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Deep Equity

with Gary Howard

The 5 Phases of Deep Equity

The Deep Equity framework, based on the work of Gary Howard, helps schools and districts establish the climate, protocols, common language, and common goal of implementing culturally responsive teaching practices.

The framework is divided into 5 phases:

Phase 1: Tone and Trust

  • Build a climate of constructive collaboration and transcend the rhetoric of shame and blame.
  • Get tools to help you gather real-time data about the climate of your school.
  • Learn how to engage educators in open conversations about persistent inequities.

Phase 2: Personal Culture
and Personal Journey

  • Define cultural competence and connect it with student outcomes.
  • Lack how lack of inclusivity in school climate can cause both adults and students to bring less than their full energy and focus to the classroom.
  • Get tools to start action-research processes for strengthening the cultural competence of each adult in the school.

Phase 3: Social Dominance
to Social Justice

  • Explore issues of privilege, power, and difference.
  • Link issues of dominance to current educational inequities.
  • Get tools that identify inequities in your school/district and elicit strategies for addressing those inequities.

Phase 4: Classroom Implications
and Applications

  • Honor professionalism and the good intentions of the team, while critically examining how some of their own behaviours and beliefs may be getting in the way.
  • Learn which classroom interactions are most effective in reaching the full spectrum of diverse learners using the 7 Principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching.

Phase 5: Systemic Transformation/
Planning for Change

  • Identify organizational barriers to equity and apply a three-stage model for organizational transformation.
  • Get tools that help you plan and implement a 3-5 year initiative.
  • Customize an evaluation design to track students outcomes and organizational growth.


The Deep Equity program is designed to reduce and eventually eliminate disproportional suspension, expulsion, and disciplinary referral rates based on the belief that such policies and practices are symptomatic of institutional biases and norms that must be directly challenged through systemic, ongoing, and authentic work. By engaging in the program, educators will learn to dismantle educational disparities through their own sustained, collaborative efforts, and courageous leadership. Check out the JCPS case study to see Deep Equity in action.

Contact us for more program information or to request a comprehensive PD proposal.