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We Can't Lead Where We Won't Go - Book Cover Look Inside

We Can't Lead Where We Won't Go

An Educator's Guide to Equity

By: Gary R. Howard

From the leading voice in systemic equity reform, this guide anchors a new set of professional development materials addressing today’s educational inequities in race, gender and more.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781483352411
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2014
  • Page Count: 360
  • Publication date: September 09, 2014

Price: $329.95

Price: $329.95
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Bring the gold standard in equity-centered professional development to your school.

Gary R. Howard has secured his reputation as a powerful and effective voice in systemic equity reform. His writings and seminars confronting the most difficult issues of race and privilege in modern education have transformed teacher mindsets and improved outcomes for diverse students in America and abroad.

This guide is the cornerstone of a new set of professional development materials developed by Howard to address today’s educational inequities. Eschewing the punitive tone that often characterizes this dialogue in favor of a focus on the healing process, it includes:

  • Activities for educators to examine both their overt and hidden attitudes toward race, class, gender, sexual identity, and other dimensions of difference
  • Prompts for interacting with a companion set of insightful videos hosted by Howard
  • Techniques for peer observation that foster self-sustaining growth for every teacher
  • Seven Principles For Culturally Responsive Teaching that can be applied in any school
  • Over 9 hours of video footage of Gary Howard introducing and facilitating the program

As demographics continue to shift and educational inequities stubbornly persist, Howard's approach is critically needed in every school. By applying the tools and lessons of this guide, your school will become an example for others to follow. 

"Gary Howard has once again brought clarity and humanity to the work of improving schools for students of all backgrounds, not just for the most privileged. Although the majority of school reform efforts are devised by those outside schools who know little about public education—policymakers, politicians, business people, and philanthropists—those who suffer the consequences of current toxic reforms are principals, teachers, and students. This book, focusing instead on inclusion, equity, and excellence, is a principled guide for creating a more hopeful and socially just vision, one school at a time."
Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita

University of Massachusetts Amherst

"Hats off to Gary Howard. He has written and organized, in one much-needed volume, thoughtful tested activities for successful professional development centered on equity."
—Carl A. Grant, Professor of Education

University of Wisconsin Madison


Key features

(1)  A proven approach to promoting the professional growth of teachers relative to cultural competence and culturally responsive teaching as a springboard to improving equitable outcomes in schools and districts.

(2) Re-engages teachers and school leaders in the real work of improving their schools, particularly in those settings with a high percentage of our nation’s most marginalized students.

(3) Guides educators through a personal journey relative to race, culture, class, language, gender, sexual identity, and other dimensions of difference.

(4) Supports school leaders and their faculties in an examination of their actual practices, the real-time work of creating authentic and effective relationships with their diverse students.

(5) This powerful professional development program  features an original video series hosted by master educator and best-selling author, Gary Howard.


Gary R. Howard photo

Gary R. Howard

Gary R. Howard has more than 40 years of experience working with issues of civil rights, social justice, equity, education, and diversity, including 25 years as the Founder of the REACH Center for Multicultural Education. He is a key­note speaker, writer, and workshop leader who has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Australia. Mr. Howard completed his undergraduate work in Cultural Anthropology and Social Psychology at Yale University and did graduate work in ethics and social justice at Yale Divinity School. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at both Western Washington University and Seattle University.  

Mr. Howard has provided extensive training in cultural competence and culturally responsive practice to schools, universities, social service agencies, and businesses throughout the United States and Australia. He is the author of numerous articles on race, justice, and multicultural issues and has developed collections of curriculum materials that are being used internationally. His landmark book, We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers/Multiracial Schools (Second Edition, 2006), published by Columbia University, is considered a groundbreaking work examining issues of privilege, power, and the role of White leaders and educators in a multicultural society.  

The central focus of Gary Howard’s current work, which is docu­mented in We Can’t Lead Where We Won’t Go: An Educator’s Guide to Equity, is leading intensive Equity Leadership Institutes that provide educational organizations with the internal capacity to deliver high quality professional development for social justice and sys­temic change. Mr. Howard is frequently asked to deliver keynote addresses at regional and national conferences. In these presentations he draws on a wide range of experiences and travel exploring diversity and social justice issues with leaders from many cultures around the world. Mr. Howard’s speeches employ rich imagery and stories drawn from his annual white water equity workshops on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Manual Introduction

Orientation to the Professional Development Process

     Inclusion, Equity, Excellence

     Phases of the Work

     Levels of Engagement

Phase One: Tone and Trust

     Phase One Introduction

     Working Agreements

     Questions to Consider

     Cultural Bingo

     ¿Quienes Somos?

     Tone and Trust Assessment

Phase Two: Personal Culture and Personal Journey

     Phase Two Introduction

     Sharing Personal Culture

     Culture Toss

     Definition of Cultural Competence

     I Am From Poems

     Stages of Personal Growth

     Personal Growth Project

Phase Three: From Social Dominance to Social Justice

     Phase Three Introduction

     We, the People

     The Guessing Game

     Definition and Dynamics of Social Dominance

     From Social Dominance to Social Justice

     Privilege and Power School Assessment

     Focus on Race Conversation

     Shifting the Emotional Paradigm

Phase Four: Classroom Implications and Applications

     Phase Four Introduction

     School Outcomes Assessment

     Equity Environments that Work

     The Seven Principles for Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT)

     CRT Study Groups

     CRT Action Research

     Learning From and With Colleagues

     CRT Peer Observation Process

     Achievement Triangle

Phase Five: Systemic Transformation and Planning for Change

     Phase Five Introduction

     Dimensions of Growth

     Stages of Institutional Growth

     Catalysts for Transformation

     Organizational Kudos and Challenges

     Co-Responsibility Work Groups

     Dealing with Resistance

     Implementation Planning Guide

     Ideas for Integrating and Sustaining the Work

     Student Voices and Youth Equity Leadership

     Sample Research and Evaluation Design and Outcomes

Suggested Readings from Gary Howard

     As Diversity Grows, So Must We

     Speaking of Difference: Reflections on the Possibility of Culturally Competent Conversations

     Whites in Multicultural Education: Rethinking Our Role

     How We Are White

     School Improvement for All: Reflections on the Achievement Gap

     Dispositions of Good Teaching