Nonprofit Elevating Equity Facilitates Examination of Race in the Classroom, Workplace

Clare S. Richie for Atlanta In Town

Rachel WillisAbout six-in-ten Americans say race relations in the U.S. are bad, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey. Yet it’s a topic often avoided in schools, despite being a factor in how students are treated. That’s where Elevating Equity comes in. Award-winning-educator-turned-entrepreneur Rachel Willis works to create spaces for educators and community members to examine race and ensure every child receives an equitable education.

“Every single day – whether we realize it or not – we are making a decision to dismantle or reinforce systems of racism in our country,” Willis said. “It is our responsibility as educators or community members to make sure we are learning how racism reinforces itself and actively choosing to be anti-racist. Elevating Equity is an organization that makes that easy for educators to do that work.”

A list of adjectives describing how participants feel when they talk about race or racismEducators turn to Elevating Equity to receive professional development focused on how to be anti-racist personally and professionally. In addition to designing and facilitating workshops, the organization conducts equity audits to provide recommendations on how schools and education-based companies can implement equitable practices. …

Willis works with national groups with a presence in Atlanta, as she breaks into the local market. She helped FoodCorps, whose service members teach students in classroom and garden spaces about healthy food and lifestyles, with lesson development and member training.

“Rachel provided valuable feedback about how each lesson could reflect the lived experience of students, and how our service members could empower students to make change in their communities,” FoodCorps Director of Education Erica Curry said.

“Instead of simply telling service members what they should do, Rachel modeled the tools and techniques, emphasizing the importance of building strong relationships with students,” FoodCorps Director of Training Olivia Webster said.