What is the Equity Task Force?
Orange County Schools has created the Equity Task Force to address race and educational equity practices in our schools. The task force is a commitment to transforming our current practices at the district and school level. The task force will provide direction and support to the Superintendent and his Senior Staff to ensure equity and excellence in each of our schools through the implementation of research-based strategies, with the goal of ensuring academic success and the social and emotional development of each child in Orange County Schools.
To ensure that diverse and multiple perspectives are represented on the task force, the group will include representation of:
- Community members
- Higher Education
- School Administrators
- District Administrators
Based on feedback we have received from our community and an internal analysis, we have developed the following goals and purpose for the task force.
- Engage diverse voices committed to equity in Orange County Schools and community,
- Analyze the current system and its practices and identify disparate outcomes in education and in all aspects of its administration,
- Collaborate with district leaders to develop recommendations and a plan of action to be presented to the Board of Education that will include policy, procedures, and school support recommendations,
- Remain engaged with Orange County Schools to ensure effective implementation of the agreed upon plan of action, as appropriate.
- Collaborate with the Superintendent to make recommendations to the Board of Education to strengthen district policies and procedures related to equity practices and systems;
- Monitor progress and outcomes of recommendations implemented; and,
- Serve as a liaison to the public, communicating the committee’s recommendations and progress.
Task Force Members
The selection of the members of the Equity Task Force members was done by the Superintendent. Careful consideration was given to ensure that diverse and multiple perspectives are represented on the task force.
- Rev. Norman Umstead - Faith Community
- Dr. Kay Singer - Former Board of Education Member
- Bryant Colson - County Government, Parent
- Isabel Jackson – Parent, Community Member
- Raul Herrera - Past PTA President, Business Community
- Vickie Mattison – Retired educator
- Vivette Jeffries Logan –Parent, Community member
- Dr. Phyllis Portie-Ascott –Parent, Business Owner
- Dr. Emily Elstad –Parent, Hate Free Schools Coalition
- Elvira Mebane –Parent, Vice President of the Northern Orange NAACP
- Nedra Bradsher –Parent
- Ron Roche –Assistant Principal
- Sofia Pitts –Guidance Counselor
- Lee Gordon –Teacher
- Maggie Holly –Teacher
- Latarndra Strong –Parent, Hate Free Schools Coalition
- Sherita Cobb –Director of Student Support
- Jean Bolduc – Freelance journalist, Community Member
- Jason Johnson – Parent, Executive Director of Secondary Education
- Kiley Brown –Principal
- Kelly Monroe-Porco –Teacher
- Dr. Jake Henry –Chief Academic Officer
- Dr. Jocelyn Glazier – UNC Associate Professor
- Grace Barger –Student
- Shaniece Thorpe –Student
- Cassidy Carvalho –Student
- Cory McIntyre –Student
- Dr. Todd Wirt –Superintendent
Facilitation of the Equity Task Force will primarily be led by OpenSource Leadership Strategies. OpenSource Leadership Strategies, Inc. is a North Carolina-based national consulting practice that amplifies the work of social justice groups as both units and agents of structural change. Founded in 2003, they have worked with more than 100 client-partners across the country and globe. The OpenSource team researches, designs, and evaluates racial and social justice efforts, as well as builds capacity of organizations, movements, and leaders to advance racial and social justice. The team is intentionally diverse by race and ethnicity, class background, gender and sexual identity, spiritual tradition, professional field/discipline, and language proficiency. OpenSource is a woman of color-owned company. To learn more about the OpenSource framework for unleashing diversity click here.
The Equity Task Force met on May 3, 2017 at 6-8pm at Efland-Cheeks Global Elementary.