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Governance with an Equity Lens - 2021


Governance with an Equity Lens

A Systemic Approach to Closing Equity Gaps in Public Education


In order to ensure ongoing professional learning opportunities as well as the evolution of the equity leadership journey of school boards across California, CSBA is expanding the equity network that began in 2019. This equity network is designed to provide school board governance teams with systemic approaches to identify and address practices, policies and behaviors that perpetuate inequities in public education. This equity network was established to explore how CSBA can better support school board members in making equity driven decisions.

The design of this year-long equity network will provide a platform for school board members to collaborate and build capacity to govern through the lens of equity that will lead to improved opportunities and outcomes for historically and marginalized students. The equity network provides the opportunity for learning that will support the development of ongoing professional learning services for the association. Facilitators will offer best practices that can be immediately developed and implemented at the school level while engaging all stakeholders and encouraging student voice as a valued and necessary contributor to positive change towards equity.


  • Develop/adopt an equity statement
  • Develop/adopt an equity policy
  • Strategically develop/evolve the equity impact action plan

Cohort I:

During the first year of the equity network, services will include a safe and engaging professional learning space where governance teams consisting of no more than two board trustees and one superintendent will engage in gaining awareness of educational and racial equity concepts as well as best practices for effective governance. Topics and outcomes include the following:

  • Understand the purpose and impact of historical events on public education and policy
  • Define equity through data and student stories
  • Recognize and respond to the barriers to equity (i.e. implicit bias, stereotypes, and racism)
  • Reflect on the role of the governance team in perpetuating or ending educational gaps through self-assessment
  • Understand a system’s approach to interpreting patterns of inequities within the district through development of an equity statement, policy, and action plan

Cohort II:

During the second year of the equity network, services include customized support to district governance teams. This support can include study sessions, workshops/retreats, board observations and coaching, as well as equity walks for the entire governance team. The ultimate goal of this customized support is to foster strategic development of a governance plan with an equity lens for cohesive and sustainable equity leadership in the district that yields the closure of equity gaps seen in the data.

Content: research and best practices will be shared and include but are not limited to the following:

  • The Governance Core by Davis Campbell and Michael Fullen
  • The Water of Systems Change Article by John Kanie, Mark Kramer, and Peter Senge/FSG
  • Cultural Proficiency: Manual for School Leaders, 4th edition by Randall Lindsey, Delores Lindsey Raymond Terrell, and Kikanza Nuri Robbins
  • Avoiding Racial Equity Detours by Paul Gorski
  • Eight Characteristics of Effective School Boards Full Report/Assessment-Center for Public Education
  • CSBA Equity Policy 0415 Sample
  • Engaging Boards and Trustees in Strategic Learning: A Toolkit by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations/FSG

Facilitators: Nicole Anderson and Associates Consulting, LLC

  • Nicole Anderson
  • Deborah Keys Write
  • Guest presenters include graduates of original statewide equity network, experts in the field, and practitioners.

Session format:

  • Zoom platform
  • 3-hour sessions
  • First session held with all region cohorts in year one

Zoom Schedule for Fall Cohort I

October 16, 2021 – 9am to 12pm

October 30, 2021 – 9am to 12pm

November 6, 2021 – 9am to 12pm

December 11, 2021 – 9am to 12pm

Registration: $3,000 per district/county office of education

Please register the superintendent only and contact the registrar at to add two trustees at no additional cost.

Registration closes on October 10, 2021 for the Fall Cohort I. Registrations after October 10, 2021 will not be accepted. 

About your facilitators:

Nicole Anderson and Associates Consulting was founded in 2018 by Nicole Anderson, an educator and educational equity consultant of more than 20 years. The company specializes in providing professional development services focused on educational and racial equity for school districts, county offices, non-profits, and multiple industries around the state of California and nation. Inspired by her grandfather, Jesse M. Bethel, the first African American President of CSBA, Nicole continues to inspire school board members around the state to govern with an equity lens to close educational gaps for underserved students. She has teamed up with experts in the field, practitioners, as well as researchers who provide unique professional development services such as CSBA’s Equity Network. On this historical journey for the association and field of education, she has locked arms with Deborah Keys Wright, Founder and CEO of The Write Keys 2 Consulting, LLC, Equity Transformation Specialist, and Executive Board Governance Consultant, who has made an impact on countless school boards through her work at NSBA, CSBA, and districts across the nation. As a team, they continue to make a positive impact in their quest to build the capacity of governance teams in order to close educational equity gaps seen in the school system.