The Equity in Education Coalition presents our Decolonizing Education Conference a multi-day gathering – to advance the education community’s understanding of and practices around anti-racism and equity.
Bringing together educators, parents, students, school board members, legislators, education advocates, and community-based organizations, this conference will thoroughly examine the intersection of racism in education and intentionally center the voices, experiences, and expertise of people of color – Native/Indigenous, Black, and Immigrant/Refugee.
Through this conference we will: 1) share tools and create networks to make decolonizing education possible; 2) develop participant understanding of anti-racism and equity; 3) position EEC as a megaphone and vehicle; and 4) mobilize advocates for future actions.
By the end of the 3 days, EEC aims to animate organizing, advocacy, and policymaking strategies, in Washington and nationwide, that work to undo institutional racism in educational systems.
The Decolonize Education Conference is intended to be an in-person event, with appropriate COVID-19 precautions in place; however, EEC is 100% prepared for hosting a virtual conference as well. Pandemic or not, the Decolonize Education Conference will go on!
The Equity in Education Coalition
The EEC is founded, led, and staffed by people of color. We believe our state cannot and will not end the opportunity gap without hearing the voices of black and brown people on education issues, and we are the platform for these voices.
Why Equity in Education Matters
Historical understanding of the educational system informs us that public education was never tasked to educate all. We aim to eliminate the institutionalized racism and classism of the public education system because we believe that each and every child in our state deserves access to high-quality education.
This is no small task. Washington has one of the largest and persisting opportunity gaps in the country, meaning that barriers to academic opportunity for kids from low-income communities and communities of color are still so great that we can effectively predict a child’s grades based on their race, family’s income level, and zip code.
We don’t doubt the opportunity gap exists in Washington:
- Inequitable funding between low-income schools and high-income schools within the same school district creates a system of separate and unequal educational opportunities.
- Rising rent and mortgage prices have created a poverty flight from Seattle to other areas of King County. This creates housing instability, upheaval of a student’s normal regiment and misunderstandings of poverty trauma among teachers.
- Racial disparities within disciplinary practices in school buildings and school districts show that black and brown students get disciplined more often for the same infractions than their white counterparts – causing black and brown students to be out of the classroom more often.
The barriers to opportunity that our kids face cause them to fall behind in school, jeopardizing their future success.