K-12 Education

Pursuing Social and Emotional Development Through a Racial Equity Lens: A Call to Action

May 9, 2018  • Education and Society Program

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Both equity and social, emotional, and academic development are currently receiving much-needed attention, but neither can fully succeed without recognizing strengths and addressing gaps in these complementary priorities. Rather than being pursued as two separate bodies of work, the field needs to identify ways in which equity and social, emotional, and academic development can be mutually reinforcing. To accomplish this requires examining issues of race directly; this can be difficult and uncomfortable, but we cannot avoid race and let the challenges go unacknowledged and, therefore, inadequately addressed.

For district leaders interested in implementing the changes recommended in the Call to Action, please see our new resource Pursuing Social and Emotional Development Through a Racial Equity Lens: 5 Strategies for System Leaders to Take Action.


The following individuals and organizations endorse the content of this brief and join the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program in a call to action to ensure education leaders actively integrate a culturally and racially responsive approach to social, emotional, and academic development in P-12 schooling.:

  • Whitney Allgood, National School Climate Center
  • Carol Allred, Positive Action, Inc.
  • Rahesha Amon-Harrison, NYC Department of Education
  • Alex Ariemma
  • Kay Augustine
  • Oscar Barbarin, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Alli Begel, Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin
  • Sheldon Berman, Andover Public Schools, Massachusetts
  • Kara Bobroff, Native American Community Academy
  • Marc Brackett, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
  • John Bridgeland, Civic Enterprises
  • Karen Bridges, Elk Grove Unified School District, California
  • Catherine Brown, Center for American Progress
  • Sara Burd, Reading Public Schools, Massachusetts
  • LaWanda Burgoyne, Capital School District, Delaware
  • Steve Canavero, Nevada Department of Education
  • Meria Carstarphen, Atlanta Public Schools
  • Shar Carter, Langston University
  • Sydney Chaffee, Codman Academy Charter Public School
  • Stephen Chang, The National Equity Project
  • LaShawn Chatmon, The National Equity Project
  • Velma Cobb, Touro College Lander Center
  • Jonathan Cohen, National School Climate Center
  • Baionne Coleman, Impact Public Schools
  • Melissa Copland, Fresno Unified School District, California
  • Donna Cross, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Illinois
  • Walter Da Luz
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, Learning Policy Institute
  • Marissa del Rosario
  • Nina Dibner, PowerTools
  • Itai Dinour, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust
  • Stephanie Drenka
  • Mary Driscoll, Boston Public Schools, Massachusetts
  • Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, Open Circle
  • Joan Cole Duffell, Committee for Children
  • Jeff Duncan-Andrade, San Francisco State University
  • Roberta Duvall, Washoe County School District, Nevada
  • Bren Elliott, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Dale Erquiaga, Communities In Schools
  • Camille A.  Farrington, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research
  • Jinni Forcucci, Delaware Teacher of the Year 2018
  • Deborah Forshaw, Children’s Services Council of Broward County, Florida
  • Denise Forte, The Century Foundation
  • Linda Gibbens, Urbana School District 116, Illinois
  • Nate Gibbs-Bowling, Lincoln High School
  • Libia Gil, Illinois State Board of Education
  • Merryl Gladstone
  • Malaika Golden, Aiton Elementary School, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Gregory Gomez, Leadership ISD
  • Danielle Gonzales, The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program
  • Kristi Greenaway Cirignano, Tacoma Public Schools, Washington
  • Sharolyn Griffith, Star Valley High School
  • Ashish Gupta
  • Zaretta Hammond, Transformative Learning Solutions
  • Mark Harmon-Vaught, KIPP NYC Public Charter Schools
  • Chris Harried, Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Kelly Hurst, Being Black at School
  • Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, University of Southern California
  • Leticia Guzman Ingram, Basalt High School
  • Coretta Jackson
  • Robert Jagers, University of Michigan
  • Kelly James, Education First
  • Nakia James-Jenkins, Girls Who Code
  • Raye Jones Avery, Christina Cultural Arts Center Inc.
  • Brad Jupp, Retired Educator
  • Lee Kappes, The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program
  • Mary Lammi, Needham Public Schools, Massachusetts
  • Linda Lantieri, CASEL
  • Wanda Legrand, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Laura Leighton, ZoomerangKidz
  • Jordan Lippman, The TeamBuilders Group
  • Lillian Lowery, The Education Trust
  • Tara Madden-Dent, Nevada Department of Education
  • Shanti Majefski, Greenhill School, Texas
  • Carmel Martin, Center for American Progress
  • Gail Mastropietro, Providence Public Schools, Rhode Island
  • Christy McGill, Nevada Department of Education
  • Eric Moore, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minnesota
  • Avrilios Moumoutjis, Broward County Public Schools, Florida
  • Aleta Myers, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia
  • Matt Nink, Global Youth Leadership Institute
  • Linda Noonan, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
  • Jessica Ochoa Hendrix, Killer Snails
  • Katie Olavarria, Prime Time Palm Beach County
  • Colin Orr, McQuaid Jesuit High School, New York
  • David Osher, American Institutes for Research
  • Susan Patrick, iNACOL
  • Antoinette Pearson, Eastern Michigan University
  • Andre Perry, The Brookings Institution
  • Mary Ann Pitcher, Network for College Success, The University of Chicago
  • Karen Pittman, The Forum for Youth Investment
  • Hugh Price, National Urban League
  • Kurtis Quig, Denver Public Schools, Colorado
  • Carrie Ramanauskas, Bridgeport Public Schools, Connecticut
  • Pamela Randall-Garner
  • Eliza Rankin, Seattle parent and advocate
  • Nilufar Rezai, Chicago Public Schools
  • Colin Rose, Boston Public Schools
  • Alyson Rotter, Kitsap Strong
  • Robert Runcie, Broward County Public Schools, Florida
  • Aaliyah Samuel, National Governors Association
  • Julia Sarmiento, Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • Theresa Saunders, Eastern Michigan University
  • Patricia Seidler
  • Shital Shah
  • Gisele C. Shorter, Social Innovation Engineer
  • Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics International
  • Dena N. Simmons, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
  • Priya Singhvi, Greenhill School, Texas
  • Marc Skvirsky, Facing History and Ourselves
  • Brooke Stafford-Brizard, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Claude Steele, Stanford University
  • Erik Stegman, The Center for Native American Youth at The Aspen Institute
  • Zoe Stemm-Calderon, Raikes Foundation
  • Ann Szekely, Schools That Can
  • Lyon Terry, Seattle Public Schools
  • Sharon Thomas, Colorado Springs School District 11, Colorado
  • Kim Traverso, Connecticut State Department of Education
  • Krista Tyler, Mom
  • Ash Vasudeva, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Craig Walters, Todd County School District, South Dakota
  • Elizabeth Warner, School Culture and Climate Initiative
  • Roger Weissberg, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Katie Welsh, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois
  • Ross Wiener, The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program
  • Jane Williams, DRIVE Educational System
  • Greg Wolcott, Woodbridge School District 68, Illinois
  • Carey Wright, Mississippi Department of Education
  • Vicki Zakrzewski, Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley