Racial Equity Identity Groups – The Power of Community and Commitment 

Jun 14, 2024 | Charter Sector

WA Charters hosted the Sector REIG in the 2023-24 school year, a program for Washington charter public school staff and teachers to build connections and strengthen support for each other, from diverse racial backgrounds and across the schools in our state. Led by equity consultants, participants came together in sessions to focus on community care. WA Charters launched the Sector Racial Equity Identity Groups (REIG) for the 2023-24 for the community to share experiences, insights, and strategies, and work towards a more anti-racist, equitable, and student-centered environment for all students. 

We extended a warm welcome to Black educators, Educators of Color, and White Educators. It was a dedicated initiative designed to serve as both a safe space and a space for growth for educators and advocates within the charter sector. Our transformative circles provided participants with the opportunity to rekindle their commitment to racial equity, fostering a tight-knit community that radiates joy and resilience as we collectively confronted the forces of anti-Blackness and systemic racism.


The culminating session in May was truly impactful. In an inspiring fireside chat with Vu Le on “Sustaining DEI Work,” we had the following key takeaways on how educators can create more inclusive classrooms (source post):

  • De-center Yourself:It’s not your classroom; it’s theirs.” – Jillian
  • Relationships Matter:Deconstruct bias and focus on relationships.” – Leah
  • Representation is Key: Representation matters. Uplift the other narratives.” – Dr. Ayanna Gore
  • Student Potential:Kids are smart. They just need opportunities. Lead by example!” – Vu Le

A space created for Self Reflection, Community, and Anti-Racism

On reflection, participants strongly agreed that the spaces supported unlearning and resisting the delusion of white supremacy cultural characteristics within themselves, workplaces, and communities. They valued the community support in reimagining rest and sustainability.

The WA Charters Sector REIG has made a significant impact within the charter sector, fostering a community dedicated to racial equity and systemic change. The program has successfully cultivated a sense of community, joy, belonging, and collective care among participants, as reflected in the survey data. The program has not only fostered personal and professional growth but has also facilitated important conversations around racial equity and systemic change within education.

  • 100% of survey participants agreed the space allowed them to explore and reflect on personal and professional journey related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • 100% of survey participants agreed the space has helped build a sense of community, joy, belonging, and collective care within our charter public schools.
  • 100% of participants the spaces support unlearning and resisting the delusion of white supremacy cultural characteristics within within ourselves, the workplace and communities.

The program’s focus on anti-racism, educational justice, and rest fostered a deeper commitment to racial equity, sector-wide collaboration, and sustainable practices for educators and leaders in our schools. For WA Charters, it has been inspiring to see the values of our members, the sector, and educators throughout the state expressed so thoughtfully in these spaces and beyond.

This program was successful in aiding educator retention. By thoughtfully connecting with one another from across the state and engaging in this equity-focused professional development, staff and teachers expressed an eagerness for spaces like these and were excited to bring their learnings back to their students. As organizations supporting schools, it crucial to invest in initiatives that retain, empower, and bring together our community of educators.