Imagine being at a school where 80% of the students look like you…but you’re the only one like you who is in the honors and advanced classes. That’s where this week’s guest, Carlon Howard, found himself as he readied to graduate from high school. And that experience put him on the pathway that landed him as a leader and impact-maker in educational equity.
Carlon has a passion for supporting individuals who feel stuck in cultural narratives due to a lack of equity, inclusivity, and diversity in leadership. And his organization, Equity Institute, is taking what they’ve created and teaching organizations how to develop these initiatives in their own communities.
In this episode, Carlon and I talk about doing the work in the messy gray space, why teacher pathway programs are so valuable, why schools need support outside the traditional education space, and how he built Equity Institute organically from a place of connection and decompressing.
I love Carlon’s philosophy of teaching others to do the work, rather than assuming his organization knows the answers for every situation. We need more of this in leadership roles.
Jump in the Conversation:
[1:39] How education transformation began for Carlon
[3:39] In an 80% black school, Carlon was the only black male in the honors classes
[5:09] A quarter-life crisis
[7:03] All the world’s problems exist in schools but schools don’t have the means to solve them
[7:59] The origins of the Equity Institute in 2019
[10:10] Students weren’t being served in a way that made sense
[10:50] Helping design and implement innovative solutions to build more diverse, equitable, inclusive, professional learning environments
[12:35] What other profession goes home and does more work for free
[13:22] TA to BA educator pathway program
[17:51] Well-meaning initiatives are challenged by getting into new communities
[19:40] Has insights to help others; can be inspiration and accountability
[20:30] Things aren’t black or white; the real work happens in the gray area
[21:46] First steps to take to create to support others in the educator pathway
[25:39] Turbo Time
[28:05] Carlon’s passion in equity work
[31:42] Carlon’s Magic Wand
[33:40] Maureen’s Takeaways