Equity Review Tool

Achieving the Dream

A Tool Aiding Equitable Education

Designing a dynamic and step-by-step guide to develop equity-centered instructional materials in higher education


Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a partner and champion of more than 300 community colleges across the country. Drawing on expert coaches, groundbreaking programs, and national peer network, they provide institutions with integrated, tailored support for every aspect of their work — from foundational capacities such as leadership, data and equity to intentional strategies for supporting students holistically, building K–12 partnerships, and more. As frequent partners of Intentional Futures within the Every Learner Everywhere network of partners, they had collaborated with iF to develop a set of equity principles and practices to guide the work of the network.

ATD reached out to iF to bring a process guide for the development of equity-centered instructional materials directly to educators committed to the student-centered design, self-reflection, and group reflective process required to build and foster more inclusive, culturally responsive, and just learning spaces. ATD hoped that, with the implementation of this tool, educators could avoid last-minute, late-in-the-process equity reviews and instead focus on applying critical equity principles throughout the process.

What we made

After conducting extensive research, interviews, and referencing our own past work in the space, Intentional Futures and ATD delivered a 30-page “equity review tool” for educators striving to create more validating and affirming learning experiences and environments for students who are Black, Latinx, Indigenous, poverty-affected, first-generation, non-male-identifying, LGBTQIA+, and/or disabled.

This tool was designed to be used by individuals and teams who are either creating original materials or revising existing materials, including:

  • Syllabi
  • Textbook and course readings
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) (original or adapted content)
  • Project/activity instructions and assignment prompts
  • Assessments — formative and summative
  • Rubrics
  • Learning activities
  • Lecture notes
  • Content presentations
  • Student messaging (emails, nudges, 1:1s, etc.)

Over the course of three chapters, the resource provides educators with strategies and resources to aid the creation or revision of their instructional materials in a way that centers equity throughout. Each chapter concludes with a set of reflection questions educators can consider in order to ensure they gave thought and attention to each step of the process the guide covers.

“In our work with iF, the team demonstrated they’re not afraid to ask tough questions and to get uncomfortable in order to ensure we’re doing the best job we possibly can to equitably serve our students.” - Ruanda Garth McCullough, Director of Programs


Educators equipped with this tool will be prepared to create a more validating learning environment by ensuring that the instructional materials being used in college courses are conceptualized and constructed leveraging equity-minded competencies and processes. With the implementation of this tool, students across the country will be supported by a more equitable teaching and learning process.

To access the full guide, and learn more about Achieving the Dream and the Every Learner Everywhere Network, click here.

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