What is the Equity Institute?

The Equity Institute was created to provide a space where we could gather to learn, grow and deepen our understanding of cultural competency through authentic interactions designed to challenge each individual to step into discomfort. Due to the professional status quo, we hardly are afforded opportunities to thoroughly discuss differences regarding, sex, gender, race, socioeconomic status, etc., that deeply influence how we navigate our lives. Without those important conversations, educators and students are faced with the challenge of building a safe relationship without acknowledging those critical aspects. The Equity Institute serves as a bridge to strengthening relationships by diminishing social blind spots.

When we were brainstorming the theme, we landed on “Communities of Belonging” as the through line for each subsequent institute, as we felt that this was the core of all equity work. If we can figure out how to intentionally create spaces where all stakeholders not only feel like they belong, but are empowered to make changes and be who they are, then we could help create a pathway to normalize dialogue about intimate topics that affect all of us.

What makes the Equity Institute Unique?

How do you create a community of belonging?

is belonging important?

What does belonging mean to you?

The Model

Attendees experience a 2.5-day training in which participants are divided into cohorts to optimize learning and foster a sense of safety. The cohorts remain together for the entirety of the institute. We believe this unique group configuration supports a deeper connection between participants and with the content.

This results in safe learning environments, authentic group sharing, and intimate dialogues on how to foster a sense of belonging in our communities. Participants work to transfer the theories of equity into practice. Each cohort is guided by 2-3 facilitators who take turns leading each session. The interplay of the facilitators offers a widened perspective of various topics being discussed.

Cohorts are dismissed to gather as one large collective to view the panel discussions, listen to the keynote speakers, and to enjoy breaks designed for social interaction and connectedness. Participants return to their original group configurations to continue learning and building with their fellow cohort members.

We also recognize the necessity of having multiple voices in the room that can offer differing perspectives, so each institute includes a parent panel and student panel with expert facilitators to illicit feedback that can have significant impact.

Real Experiences

Learning about the real experiences of students and parents deeply inform how school communities can build environments that serve diverse populations. The panel narratives are often good sources of insight about how to; Invite parents and community members to help in decision making about school policies effecting school communities, create opportunities, activities, and resources that help foster a sense of belonging for a diverse student population. and identify opportunities to build healthy relationships with both students and parents.

In an attempt to create “Communities of Belonging,” the 2.5 days are structured to give participants a chance to hear the perspectives of professionals from various areas of education. Through the cohort configuration, attendees are positioned to build relationships that will foster a sense of safety while learning, sharing and interacting.


Using the successful cohort model from last year, we will go deeper into the concept of “Creating Communities of Belonging” by exploring the depths of our identities to recognize how larger societal influences impact our sense of self. The upcoming institute will encourage participants to connect their lived experiences, related to multi-identity intersectionality within their communities. By use of interactive exercises, authentic group dialogue, and direct instruction, participants will develop an ability to recognize how historical and current agents of socialization impact the emerging sense of identity in their students.

Recognizing and acknowledging your sense of self through your lived experiences is paramount to understanding how to successfully build relationships with others. How we identify our gender, race, level of ability, religious faith and so forth informs how we understand ourselves and how we see others. We hope to share another wonderful experience with you, where we will deeply explore our sense of self.

What You Will Learn

  • Learn strategies to create equitable school communities
  • Recognize how shared narratives help create safe learning environments for a diverse student population.
  • Learn the importance of interrupting traditional academic practices that infringe on the authentic expressions of cultural differences in school settings.
  • Learn strategies to create and sustain culturally relevant learning environment.
  • Learn how to recognize behaviors and dialogue that can negatively impact an equitable school community.
  • Understand the necessity of compassionately interrupting the barriers hindering healthy relationship building.
  • Learn how to contribute to and maintain structural systems that produce an inclusive school environment.
  • Interact with panels of students and parents discussing the significance of identity in the classroom.
  • Recognize the historical structural implications impacting our sense of identity.
  • Interrupt the power of societal influences negatively shaping your sense of identity.
  • Interrupt inequitable practices negatively shaping students sense of identity.
  • Learn how to repair relationships fragmented by differing expressions of social identity
  • Learn the significance of continued dialogue about societal implications impacting identity and intersectionality.
  • Understand how the family’s experiences in school environments impact the lives and ultimately their successes and failures.

Who Should Attend?

The Summer Equity Institute is ideal for ALL stakeholders desiring to dig deeper into the barriers that inhibit effective interactions with others. Specifically, those who want to improve their ability to, not only interact, but thrive in diverse settings while developing meaningful relationships rooted in equity. The conference will provide tools for school leaders, administrators, paraprofessionals and staff who are seeking understanding on how to bring equity and belonging into the school communities in their areas of influence.


Voices from the 1st Annual Equity Institute:

The Equity Institute Founders

Dr. Nancy Dome

CoFounder & CEO Epoch Education

Dr. Nancy Dome is a renowned speaker and leader on Equity in school systems and workplaces with over 20 yrs in the education field as a child care worker, a teacher and a professor. Nancy currently serves as CEO of Epoch Education.

Dr. Jon Eyler

CEO Collaborative Learning Solutions

Dr. Jon Eyler is a national consultant and speaker on topics of equity, educational reform, and educational psychology. Jon currently serves as the CEO of Collaborative Learning Solutions.

Dr. Eddie Fergus

Principal Manager Collaborative Equity Solutions

Dr. Eddie Fergus is best selling author and an applied researcher at Temple University. Eddie’s work explores the effects of educational policy and practice as it intersects the lives of populations living in vulnerable conditions.


Download a printable poster Here:

Sign Up!

Equity Institute Pass

Per Person $750
Early Bird Pricing $700
through March 31, 2020

Special Teams Pass

Special Team Discounts

Buy 3 and pay $675 per ticket

Dates: June 10-12, 2020
Location: Doubletree Hilton Sacramento

2001 Point West Way,
Sacramento, California, 95815

Reserve your room today

Questions? Email institute@epocheducation.com