Giving Compass' Take:

• KConnect is emphasizing the role that equity plays during the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in education systems during this time. 

• How can donors help address equity issues within the education system that are exacerbated by COVID-19? 

• Read more about educational equity.

KConnect is emphasizing the role that equity — or the historical absence of equity — is playing in the crisis that is currently underway, and to compel all of us — individuals, organizations, and systems — to recognize that with the present pain also comes an opportunity to reset structures and systems with authenticity and intentional design that rejects a blanket universal approach and rather takes into consideration the unique needs of populations; their situatedness and specific needs.

To gain a deeper understanding of the COVID-19 healthcare and other impacts, we convened a panel of experts in a variety of roles in our community, including Dr. Juan Olivarez, the Distinguished Scholar in Residence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy.

In the time of COVID-19, how are we seeing structural racism show up in education?

Dr. Olivarez: Regarding K–12 students, I’m really concerned about what we’re going to see next — this deficit that we’ve always known about of the educational gap; it often gets pushed under the rug, but now we see that it is a big deal. Schools are part of our democracy, where students learn and prepare for careers and vocations. To lose time in this educational process will affect our black and brown students the most. This is going to be very, very impactful on students. Think about the learning every single day that they’re not getting. This is going to be devastating, and we haven’t seen anything yet in terms of the ramifications for our K–12 kids. The harm is going to be everywhere, but it’s going to be toughest on the youngest kids because they are losing out on the most.

Read the full article about equity in education during COVID-19 at the Johnson Center.