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Equity Warriors

Equity Warriors
Creating Schools That Students Deserve

Foreword by Larry Leverett, A Joint Publication with Learning Forward

February 2022 | 360 pages | Corwin

Advance equity by learning to crack the system’s codes

We must act now, using what we already know, to advance equity and raise the achievement of every student. With three decades of leading equity work across the country, George S. Perry Jr. issues a call to action for educational leaders who are willing to fight the fight for equity for all students.

School and district leaders will encounter roadblocks as they enact systemic change, but Equity Warriors introduces practical, realistic, and strategic approaches for navigating those barriers. Equity Warriors equips education leaders with the moves they can make today to achieve the vision that every student becomes a high achiever by

  • Providing real school and district examples of systemic equity efforts
  • Demonstrating the parallel work that school and district teams must do to achieve and sustain systemic change
  • Cracking the codes in the domains of politics, diplomacy, and warfare to achieve the equity agenda.

Equity Warriors is a must read for leaders at all levels of the system who have chosen to be in this fight and are ready to do what it takes to make the system work for all students.

Foreword by Larry Leverett
Preface: Begin with Students
Part I: Build an Equity Agenda: Student Data
Chapter 1: District leaders define equity by knowing students and finding allies
Politics: Balance conflicts to build an equity agenda

Diplomacy: Build a critical mass of support for advancing equity

Warfare: Use student data to convince, question, and teach

Chapter 2: School leaders center the equity agenda on student experiences
Politics: Engage the school community in shaping and telling the school’s story

Diplomacy: Rally stakeholders to your school’s equity agenda

Warfare: Know your students

Part II: Lead with Purpose: Values-Enhanced Leadership
Chapter 3: District leaders identify and engage with shared values
Politics: Surface and articulate values

Diplomacy: Lead change focusing on values

Warfare: Act with purpose, understanding, and resolve

Chapter 4: School leaders communicate and live their values, and expect the same from others
Politics: Help others stand with you

Diplomacy: Link values to intended outcomes

Warfare: Act deliberately

Part III: Educate Each and Every Student Well: Teaching & Learning
Chapter 5: District leaders focus and maintain attention on teaching and learning

Politics: Bring coherence to systems, structures, resources, stakeholders, and culture

Diplomacy: Build expertise and capacity around teaching and learning

Warfare: Act with a laser-like focus on teaching and learning

Chapter 6: School leaders ensure each and every student succeeds
Politics: Bring coherence to provide access to rigorous learning for all students

Diplomacy: Use protocols and processes to build capacity

Warfare: Hold everyone in the school accountable for student learning


I hope district and school leaders will consider this book as a handbook for educational equity success.  It delves deep into what all leaders need to be thinking about, talking about and doing to make their schools the best they can be for all students.

Janet Crews
Coordinator of Professional Learning of Clayton School District

Equity Warriors will have an enormous impact in schools as it addresses the how and why to authentic outcomes to address equity issues in schools. The case studies and wisdom within are essential reading for everyone.

Dr. Ken Darvall
Principal of Tema International School

This book is incredibly timely and relevant in a world where educators and educational leaders are crying out for change; for help and support to meet the complex learning needs of all our students to ensure every child can by a high achiever; for those who make decisions that affect schooling to make them with ‘every child’ in mind... We are living in world affected by crises after crises, systemic bias and racism, lack of faith in politicians and those in positions of power, and amidst all that, this book inspires educators to act with hope and deliberation, to enact change within the constraints that exist, to work with what we already have to improve outcomes for all of our students.

This book provides practical, realistic and useful guidance for system and school leaders to enact change. You don’t come away thinking, “Those are great ideas, I just don’t know how to enact them”, as there are enough specific suggestions for exactly ‘what’ each leader can do, to the point of being an equity ‘road map’ for leaders.

Rachael Lehr
Associate Principal of West Beechboro Primary School

Equity is an extremely relevant and timely topic that is essential for all school leaders and all schools and communities.  This book provides critically important research and very relevant examples for consideration.  The suggestions in ‘your move’ throughout the book provide  actions for positive and meaningful steps that school leaders can take to move forward

Marianne L. Lescher, Ph.D.
Principal of Kyrene Traditional Academy

This book is a timely response to our need to discuss uncomfortable topics in an uncomfortable time. Solutions are presented as well as a well-articulated presentation of the problem. This is worth the read. It may change the trajectory of a child’s life.

Dr. Roseanne Lopez
Associate Superintendent of Amphitheater Public Schools

What school leaders are not taught well is how to initiate change that will lead to educational improvement for all students. Equity Warriors is a doing, leading book, and not a sit back in a sun-lounge reading book. I took away a treasure trove of internationally applicable ideas that I can use in my school today. So, if you want to make a real, moral difference to the lives of the kids that we teach you will find this road map so rewarding.

Dr. Neil MacNeill, PhD, EdD.
Principal of Ellenbrook Primary School

Equity Warriors provides a relevant call to action for every school and district leaders. The authors implore educators to make their move and takes steps towards greater equity in every school. This is a must-read for new and experienced educational leaders!

Jacie Maslyk
Assistant Superintendent of Hopewell Area School District

This book is a great guide to ensure all district and school site leaders have an equity foundation with researched based protocols to support leaders in becoming equity warriors.

Courtney Miller
Co-Founder of Inclusive Teacher Academy

George S. Perry, Jr.

From October 2018-December 2021, George S. Perry served in the New York City Department of Education and the Chancellor’s Office as the Director of School Leadership and Organizational Alignment. In this role, George supported the assessment, alignment, and implementation of citywide equity and values-centered leadership development for teacher, school, and district leaders.  Before joining the NYC DOE, George was executive director of Perry and Associates, Inc. a national consulting firm, founded in 2001, that acts on its commitment to social justice and equity by assisting district and school leaders improve the academic achievement... More About Author

Joan Richardson

Joan Richardson is known as an excellent editor, writer, and researcher with deep expertise about education and for being a creative and strategic thinker who excels at transforming publications and rethinking organizational efforts to deepen impact in schools and influence quality of learning. In addition to spending hundreds of hours visiting U.S. schools, she also has extensive experience visiting and writing about schools abroad — Canada, China, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Haiti, and the Netherlands. She was editor-in-chief of Phi Delta Kappan magazine, the flagship publication of PDK International, for 10 years and... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071851371

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