Based Discrimination Training. This video must be accessed using a DC Public Schools staff email account.
What is a bias incident?
Conduct, speech or expression motivated, in whole or in part, by bias or prejudice. (Source: Teaching Tolerance)
What is a hate crime?
Refers to a crime—vandalism, physical assault, arson, etc. – motivated, in whole or in part, by bias, and the targeted individual or group must be listed in the statutes as a protected class. If you suspect a hate crime, please report it here. (Source: Teaching Tolerance)
What should I do if I experience, witness or hear about an incident of hate or bias within my school community or team – either virtually or in-person?
No matter the intent, report the incident. You should report the incident to your principal if it is school-based or to your supervisor if it is Central Office-based.
You can also report the incident directly to the Comprehensive Alternative Resolution & Equity (CARE) Team if it involves a student or the Office of Labor Management & Employee Relations (LMER) if it involves a staff member.
Flagging Culturally Insensitive Curriculum and Content
The Office of Teaching and Learning is working to review and update all DCPS curriculum and content for cultural responsiveness to ensure the content is developed and delivered from an anti-racist lens.
As this work continues, we acknowledge that there are still areas of curriculum that need to be updated immediately to provide our students with the learning experience they deserve.
Please use this form to flag curriculum and content* for the Office of Teaching and Learning. A representative from the content team will follow-up with you in 24-48 business hours to address this concern.
*This form must be accessed using a DC Public Schools staff email account.
Equity Strategy Work
The Equity Strategy and Programming team addresses inequities through four areas of our equity lens:
- Policy: Supporting schools in responding to incidents of hate and bias
- Identity and Mindsets: Providing continuous professional development opportunities for school-based and Central Office staff to increase their capacity as equity leaders.
- Practice: In collaboration with the Office of Teaching and Learning, we developed a LEAP Foundations training module to build teachers’ culturally and socially awareness.
- Culture: Providing individualized equity support to approximately 25 percent of DCPS schools, including support to school-based Equity Committees and supporting the development and implementation of school equity plans.
To learn more about our work and impact, read our DCPS Equity Infographic.
Examples of Excellence in Equity
Review these videos to hear firsthand from DCPS principals as they share their journey to equity including what equity means to them and their school communities as well as their approach to anti-racism through an adaptive equity lens.
DCPS Standing Ovation for Equity Finalists Discuss What Equity Means to Their School Communities
Wheatley Education Campus, Standing Ovation for Equity Winner
Columbia Heights Education Campus, Standing Ovation for Equity Finalist
Walker-Jones Education Campus, Standing Ovation for Equity Finalist
Equity Student Programming
The Equity Strategy and Programming team also address this work by consistently creating a safe, affirming and empowering space for students of color to build community, confidence and leadership skills. Our goal is to provide tailored programming so that students of color are engaged, empowered, and equipped to be leaders and change agents who positively influence their community and the world. Our work takes place within our two major initiatives, Empowering Males of Color (EMOC) & Reign: Empowering Young Women as Leaders.
- EMOC: Programming that ensures that male students of color receive tailored, academic and personal supports in the form of mentoring, enrichment opportunities, social emotional learning (SEL), specialized experiences, and positive behavioral interventions
- Reign: Programming that focuses on creating spaces for young women of color to build community, confidence, and leadership skills, while also focusing on identity and health and wellness.
The Male Educators of Color Collaborative (MEOCC) Advisory Group aims to support ongoing personal, and professional development for DCPS self-identified male educators of colors. The MEOCC Advisory Group works to provide strategic sessions and networking opportunities throughout the year. Our goal is to build community and provide spaces to engage with our fellow male educators of color.
Equity Action and Advisory Committee
The Equity Action and Advisory Committee is a safe space dedicated for anti-racist educators who:
- Increase the will and skill of equity champions in schools and Central Office to eliminate opportunity gaps and disrupt institutional bias
- Create tangible resources to build capacity of school and Central Office Equity Teams leading this work from an adaptive lens
- Guide teams in leveraging a problem-solving approach to identifying and addressing inequities informed by qualitative and quantitative data.
- If you are interested in joining this committee, please email [email protected].
Equity Programming Impact
A few highlights:
- Since 2016, EMOC and Reign have reached more than 2,300 students across 40 schools
- More than 2,000 DCPS staff have participated in Courageous Conversation training
- Our Manager, Lizz Rene, was honored with 2019 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Equity
- Hosted three annual We the Girls Leadership Conferences reaching more than 1,000 students, educators and families
- In SY19-20 more than 3,000 students and staff were engaged in offerings provided by our team
Equity Strategy and Programming Team Resources
- DCPS Equity Framework
- Exploring Your School Landscape from an Equity Lens Worksheet
- DCPS Glossary of Definitions
- Recommended Readings and Resources for Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism
- Reflection Protocol for Processing George Floyd with Staff
- Preparing to Discuss Race and Police Violence in the Classroom
- Resource List - Talking With Your Child About Race[PDF]
- FAQ: Norms for Inclusive and Equitable Synchronous Learning
- School Equity Planning Guide
- Curriculum Review Thought Catcher
- Curriculum Review Pre-work Recommendations
- Share Your Equity Journey with DCPS
- Comprehensive School Planning: Equity in Every Domain
- DCPS Equity Infographic
Webinars and Pre-Recorded Content
- Continuing the Journey: Processing Recent Racism through an Equity Lens
- Mindfulness as an Equity Practice
- “Ending Curriculum Violence,” keynote with Dr. Stephanie Jones, founder of ‘Mapping Racial Trauma in Schools,’ is an assistant professor of education at Grinnell College.
- "Anti-Racism in Curriculum" keynote with LaTrice Lyle, founder of EDquity Consulting
- “Addressing Curriculum Violence through Anti-Racism" – by Dr. Stephanie Jones
- "Building an Actively Anti-Racist School Climate and Culture" - by LaTrice Lyle, founder of EDquity Consulting
- "From Theory to Practice - Equity Improvement Network (Cluster V's Journey)" by Lee Teitel of Harvard RIDES
- Equity Plenary and Panel for DCPS New Educator Orientation 2020