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Walking the Equity Talk

Walking the Equity Talk
A Guide for Culturally Courageous Leadership in School Communities

June 2012 | 408 pages | Corwin

Good intentions are not enough—create a bold new leadership paradigm to achieve equity in opportunities and outcomes!

If you're serious about providing a level playing field for all, it is time to do more than identify and lament the reasons for educational disparities and why they persist. John Robert Browne II shows how Culturally Courageous Leadership by all school community stakeholders can help you achieve equitable learning opportunities and outcomes for all students. This practical guide:

  • Shows how to develop realistic, data-based plans for putting equity initiatives into action
  • Helps district and school administrators work with teacher, parent, student, and community leaders to advance equity and excellence
  • Provides concrete examples of what it takes to empower staff and stakeholders through collaborative leadership
  • Offers tips on how to navigate the politics when addressing the interface between identity, race, culture, poverty, primary language, and achievement

School-based examples, role-play activities, profiles of educators exemplifying leadership for equity, "make it personal" questions, facilitator notes, and diagnostic assessments are provided so you can engage your entire school or district community in equity transformation. If you are ready to take on the challenge of becoming an "equity warrior," then Walking the Equity Talk will show you the path forward.

List of Figures, Charts, and Vignettes
About the Author
Introduction to the Guide
Section I: Leadership for Equitable Outcomes--It Takes an Entire Community
1. Identity, Teaching, and Learning
2. The Absence of Cultural Democracy
3. Grim Continuities
4. Rhetoric vs. Reality
5. Biases
6. Barriers
Section II: Culturally Courageous Leadership--A Paradigm for Contemporary Realities
7. A New Paradigm for the 21st Century
8. Seven Principles
9. Transformation and Politics
10. Stakeholder Practices
11. Promising Departures
12. Two Leadership Profiles
Section III: Making It Real
13. Defusing the Political Landmines
14. Three Equity Warriors
15. Practicing the "Equity Walk"
16. The Time Is Here, the Time Is Now
Appendix 1: Facilitator Notes for Chapters 1 Through 15
Appendix 2: Culturally Courageous Leadership Diagnostic Questionnaires

"If your work environment challenges you to step outside of your comfort zone, this book will help you to be successful there. It is relatively easy to be a leader when everyone sees one another through the same cultural lens. John Browne helps you to develop the understanding, attitudes, and behaviors of a leader who cares about results and seeks to engage effectively with the people who will deliver them. In this book you will be challenged, inspired, and encouraged as you work to become a culturally courageous leader."

Kikanza J. Nuri-Robins
Coauthor of Cultural Proficiency and Culturally Proficient Instruction

"John Browne makes an important contribution to the conversation about educational leadership for equity, presenting us with the inescapable challenge of becoming culturally courageous. Browne's work provides valuable insights into the complexity of the issues educational leaders must confront to create more equitable schools. He partners these insights with pragmatic, strategic approaches so that we might all be more culturally courageous leaders."

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Associate Professor
San Francisco State University

“This sorely needed book is an invaluable source of ideas, strategies, and insights for new, future, and practicing administrators who are interested in pursuing an equity agenda for their schools and districts.”

Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

 "Browne adds unique perspectives toward 'equity capacity building' for educational leaders and institutions in better meeting the learning needs of underachieving students of color and poverty, including compelling real-life examples of culturally courageous leadership, an impressive blend of theory and practice, and an analytical style that is action-focused."

Geneva Gay, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Washington

"Equity warriors everywhere will find this useful resource packed with effective strategies, user-friendly processes, and helpful tools."

Jennifer Frentress, Director of Teaching and Learning
Forest Grove School District, OR

"Browne answers practitioners’ 'So what?' and 'What now?' questions that arise after analyzing data. I highly recommend this book for teachers, counselors, site and district administrators, parents, and any other stakeholders interested in using data as a tool to identify gaps in access and opportunities for success in school and beyond."

Tonia Causey-Bush, Director of Research, Evaluation, and Accountability
CAHSEE Intensive Instruction and Services Program, Rialto Unified School District, CA
Key features
  • Proposes a bold, new leadership paradigm to address the barriers to achieving equity in today's diverse schools. 
  • Includes an array of probing questions and activities throughout the guide that require readers to critically reflect and to draw from prior knowledge and experience. 
  • Filled with examples and vignettes have been drawn from the authors' experience working with numerous large and small school districts as well as state departments of education

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