What does equity require of me?

By Tammie Causey-Konaté
February 2023
Multiple pandemics, including COVID-19, systemic racism, and the opioid crisis, and other international emergencies have laid bare longstanding inequities that have made access to a high-quality education out of reach for too many historically marginalized students. Moreover, research reveals that education leaders often perpetuate, even if unintentionally, the very inequities that the public relies on them to dismantle (Khalifa, 2018; Theoharis, 2009; Green, 2016). We need to reform and reinvent the education systems and practices that we have inherited. To do so, education leaders must commit to enacting a bold vision of all — not just some — students thriving. They need opportunities and support to develop and implement that vision. The “Do the Right Thing” Equity Inquiry Cycle is a systems approach to professional

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Causey-Konaté, T.M. (2018). Sankofa crossing: To Katrina and back. In T.M. Causey-Konaté & M. Montgomery-Richard (Eds.), Called to Sankofa: A narrative account of African Americans leading education in post-Katrina New Orleans. Peter Lang Publishing.

Espino, M. (2018). Positionality as prologue: Encountering the self on the journey to transforming Latina/o/x educational inequities. Teachers College Record, 120(14), 1-16.

Green, T.L. (2016). School as community, community as school: Examining principal leadership for urban school reform and community development. Education and Urban Society, 50(2), 111-135.

Khalifa, M.A. (2018). Culturally responsive school leadership. Harvard Education Press.

King, J. (2017). Morally engaged research/ers dismantling epistemological nihilation in the age of impunity. AERA 2015 Presidential Address. Educational Researcher, 46(5), 211-222.

Nkulu-N’Sengha, M. (2005). African epistemology. In M.K. Asante & M. A. Mazama (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Black studies (pp. 39-44). Sage.

Theoharis, G. (2009). The school leaders our children deserve: Seven keys to equity, social justice, and school reform. Teachers College Press.

Senior Technical Assistance Consultant at American Institutes for Research (AIR) | + posts

Tammie Causey-Konaté ( is educational equity senior advisor & senior technical assistance consultant, Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at the American Institutes for Research.

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