• JPS DEI Journey

    In 2018, JPS conducted an equity audit.  This equity audit provided valuable information on gaps within the district in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion  (DEI).  The findings provided to us in 2019 of the JPS Equity Audit are located here: 2018 JPS Equity Audit

    After reviewing our Equity Audit we began to understand the depth and breadth of DEI.  Although committed to this work as a district we began to see the misconceptions of our staff, students, and community in what exactly DEI is and where we should focus our efforts to see true meaningful change and growth throughout the district.  It is important to understand that DEI is a journey to changing culture and true personal reflection and that not everyone comes to the table at the same place in this journey.  There is no overnight solution and DEI requires crucial conversations that are uncomfortable but lead to real cultural understandings.  Additionally, during this time we also experienced the COVID-19 pandemic and experienced inconsistent times in our schools to do this work as we were not always fully in person at many different times throughout both 2020 and 2021.

    In the spring of  2021, when we finally began to see our students and staff back in our buildings regularly and assess the sheer magnitude of the effects of the pandemic both academically and socially, we were excited to renew our commitment to our DE&I work.  At JPS, it has and always will be important and imperative that all children have access to quality, effective, and challenging education that has meaning and relevance in their lives.  

    Our work with Jay B. Marks, Ph.D. in the 2021/2022 school year centers on diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural proficiency training that results in culturally responsive leadership for principals and teachers.  Cultural proficiency is a lens through which leaders and staff can work effectively with different groups of people to ensure all students are successful in their pursuit of academic excellence and workforce readiness.

    For the 2022/2023 school year we are working with Dr. Aaron Johnson to work on accomplishing the following:

    • Coalesce around a common language for equity, bias, culture, race, and racism
    • Develop an understanding of how to create, implement, and monitor systems that ensure equitable access and outcomes for all students.
    • Consider leadership behaviors that foster an inclusive culture focused on creating equitable student experiences and outcomes by building equity focused systems.
    • Engage in personal goal setting that aligns to the use of equity indicators to measure the current state and progress through an equity lens.

    Dr. Johnson will be building off of previous DEI work and using the equity assessment to partner with Jackson Public Schools to build plans for operationalizing equity, implement recommendations for improvement, and design goals around equity-centered practices. He will work with the following groups to accomplish these goals:

    • Instructional Support and Ancillary Support
      • Bus drivers
      • Secretaries
      • Custodial
      • Other instructional support group
    • Instructional Staff
      • Teachers and Instructional Staff
      • Special Education Staff
      • Counselors
      • Interventionists
      • Other staff identified for this group
    • Central Office and Other Instructional Leadership (Coaching and Facilitation)
      • Teachers and Instructional Staff
      • Special Education Staff
      • Counselors
      • Interventionists
      • Principals, Assistant Principals, and other school leaders
      • Other staff identified for this group
    • Student Groups

    Potential Topics for Engagement

    • Introduction to Equity
    • Historical Implications of Schooling
    • Culture and Identity
    • Coaching for Equity
    • Implications for Implementation
    • Consultation for hiring and supporting a new DEI Director
    • Community Engagement
    • Student Focus Groups


    DEI Defined

    Diversity - The broad set of visible and invisible dimensions that encompass the many ways in which people, processes, and perspectives differ. Dimensions include but are not limited to: Abilities/Disabilities, Age, Culture, Education, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Learning Styles, Military/Veteran Status, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, and Socioeconomic Status.

    Equity - Equity results from ensuring that everyone has what they need to succeed. It includes identifying and removing personal and systemic barriers that limit the full participation of all individuals and groups.

    Inclusion - The act of creating involvement, environments, and empowerment in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate.



    Racial Equity Terms Defined

    JPS recognizes that part of the work and success of DEI comes from not only crucial conversations but a common language.  Please visit this link to learn and understand DEI terms and their definitions

    Racial Equity Terms Defined

    Understanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources:

    Dr. Marks JPS Opening Day PowerPoint:  Dr. Marks JPS Opening Day PowerPoint

    Learning Links:

    Race and Racism: An Introduction

       Video: The myth of Race Debunked in 3 Minutes

    Racial Consciousness: Racial Identity Development

       Handout: They're Not Too Young to Talk About Race!

       Video: Being 12

    Racial Equity: Avoiding Racial Equity Detours

       Handout: Becoming Anti-Racist Framework

       Video: How To Be An Anti-Racist

       Article: Avoiding Racial Equity Detours

    Additional Resources: