Our equity statement
What we believe.
It’s a simple idea, really. We believe what you look like, the language you speak, the income you earn, who you love, or what you believe should not be predictive of your educational or life outcomes. Social and cultural identities should not limit the opportunities of some, and deem limitless the opportunities of others. This is a basic principle of fairness.
And yet, this basic principle is missing from the blueprint of our education systems – not by coincidence, but by design. Underlying all of our institutions is a system of advantage created to secure and protect the wealth and power of white, heteronormative folks. The resulting oppression of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQ+ communities is both structural (think: policies, laws, financing, institutions) and cultural (think: ideas, beliefs, attitudes, norms), holding inequities firmly in place.
You may be wondering, which specific inequities is reDesign most focused on? These are a few of the big issues that keep us up at night.
Every learner deserves to be met right where they are.
No more penalizing learners for who they are, their lived experience, or how they learn. Human variability is not the exception; it’s the rule. It’s time to reimagine schools as learning communities and ensure every learner is affirmed and supported as they discover and develop their identities, passions, competencies, and sense of purpose in the world.
Every educator deserves world-class learning and support.
Our education system demands so much of our educators, but often with too little support. Just like young people, adult learners should have ongoing access to engaging, flexible, and competency-based learning experiences and pathways. New models should reflect the learning sciences, expand current ideas about who can be a certified teacher, and work to repair the harm of long-standing discriminatory policies and practices toward educators of certain cultural, racial, and gender identities.
Every community deserves equitable and empowering outcomes for all of their children.
Academic standards and curriculum need a major redesign. We need to get back to the drawing board to set learning goals that meet the demands of our rapidly changing world, reflect the values of the community, and advance equity. Curriculum and assessments should be designed to reflect how the brain and body naturally learn, develop, and improve, so that every learner can experience success.
Though these inequities persist, there is hope. All of us can play a part in reimagining the current blueprint, and co-designing new, liberatory learning systems deeply grounded in a clear, community-developed vision of equity and inclusion. For us at reDesign, it’s this vision that keeps us connected and inspired in our journey together:
All learners thriving in learner-centered communities that nurture competency, connectedness, and critical consciousness, as imagined by the collective.
What we do: Inside and Out.
At reDesign, we know that any positive impact outside of ourselves is only enabled and sustained through our own journeys of personal and organizational learning, change, and transformation. Below, we share our ongoing internal anti-racist work, followed by the work we do with clients and partners in the world to advance educational equity.
To support our internal efforts toward becoming a fully inclusive, anti-racist organization, reDesign:
- Continuously improves organizational structures, policies, and practices through transparent, inclusive decision-making and responsiveness to the diversity of worldviews and cultural assets of our team members
- Ensures our hiring, onboarding, and support systems are designed to expand diversity at reDesign and ensure reDesign is a place in which all staff, and particularly staff of historically excluded identities, can thrive
- Implements an internal competency-based adult development model to honor individual expertise, clarify the skills and practices that are essential to reDesign’s work, and employ a shared, consistent framework for learning, feedback, and growth, while dedicating resources to support ongoing professional learning
- Facilitates regular convenings for reDesigners to i) examine the impact of white privilege, implicit bias, and/or systems of oppression on their personal and professional lives at reDesign; ii) to develop skills, practices, and habits of mind necessary for actively participating in and contributing to reDesign’s anti-racism journey; and iii) establish collective civic actions to create opportunities to expand our impact as a team within our own communities and/or beyond our regular work
- Prioritizes BIPOC-led and women-led businesses when seeking external professional services
To support our efforts to advance equity, inclusivity, and anti-racism in the field of education, reDesign offers resources, programs, and design & coaching services that expand access to, and build capacity for, learner-centered communities. Specifically, we:
- Help examine, critique, and disrupt inequitable designs and practices, supporting the shift from a one-size-fits-all model to collaboratively designed learning models and programs that are affirming and responsive to learners’ needs, aspirations, and identities
- Advocate and support the development of inclusive and evidence-based policies, practices, and decision-making methods to ensure robust stakeholder representation, especially for those most often marginalized or underrepresented
- Support adult learning and systems-change efforts that prioritize individual and communal awareness-building, critical analysis, and reflective action that leads toward more trusting, positive relationships, more effective and transparent practices, and more value-aligned and collaborative learning environments
- Commit to public learning and sharing as part of our own anti-racism journey, sharing insights, challenges, and resources gleaned from our individual and collective experiences, while engaging in partnerships and field-building activities with women-led and BIPOC-led organizations that share a commitment to learner-centered communities
- Build collective knowledge of the contributions of historically underrepresented scholars and leaders while integrating and amplifying their work
REFERENCES: Our guides and inspiration ♥
Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization. © Crossroads Ministry, Chicago, IL: Adapted from original concept by Bailey Jackson and Rita Hardiman, and further developed by Andrea Avazian and Ronice Branding; further adapted by Melia LaCour, PSESD.
Dixson, A. D. (2006). What’s race got to do with it? Race, racial identity development, and teacher preparation (pp. 19–36). In H. R. Milner & E. W. Ross (Eds.), Race, ethnicity, and education: The influences of racial and ethnic identity in education. Westport, CT: Greenwood/Praeger.
Dixson, A. D., & Rousseau, C. K. (2005). And we are still not saved: Critical race theory in education ten years later. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 7–27.
Kendi, I. X. (2019). How to be an antiracist. First Edition. New York: One World.
Ladson-Billings, G., & Tate, W.F. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. Teachers College Record 97 (1), 47.
Ladson-Billings, G. (1998). Just what is critical race theory and what’s it doing in a nice field like education?, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 11:1, 7-24, DOI: 10.1080/095183998236863
Okun, T. & Jones, K. (2001). Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups.
Yosso, T. J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69-91.