Fourth Annual Equity Summit

Dr. Vajra Watson

Vajra Watson, director of research and policy for equity, UC Davis School of Education CRESS Center, organizes the annual Equity Summit at UC Davis

We recognize that systemic change happens as the result of deep collaboration in identifying best practices for developing young people into positive, contributing members of society. However, even though it is widely accepted that educational attainment is critical to the lifelong health and success of students, there is little consensus about the type of education young people need. Interventions abound but the failure rate of students, disproportionately low-income students of color, continues to rise. Something remains amiss.Given this crisis in California, each year we bring critical stakeholders together to address some of the pertinent issues of our time.

The overall conference theme for the Equity Summit 2013 was OPPORTUNITIES FOR EQUITY, with three strands covering the following topics:

  • Violence and Healing in Our Cities and Schools
  • New Funding Formulas for Social Justice
  • Schools as Pathways to Prosperity

We brought together experts from a range of disciplines and perspectives to help guide our understanding and shape our actions.
The Summit signifies an opportunity to coalesce people, ideas, and institutions to formulate solutions for deepening strategies that advance social justice.

We want everyone who participates to leave the Summit with a clearer appreciation of equity at both the personal and structural levels, with tools to create improvements, and with a renewed appreciation for alliances. We want to start to forge our independent paths into a force for change throughout California!
The University, nor any one institution, can actualize equity alone. At its best, research can help us analyze areas of injustice, find tools for effectiveness, and propel innovation in the field. Yet theories and ideals alone will never be enough. This is a call to arms. Arms that care, reach out, and restore basic principles of our common humanity.