"The persistence of the educational achievement gap imposes on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession."

– McKinsey & Co.

Welcome to day 7

Topic: Education Equity

Take the time to learn how systemic racism impacts education and creates barriers for children across Greater Atlanta in reaching their fullest potential.

Reminder, no matter who you are or where you are on the journey, you will not be perfect. Try to digest the information slowly and go at your own pace. Allow time for reflection and avoid feeling pressured to tackle everything.

In 1954, the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education effectively dismantled the legacy of Jim Crow. The Justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Unfortunately, progress is reversible. Even the schools that were successfully desegregated are again racially segregated.

Today, more than half of the nation’s school-aged children are in racially concentrated districts in which over 75% of students are of the same race, and districts are further segregated by income. Race remains a major predictor of a child’s trajectory in life — a reality reinforced by nearly every measure of child well-being. The Child Well-Being Index can be a proxy for racial disparities across Greater Atlanta.

Challenge Menu

Get Georgia Reading Beyond 2020 Summit

Want to know more about the connection between education and child well-being? Check out this video where Ellyn Cochran, Associate VP of Early Learning and Development, explains some of United Way of Greater Atlanta’s work and strategy to help close gaps in third-grade reading performance. (13 minutes)


How Does Systemic Racism Impact Education?

Systemic racism affects every area of life in the U.S. From incarceration rates to predatory loans, trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our systems. Here is a closer look at what systemic racism is, and how we can solve it. (4 minutes)

5 Steps for Liberating Public Education from Its Deep Racial Bias

It takes more than academics to close the education equity gap. Changing the mindset of teachers, acknowledging the hostility in the community and creating a welcoming atmosphere are crucial elements of engaging students of color in learning. This article helps to understand what educators and community advocates can do.

Evolving Our Narratives about Race in Schools

Teaching While White seeks to move the conversation forward on how to be consciously, intentionally, anti-racist in the classroom. Teaching While White wants to have conversations about those assumptions: what they are, how they impact our students, and how we can confront our bias to promote racial literacy.

Lifting While We Climb: Learn about the activism of educator Mary Church Terrell

Listen, walk and re-energize with this podcast episode from Girl Trek. Mary Church Terrell was an educator, writer, political campaigner and activist who played a vital role in every major movement to advance the rights of Black people in this country, including suffrage, anti-lynching and desegregation. Coining the term “lifting while we climb,” Mary Church Terrell was one of the first Black women in the U.S. to earn a college degree and later went on to help found the NAACP and the National Association of Colored Women.

Launch a social media campaign.

Social media is a great way to share tools, research and resources with key influencers to help advocate for equity in education. And do not forget to make it personal. Lawmakers, leaders, neighbors and friends respond better when you share your personal voice. Get more tips in pages 9 – 11 of this guide on how to be an advocate for education equity.

For Reflection