RE: Avoiding Racial Equity Detours

I tend to save and read articles a few times so that I have the opportunity to absorb and reflect on how the ideas and messages that are being written about by the author fit into either my personal or professional life. Paul Gorski @pgorski wrote an article, Avoiding Racial Equity Detours and it has been one of those articles that just keeps resonating with me as I go back and re-read it.

Paul states that detour 3 is the Deficit Ideology Detour and that,

“If we spend any of our equity efforts attempting to “fix” students of color—fortifying their grittiness, modifying their mindsets, adjusting their emotions—we need a reaccounting, not only of our equity understandings, but also of our equity intentions. These strategies locate the source of educational outcome disparities within communities of color while often ignoring the role of racism—the clearest sign of deficit ideology.

This resonates with me on so many levels but particularly on the notion that all of us, educators and students alike, come with deficits, but WHY DO WE HIGHLIGHT them?  Why do we believe it is important to FIX everything and everyone?  Why can’t we focus on what we do bring, leverage our assets!

Maybe if we really begin to celebrate our Assets and all that comes with, the issue of inequities will subside.  How do we do this?  In my opinion, Positivity over Negativity. I Can, instead of I Can’t. You can, instead of You can’t. We Can, instead of We Can’t. Assets over Deficits.  Let’s lift each other up, students and colleagues alike, instead of tearing ourselves down.…  if we as educators can’t do that, then why are we in this field of education?


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