The Community and Educational Well-being Research Center promotes educational equity and well-being for youth, families, and communities.
The CEWRC works to support and provide community-based interventions that advocate for and resolve differences associated with inequitable opportunities at a systems level and to promote student/family personal, relational, and collective well-being. This work includes research, advocacy, and education services at the system level for youth, families, and communities at risk for mental health issues, trauma, and poor well-being outcomes. CEWRC research and service focuses on building capacity and advancing outcomes for children, families, and communities.
How does the CEWRC define educational equity?
Educational equity is achieved when all students have access to the right resources, opportunities, skills, and knowledge they need to succeed in a democratic society, regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, language, religion, family background, or family income (American Institutes for Research, n.d.; The Aspen Institute, 2018). Moreover, “systemic equity is … the transformed ways in which systems and individuals habitually operate to ensure that every learner – in whatever learning environment that learner is found – has the greatest opportunity to learn enhanced by the resources and supports necessary to achieve competence, excellence, independence, responsibility, and self-sufficiency for school and for life” (Scott, 2001, p. 6).
Although both equity and equality are important for healthy societies (Hargreaves & Shirley, 2022), equity requires differentiated goods and services based on availability and need, while equality conjectures an even allotment of goods and services. Ensuring “additional and tailored resources and supports” needed “to create conditions of true educational opportunity” for students and families may be necessary to achieve equity (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [NAS], 2019, p. 2). System-wide equitable access goes beyond achievement to include health and social services, financial, material, and programmatic resources, all of which contribute to the mental and physical well-being of children and families (Skrla et al., 2009). Engagement with school and education in general is typically based on students’ collective circumstances (e.g., food and housing insecurity, safety concerns), which they cannot resolve themselves (NAS, 2019).