Color of Education is a partnership between the Public School Forum of North Carolina, the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Sandra Wilcox Conway of Conway and Associates also provided key partnership design for Color of Education. The partnership seeks to build bridges across the fields of research, policy, and practice and bring together the knowledge and perspectives of communities, educators, policymakers, experts and other key stakeholders focused on achieving racial equity and dismantling systemic racism in education across the state of North Carolina.
The activities of the Color of Education partnership include: producing, reviewing, and translating academic research; conducting evidence-based policy analysis; and connecting, engaging, and learning from communities and stakeholders to inform best practices to address racial inequity within and outside of schools. Our annual summit brings together people from across the state and across sectors to share, connect, and collaborate with one another.
In October 2016, the Public School Forum of North Carolina published the final report from their Committee on Racial Equity, a central focus of the Forum’s Study Group XVI: Expanding Education Opportunity in North Carolina research. The Study Group’s Committee on Racial Equity report highlighted seven domains of racial inequity in education: school resegregation, the opportunity gap, teacher diversity, culturally responsive pedagogy, discipline disparities, overrepresentation of students of color in special education, and lack of access to advanced coursework for students of color. With the issue domains identified, the Forum began creating a pathway to move this work and the report’s findings forward in North Carolina.
Valuing the role of unbiased, evidence-based information in their theory of change model, in August 2017, the Public School Forum of North Carolina partnered with Policy Bridge at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy to seek ways to continue highlighting the seven domains by forming connections with Duke scholars working on issues of race, education and equity. With the hope that Duke’s scholarly insight would inform and strengthen the potential for improving policy and practice in the state, Policy Bridge began convening regular meetings between the Public School Forum and researchers from the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity, and other entities at Duke.
These research discussions continued into early 2018 by which there seemed to be a natural synergy between Public School Forum’s racial equity goals and the Cook Center’s mission to expand quality education by offering policy solutions that address inequality and its effects. In May 2018, the joint group agreed to pursue a long-term, shared initiative to combine their missions to create change on the seven domains in North Carolina, and Color of Education partnership was born. In 2020, the Center for Child and Family Policy at Sanford replaced Policy Bridge as a Color of Education partner organization.
About the Public School Forum of North Carolina
Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and nonpartisan champion of better schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow the Forum on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at http://www.ncforum.org/.
About the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
The Duke Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity is a scholarly collaborative engaged in the study of the causes and consequences of inequality and in the assessment and redesign of remedies for inequality and its adverse effects. Concerned with the economic, political, social and cultural dimensions of uneven and inequitable access to resources, opportunity and capabilities, Cook Center researchers take a cross-national comparative approach to the study of human difference and disparity. Ranging from the global to the local, Cook Center scholars not only address the overarching social problem of general inequality, but they also explore social problems associated with gender, race, ethnicity and religious affiliation. Follow the Cook Center on Twitter @DUSocialEquity and visit our website at https://socialequity.duke.edu/
About the Center for Child and Family Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy
The Center for Child and Family Policy pursues science-based solutions to important problems affecting today’s children and families. The Center emphasizes the bridge from research to policy and practice through an integrated system of research, teaching, service and policy engagement.
Center research has grown to include an array of projects that touch on critical child and family policy issues. Center faculty fellows include a trio of scholars who focus on the effect of economic distress on child development. Other fellows study early childhood, the development of risky behaviors, childhood mental illness and a wide range of education policy issues including school truancy, charter schools, teacher training and education reform efforts. Follow the Center for Child and Family Policy on Twitter @DukeChildPol and visit our website at https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/.
Achieving racial equity in education across North Carolina through building connections and engagement across fields of research, policy and practice.
We seek to achieve this mission by increasing the capacity of ourselves and others to address the following issues pertaining to racial equity in North Carolina schools:
- Opportunity gap
- Discipline disparities
- Culturally responsive pedagogy
- Diversity in teaching
- Overrepresentation of students of color in special education
- Lack of access to rigorous coursework and programs
We are working toward continued engagement with research, policy, and practice to improve the quality of education for Pre K-12 students of color from historically marginalized and underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in North Carolina. This vision for achieving racial equity in NC schools includes:
Students, parents, educators, and schools respect and meet the needs of students of color through valuing the perspectives and experiences of these students and their families within the school community.
School communities are welcome, nurturing spaces for students of color and values the racial/ethnic diversity of our society throughout its internal positions, structures, and practices.
All members of the broader community work to dismantle barriers to educational opportunity by confronting and acknowledging how racial discrimination influences uneven and inequitable access to resources and opportunities that would promote social mobility for students of color.
This is a vision where students love school and schools love their students, where the impact of improved racial equity is observed through improved academic performance and emotional, social, and physical well-being of all children in North Carolina.
Color of Education, an initiative of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, and the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University, has formed a Guiding Committee to help shape their efforts around racial equity and education.
The Guiding Committee is co-chaired by Dr. Keisha Bentley Edwards, Associate Director of Research, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Lauren Fox, Senior Director of Policy, Public School Forum of North Carolina.
Guiding Committee Members
- Dr. Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, Professor and Dean, UNC School of Education
- Dr. Leslie Babinski, Director, Center for Child and Family Policy; Associate Research Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
- Dr. Valerie Bridges, Superintendent, Edgecombe County Schools
- Sandra Wilcox Conway, Consultant, Conway and Associates
- Dr. William “Sandy” Darity, Director, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity; Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, Duke University Sanford School
- Dr. Keisha Bentley-Edwards (Co-Chair), Associate Director of Research & Director of Health Equity Working Group, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity; Associate Professor in Medicine, Duke University
- Dr. Ronda Taylor Bullock, Executive Director, we are (Working to Extend Anti-Racist Education)
- Dr. Charles Clotfelter, Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Public Policy Studies, Duke University Sanford School
- Dr. Lauren Fox (Co-Chair), Senior Director of Policy, Public School Forum of North Carolina
- Dr. Patricia Hilliard, Research Scholar, William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation
- Dr. Adam Hollowell, Senior Research Associate, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity; Faculty Director, Benjamin N. Duke Memorial Scholarship Program
- Ricky Hurtado, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, LatinxEd
- Dr. Iheoma Iruka, Research Professor, UNC Department of Public Policy; Fellow, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
- Dr. William Jackson, Chief Dreamer, Village of Wisdom
- Ashley Kazouh, Policy Analyst, Public School Forum of NC
- Dr. Helen Ladd, Susan B. King Professor Emeritus of Public Policy, Duke University Sanford School
- Danita Mason-Hogans, Project Coordinator, Critical Oral Histories, Center for Documentary Studies
- Alfred Mays, Program Officer, Science Education and Diversity in Science, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
- Graig Meyer, Founder, The Equity Collaborative; Member, NC General Assembly
- Letha Muhammad, Director, Education Justice Alliance
- Dr. Paul Robbins, Postdoctoral Associate, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
- Dr. Marta Sánchez, Assistant Professor, UNC-Wilmington Watson College of Education
- Christina Spears, Special Assistant, Office of Equity Affairs, Wake County Public Schools
- Dr. Rodney Trice, Assistant Superintendent for Equity Affairs, Wake County Public Schools
- Patience Wall, State and Local Policy Engagement Director, Policy Bridge, Duke University Sanford School
- Dr. Saundra Wall Williams, Founder, Vision Building Institute for Women
If you’re interested in sponsoring our racial equity work, please contact Marisa Bryant at firstname.lastname@example.org.