Build Equity, Join Justice: A Paradigm for School Belonging (The Norton Series on Inclusive Education for Students with Disabilities) (Paperback)
A playbook for designing schools where no student is marginalized.
Educators all over the country are waking to a collective realization: The hope and compassion they have for their students is not enough to counteract the inequitable policies and practices of the school system. Students and communities who have been historically disenfranchised along lines of race and disability continue to face predictable barriers to opportunity and independence.
In Build Equity, Join Justice, the authors present a new path forward that leads away from deficit-focused policies and toward strengths-based practices. The authors’ ten equity-advancing principles, based on the groundbreaking work of the SWIFT Education Center in multiple school districts, are designed to address the learning needs and social concerns of all students without requiring them or their advocates to “ask permission” to be included. Complete with practical tools and reflective activities throughout, this book empowers educators at every level to transform their schools into equity-advancing, justice-centered institutions.
About the Author
Amy McCart is a research professor with Life Span Institute, SWIFT Education Center, and adjunct faculty with the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas (KU). Dr. McCart is the codirector of KU’s SWIFT Education Center, a national pre-K–12 research and technical assistance center designed to improve outcomes for all students, with an emphasis on students of color and those with the most extensive need for support. She is the principal investigator for many Center research projects focused on enhancing student outcomes at the intersection of equity, inclusion, and MTSS by developing high quality, effective instructional leaders. Her partnership networks with SEAs, LEAs, and schools have promoted effective, integrated MTSS implementation from coast-to-coast. Dr. McCart continues to contribute to the field through presentations, consulting, coaching, books, and peer-reviewed journals on school transformation, MTSS, equity, and issues of social justice, to ultimately improve the lives of children.
Wade Kelly is the assistant director of content development for the Life Span Institute, SWIFT Education Center. Before taking his position with SWIFT, he wore many professional hats, including graphic designer, small business owner, lecturer, equity consultant, writer, and community organizer/collaborator. He believes deeply in the transformative and healing power of building solidarity across marginalized communities and their multitude of identity intersections, and he centers that belief in his work. His personal and professional praxis is steeped in the teachings of Black, queer, and Indigenous feminist writers from the 1960s to the present. He is a 2006 graduate of The University of Kansas.
Wayne Sailor is a clinical psychologist, professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas, and codirector of SWIFT Education.
Build Equity, Join Justice is a profound guide to equity-based MTSS. Use of the SWIFT 10-Point Paradigm leads the reader through powerful discourse surrounding power and privilege and how they interact to shape student experiences and produce lifelong outcomes. With highly relevant examples, activities, and handouts, readers are directed through the journey, from the current state of education for marginalized children and adolescents to the immediate action required in schools, to initiate meaningful change and improve education for all students.
— Denise K. Whitford, associate professor of special education, Purdue University College of Education
Build Equity, Join Justice offers instructors at every educational level a revolutionary approach to equitable, inclusive, and critical pedagogical practices that can be implemented right away. McCart, Kelly, and Sailor’s 10-Point Paradigm brilliantly draws out the intersecting material, affectual, and intellectual structures that best promote justice, equity, and systems of radical care for students, instructors, and communities. I have never been more ready for the pedagogical shifts this text outlines, and I look forward to adopting these powerful and accessible praxes in my own learning communities.
— Joanna Davis-McElligatt, assistant professor of Black literary and cultural studies, University of North Texas
McCart, Kelly, and Sailor bring together philosophies created from the collective wisdom of our most marginalized communities, seeking to inspire educators with unique perspectives and tools to support and serve all students. They don’t just invite us to learn from their dreams, they challenge us to be coconspirators, comrades, and creators as we build new systems for learning. This is a must-read for those invested in the future of community care and schooling!
— Tatyana Younger, paraeducator and community activist
Build Equity, Join Justice is a must-read and a tangible contribution to the pursuit for equity and justice. Comprehensive in scope and unyielding in its pledge to build a more just educational system, this text is a call to action for educational leaders. The authors offer concrete tools to disrupt the current educational design and empower leaders to get it done. The work with SWIFT Center offers a model for practitioners that can be replicated in schools and districts.
— Stacey Wilson-Norman, EdD, chief academic officer, Cumberland County Schools, North Carolina
Many books about equity in education focus on theory, but not many provide us with practical solutions that bring us nearer to a theory of practice— or better yet, a practice of theory. Build Equity, Join Justice does just this. For those of us seeking hope and real strategies for transforming systems, we find in this book wisdoms for how to be maximally responsive to the needs of our children. This book is simultaneously technical in that it presents a paradigm for education justice and transformative in that it presents a vision for what happens on the other side of justice. Read it now.
— David E. Kirkland, founder and CEO, ForwardED