Equity at Emerson

At Emerson, equity is more than just a word. We have committed our time and resources to create —  and sustain — a school community where adults take responsibility for ensuring that every student is treated equally; that each student receives an equitable education and that every culture and background is honored and connected to teaching and learning. We acknowledge that we have more work to do, but we are encouraged by the commitment of our families for a truly equitable learning environment for our children.

At Emerson, many dedicated teachers, staff, and parents are working every day to reach our equity goals. Here are some of the concrete ways we are doing this:

 Read an example of the Emerson Equity Newsletter

Read an example of the Emerson Equity Newsletter

Emerson Equity Plan

The Emerson community has endorsed a Desired Racial Equity Outcome Plan, known simply as the Equity Plan. It was drafted by a racially diverse group of parents and staff, who were guided by a professional facilitator, and approved by the Emerson PTA Board in 2015. The goal of the Equity Plan is to build a culturally inclusive, racially equitable and welcoming school that empowers the Emerson community to achieve cultural competency. It also aims to remove cultural and racial barriers that prevent every student from reaching academic proficiency.

The Equity Plan serves as a roadmap for our equity efforts, and provides concrete recommendations for getting closer to our goals. Read the Plan here.

Equity on the Emerson PTA Board

Several years ago, we added the position of Equity Liaison (now Equity VP) to our PTA board. The Equity Liaisons work to support the Equity Plan, encourage parents and guardians to take action on behalf of underserved students, and ensure that all families feel welcome at Emerson. They meets with the Teacher Equity Liaisons and our Family Engagement Officer.

The Equity Liaisons advise PTA organizers on cultural events and celebrations, such as Black History Month assembly, Dia de los Muertos, and Arab cultural events. In addition, they work to ensuring all Emerson activities, programs, and events are viewed through an equity lens, using tools such as a Cultural Competency Checklist for event planning to ensure that all Emerson families feel welcome and included.

Racial Equity Circles

Each year, Emerson PTA supports Racial Equity Circles to address racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and parent involvement that arise at our school. The Circles are run by a professional facilitator and consist of a small group of parents, guardians, teachers, and staff who meet over the course of the school year to engage in dialogue and problem solving. We share different perspectives and experiences in a safe environment, create shared accountability and collaborate on actions that impact attitudes, practices and policies.

Each year, the Equity Circle comes up with recommendations and action steps to reach the goals of the Emerson Equity Plan. Many of the Equity Circle’s ideas, such as requiring all teachers to attend Cultural Competency training every year, the creation of the Equity Liaison position and the Cultural Competency Checklist, have come to fruition through the hard work of the Equity Circles.

Together, we are strong. We invite you to join us in meeting our equity goals. We need your engagement, ideas and enthusiasm to succeed. Childcare and meals are provided.

Results of 2015-2016 Equity Circles


Your 2017-2018 Emerson Equity Liaisons:

Marjorie Henriquez
Jean Kawahara
Emily Nathan enathan7@gmail.com