For-profit

The Equity Collaborative

Website:

theequitycollaborative.com/%20

Location:

Orinda, CA

Website:

https://theequitycollaborative.com

Location:

Orinda, California

Formation:

2012

Type:

For-profit DEI Consultant

Founding Partner:

Jamie Almanzan

The Equity Collaborative is a left-leaning consulting firm that provides critical race theory-aligned diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting services to schools and other organizations. It is perhaps most notable for contracting with the Loudoun County, Virginia school board to conduct a controversial “equity study” that led to public outrage and litigation against the school district. [1] [2] [3]

Founding and History

The Equity Collaborative was founded in 2012 by Jamie Almanzan, a former teacher who previously worked as a coach at the National Equity Project. [4] Since its formation, the consulting group has worked for numerous school districts and schools around the country, as well as development nonprofits, and corporations, such as Wolfspeed, a semiconductor manufacturer. [5] [6]

This consulting is explicitly based on the principles of critical race theory and “oppression analysis.” [7] [8]

Loudoun County Contract

Since 2020, the Loudon County, Virginia School District has been wracked by often heated controversy over the district’s plan to implement recommendations from an “equity study” conducted by the Equity Collaborative in 2019. The furor garnered national attention as parent groups accused the district of racial discrimination and sued it in federal court in June 2021. [9] [10] [11]

According to records of contracts between Loudon County Public Schools and the Equity Collaborative that were assembled by the advocacy group Parents Defending Education, the district paid the firm more than $345,000 in 2019 and 2020. [12] In response to the uproar, the firm hired a public relations specialist who wrote a blog post addressing the controversy. In the post, the firm tried to explain the work it was doing in the school district, and ended by insinuating that Virginia is still rife with racism and discrimination in its schools. [13]

Finances

The Equity Collaborative is a for-profit company and as a result does not have public financial filings. However, public records indicate that the company charges $625 an hour for some services, and in 2019 alone had a contract with Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia worth more than $314,000. [14] [15]

Services and Educational Philosophy

The Equity Collaborative explicitly bases its educational philosophy on the idea of critical race theory and the assumption of widespread oppression that has continued unabated from the founding of the United States. [16] [17] On its website, the group publishes an “Educational Oppression Timeline” that includes such recent events as court orders overturning student busing schemes for integration, the No Child Left Behind Act’s requirements for testing, and the 2007 Supreme Court case Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education that ruled that a student’s race cannot be a factor in pupil school assignments. [18]

Equity Coaching

The Equity Collaborative’s main service is “equity coaching,” the goal of which is to help clients promote “educational equity” and “social justice” by combatting “bias and oppression.” The group favors coaching to educate clients about their supposed implicit biases and the way in which they create and sustain “systemic oppression.” [19] The firm offers a variety of approaches for educational institutions, including personal equity coaching, workshops, and development exercises. [20]

Leadership and Staff

Jamie Almanzan is the founding partner at the Equity Collaborative. He has worked as a teacher and was the senior coach at the National Equity project prior to founding the firm. He develops curriculum, organizes seminars, and coaches schools across California and the U.S. [21]

Graig Meyer is a partner at the Equity Collaborative. He is a social worker and has done “equity work” in public schools for 16 years and has also held a variety of education related roles in various organizations. He is also a Democratic politician and sits as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly as of 2021. [22]

Aaron Johnson is a partner with the Equity Collaborative and has worked in public education for 20 years in various roles including as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent “for diversity, equity, and inclusion.” [23]

References

  1. Dorman, Sam. “Virginia Parents Sue School District over Alleged Racial Discrimination, Free Speech Violations.” Fox News. June 2, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-loudoun-critical-race-theory-parents-lawsuit. ^
  2. Hochman, Nate. “The Battle of Loudoun County.” The American Mind. June 11, 2021. https://americanmind.org/salvo/the-battle-of-loudoun-county/. ^
  3. Saul, Stephanie. “How a School District Got Caught in Virginia’s Political Maelstrom.” New York Times. November 14, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/14/us/loudoun-county-school-board-va.html. ^
  4. Linkedin.com. “Jamie Almanzán – Equity Leadership Coach – The Equity Collaborative.” Accessed November 15, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamie-almanz%C3%A1n-36bb3236. ^
  5. The Equity Collaborative. “Equity Coaching: Our Approach.” Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/what-is-equity-coaching/. ^
  6. The Equity Collaborative. “Corporate DEI: Listening for Action at Wolfspeed.” June 1, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/corporate-dei-equity-action-at-cree-wolfspeed/. ^
  7. The Equity Collaborative. “Equity Coaching: Our Approach.” Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/what-is-equity-coaching/. ^
  8. Parents Defending Education. “Louden County Schools-Equity Collaborative Invoice #246.” June 9, 2021. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://defendinged.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Equity-Collaborative-CRT.jpeg-1.pdf. ^
  9. Dorman, Sam. “Virginia Parents Sue School District over Alleged Racial Discrimination, Free Speech Violations.” Fox News. June 2, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-loudoun-critical-race-theory-parents-lawsuit. ^
  10. Hochman, Nate. “The Battle of Loudoun County.” The American Mind. June 11, 2021. https://americanmind.org/salvo/the-battle-of-loudoun-county/. ^
  11. Saul, Stephanie. “How a School District Got Caught in Virginia’s Political Maelstrom.” New York Times. November 14, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/14/us/loudoun-county-school-board-va.html. ^
  12. “Equity Collaborative (The).” Parents Defending Education. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://defendinged.org/report/the-equity-collaborative/. ^
  13. “Fox News, Virginia, and Us: Educational Equity in Loudoun County.” The Equity Collaborative. December 16, 2020. https://theequitycollaborative.com/loudoun-county-fox-news-educational-equity/. ^
  14. “Loudon County Public Schools Service Agreement.” Parents Defending Education. April 10, 2019. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://defendingedstg.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Equity-Collaborative_Loudoun-County-VA_2019.pdf. ^
  15. “Equity Collaborative (The).” Parents Defending Education. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://defendinged.org/report/the-equity-collaborative/. ^
  16. “Equity Coaching: Our Approach.” The Equity Collaborative. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/what-is-equity-coaching/. ^
  17. “Loudon County Schools-Equity Collaborative Invoice #246.” Parents Defending Education. June 9, 2021. https://defendinged.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Equity-Collaborative-CRT.jpeg-1.pdf. ^
  18. “Educational Oppression Timeline.” The Equity Collaborative. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/resources/educational-oppression-timeline/. ^
  19. “Equity Coaching: Our Approach.” The Equity Collaborative. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/what-is-equity-coaching/. ^
  20. The Equity Collaborative | About Us and the Work We Do.” The Equity Collaborative. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/about-the-equity-collaborative/. ^
  21. “The Equity Collaborative | About Us and the Work We Do.” The Equity Collaborative. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/about-the-equity-collaborative/. ^
  22. “The Equity Collaborative | About Us and the Work We Do.” The Equity Collaborative. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/about-the-equity-collaborative/. ^
  23. The Equity Collaborative | About Us and the Work We Do.” The Equity Collaborative. Accessed November 15, 2021. https://theequitycollaborative.com/about-the-equity-collaborative/. ^
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The Equity Collaborative


Orinda, CA