Advancing Equity in Education for Black, Brown and Low-income Students

Cofounded in 2019 by Identity and the NAACP Parents’ Council, the Coalition’s mission is to ensure by 2025, all students, and particularly Black and Brown students, have equitable access to the resources, opportunities and supports they need to be successful in college, career, and life.

The Black and Brown Coalition harnesses the power of two historically disenfranchised communities who have not traditionally advocated together. By joining forces, the Black and Latino communities leverage the influence of 54% of the MCPS student body to push to undo the deeply embedded impact of systemic inequity.

The shuttering of schools in March 2020 only added urgency to the work. Recently, the Coalition partnered with the University of Maryland to illuminate the barriers to learning through interviews with students, families and educators from communities hardest hit by COVID-19. Read their report here.

These insights and the Coalition’s asks for equitable remediation, were revealed at the Coalition’s Virtual Accountability Forum in October of 2020, attended by 1,400 families. Read an editorial in Bethesda Magazine by Co-Founders Diego Uriburu and Byron Johns.

Demanding equitable access to resources and opportunities

These are the Coalition’s 5 “Asks” to address issues relating to achieving equity for underserved Black, Brown and low-income children.

Effective and Diverse Teachers 
In MCPS Black and Brown students, particularly from low-income families, spend more time with novice teachers than do their peers. We are asking for more equitable assignments of experienced and diverse teachers both between and within schools.

Effective and Diverse Leaders 
In MCPS, lower-income elementary and middle schools are much more likely to have novice principals. We know effective leaders are a result of skills, experience, and resources. It’s time for more experienced and diverse principals in high-needs schools to get the support they need.

Rigorous Coursework
In MCPS, far fewer Black and Brown students are enrolled in the most challenging courses, despite meeting the objective criteria. When advanced coursework opportunities are extended to Black and Brown students, and when teachers receive training and resources, these students thrive alongside their peers. We ask that all students be engaged in and supported to succeed in academically rigorous courses.

Accelerated Learning Opportunities  
All students, but particularly Black, Brown and low-income students whose communities have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, must have access to effective accelerated learning opportunities that can reverse learning loss and redress pre-existing opportunity gaps widened by the crisis.

Proactive Family Engagement 
Black, Brown, low-income students and their families need regular, proactive culturally and linguistically appropriate engagement to: (1) overcome environmental barriers that impede student success and (2) to elevate the voices of these most impacted communities that have previously been marginalized.

The Coalition now includes 30 Initiative Partners and growing.

Interested in learning more?  Visit the Coalition’s website

Identity is proud to act as fiscal sponsor for the Black and Brown Coalition and accepts restricted donations and grants on their behalf.