Discussion for Ch1: From Equity Talk to Equity Walk

As we prepare for the first reading group meeting to be held on May 27th, we will be asking you to think about these two questions:

  • How do you define equity?

  • How does your institution define equity?

You can post your answers here and/or wait until we meet on Thursday as a group to discuss.

Hello! Welcome to the first week of our EDI Reading Club. Tonja Conerly, from San Jacinto College and one of our facilitators this week, introduces you to the book we’ll be reading this summer: From Equity Talk to Equity Walk.

link to video

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You know, my organization’s “tagline” is “Ensuring Equity through Collaboration.” A group of stakeholders across Texas created that in a strategic planning process two years ago. But we never actually discussed what equity is! I think we all just assumed that we knew – but that is a problematic assumption, right?

I like this quote that connects equity to justice: " Equity is a solution for addressing imbalanced social systems. Justice can take equity one step further by fixing the systems in a way that leads to long-term, sustainable, equitable access for generations to come." [Source: Equity vs. Equality: What’s the Difference? | Online Public Health]

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At my institution, Montgomery College, I’m equity talking and equity walking. I do this in a number of different ways, which I can share more during the actual book club meeting on May 27. In a nutshell, as a Department Chair, I provide my faculty with the space to allow for a decolonization of their pedagogy and curriculum through support and resources. I also co-founded an open pedagogy fellowship (United Nations SDG Open Pedagogy Fellowship) which provides a formal network for partnering institutions and resources for faculty fellows to create renewable assignments (OER) around global justice and student community engagement. These efforts align with my institution’s strategic plan, which allows for sustainability and scalability.

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That is amazing, Shinta! I look forward to learning more.

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These are the definitions that Red Rocks Community College uses:

Diversity: the broadest spectrum of humanity which include individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations)

Inclusion: Active, intentional, and ongoing efforts to create a culture of belonging where individuals feel welcome, valued, and supported

Equity: the creation of opportunities, systems, and structures which remove barriers and close gaps in outcomes for those from historically underrepresented groups. (In order to preserve the racial justice roots of the term equity, and because we know that our students of color experience gaps in outcomes as compared to our white students, our primary lens of equity analysis is through race. However, we also are committed to ending other forms of inequity, such as inequity based on socioeconomic status, gender identity, etc.)

Equity-Mindedness: “The term ‘Equity-Mindedness’ refers to the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students, and critically reassess their own practices. It also requires that practitioners are race-conscious and aware of the social and historical context of exclusionary practices in American Higher Education.” Equity Mindedness | Center for Urban Education | USC

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FYI this week on Thursday (June 3) there is a Future Trends Forum discussion with Dr. Tia Brown McNair, author of our book club reading, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk

Hosted by Bryan Alexander, in the session:

I plan on asking Dr. McNair which strategies best help marginalized students succeed in higher education. What did the past year’s extraordinary events - the COVID-19 pandemic and the national mobilization against racism - illuminate about academic and equity?

More importantly, you will have the chance to ask your own questions. After all, the way the Forum works is that all attendees can ask our guests questions, engage and collaborate with other leaders in education technology, and also invite friends and colleagues to join.

Sign up here https://shindig.com/login/event/mcnair

Thanks for sharing. I just registered!

Is there a discussion thread for Chapter Two started yet? Just wondering if for some reason I am not seeing it.

You haven’t missed the next chapter discussion yet. We’re going to start it soon. Thanks for asking!

Thanks, Quill, I appreciate it.