top of page

Institute for Equity in Education

Named a "national model for eliminating academic achievement gaps"
by Marian Wright-Edelman, President, The Children's Defense Fund

June 2020 IEE Cancelled due to COVID-19

The realities of continued physical distancing means that we must cancel our June IEE and July CLI programs. This was an extremely difficult decision to make because of how important these programs are in advancing social justice in our communities. The loss of these programs this summer will be felt by those of us who work so hard to make them happen and our communities who struggle with both old and new inequities in the face of COVID-19. However, our first priority is to ensure the health and safety of our participants, volunteers, and staff.


CLI and IEE will not happen this summer, but our work to foster a more equitable and inclusive Central Coast is NOT paused. 

Urgent Need for Equity in Education

Throughout California and the Central Coast, students of color continue

to fall behind.

According to Jack O’Connell, the State Superintendent of Public

Instruction, the data show“ persistent gaps in our system that

California simply cannot afford to accept—morally, economically, or

socially.This achievement gap cannot always be explained away 

because of the poverty that has been so often associated with low

performance…In fact, African American and Hispanic students who are

not poor are achieving at lower levels in math than their white

counterparts who are poor. These are not just economic achievement

gaps, they are racial achievement gaps. We cannot afford to excuse them;

they simply must be addressed.  We must take notice and take action.”

Closing the Achievement Gap



Addressing the root causes of educational disparities through a race-conscious approach Just Communities’ Institute for Equity in Education (IEE) is a comprehensive program designed to eliminate the achievement gap and other disparities in our educational systems.  The Institute is grounded in the belief that confronting educational disparities through race-conscious, race-sensitive approaches are the primary ways to address the root causes of inequities and narrow the educational achievement gap.


The Institute is a 4.5-day residential workshop for educators in California’s Central Coast.  IEE helps teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and other school and district staff increase their understanding of how race, socio-economic class, and individual and system-wide bias affect the learning environment.  IEE enables participants to find true solutions and strategies for school reform. It also provides the skills, tools, and resources educators need to make a lasting difference for the benefit of all students.

What is learned at IEE?

During the Institute for Equity in Education, participants will learn how to use the 4 R’s to eliminate achievement gaps and improve academic outcomes for all students.

Relationships: A wealth of research shows that the single most important factor in student success is the relationship students have with their teachers and school. IEE helps educators build authentic relationships with all of their students—especially across lines of difference.

Relevance: Students feel more connected to and invested in school when they see themselves in the curriculum and when instructional practices and school culture meet their cultural styles and needs. IEE helps educators improve their level of cultural proficiency so they can create culturally rele-vant educational experiences for all students.

Rigor: The combination of high expectations from teachers and a rigorous educational experience accelerate learning and im-prove academic outcomes. IEE helps educators examine their own beliefs about each student’s potential and help students develop their identities as learners.

Racial & Economic Justice: IEE helps educators explore the history and legacy of racism in the U.S. education system and its impact on teaching an learning. It helps educators under-stand issues such as white privilege and internalized racism. IEE provides educators with the knowledge and concrete tools necessary to counter the impacts of racism on student engagement and achievement.


Who can attend IEE?

IEE is open to Central Coast teachers, counselors, school and district administrators, coaches, clerical staff, school board members, and 
other personnel who are interested in creating school communities in which all students thrive.  You should consider participating if you are:


  • Taking responsibility for influencing change in school, district, or education reform.

  • Concerned about how racism and other forms of inequity affect teaching and learning.

  • Willing to address equity issues on a personal, as well as an institutional, level.


Note: Participants are required to attend as part of a team of at least two (3-6 participants per team is ideal) from their school or district.  Teams should be as diverse as possible.  Participants are expected to stay on-site and be present for the entire 5 days.


What is the cost to attend IEE?

Registration fee is $2,200 participant. Registration fee includes lodging, meals, t-shirt, a robust resource book, and follow-up support. There is an additional $250 fee for those requesting single-occupancy lodging.


Single-occupancy lodging payment options:

Make a check payable to Just Communities and write IEE Single Room in the memo line. Checks can me dropped-off or mailed to our office located at 1528 Chapala Street Suite #308, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.


We also accept PayPal, debit or credit card via PayPal. Click on the "Buy Now" button below to pay $206.10 ($200 + $6.10 transaction fee) for the single-occupancy lodging via PayPal.


For more information about the Institute for Equity in Education

please email or call 805-966-2063.

Comments from Our Graduates

"...This training was by far the most intense and most valuable of all the workshops I have attended. The materials were thought-provoking and sophisticated…. I have shared materials with other colleagues at every opportunity…. The faculty were non-judgmental, sensitive to my concerns and needs, and interested in my opinions.  The contacts I made (among fellow participants and faculty alike) have enriched my understanding and my life."

Brad Heger, Assistant Principal

“One of the mostprofound personal and professional growth experiences of my life.”David OrtizPrincipal, La Colina Junior High School

"I highly recommend the Institute particularly if you are working on raising the expectations and opportunities for your students. . . It was one of the most impactful and thought-provoking processes I've ever experienced."


Robin Sawaske, Asst. Superintendent of Elementary Education (Ret.), Santa Barbara School Districts

“What I remember most about IEE was the quality of the relationships we were able to form during our time at the institute. We spent so much time together . . . really quality time, digging into deep issues and topics.”

“I wasn't sure about having to stay onsite, but after a day or two of being onsite with everyone, I realized how vital this was to the experience at IEE. It allowed for conversations to continue into the night, friendships to grow, and time to enjoy the natural beauty of the setting that we were too busy to explore during the day. It was also helpful to not go back into the community each night to our families or friends because there was so much to soak in and process without the rest of our lives (bills, relationships, to do list, etc.) getting in the way.”

“The style of facilitation that Just Communities engaged in to facilitate this training was such a wonderful example of effective teaching and was so deeply appreciated.”

In 2007, the Institute for Democratic Renewal at the Claremont Graduate
University (CGU) named Just Communities’ Institute for Equity in Education ...
“the most promising vehicle for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities and nar-rowing the

educational achievement gap in the country.”

bottom of page