Fixing Systems, Not Kids: Changing the Narrative of Black Males in Guilford County Schools


Barry Brinkley is the executive director of equity in student achievement, Eric Hines is the former director of equity and inclusion, Effie G. McMillian is the supervisor of early literacy, Brooksie Sturdivant is the equity coach specialist, and Monica Walker is the former executive director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, all in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of Guilford [North Carolina] County Schools. Akisha Jones is a research assistant professor in the School of Education at the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy at the University of Delaware and a former fellow of the Strategic Data Partnership who led research and evaluation efforts in Guilford County Schools.

In Guilford County (NC), the district aimed to change adults’ beliefs and practices, rather than “fix” boys of color, by improving relationships between teachers and students and addressing implicit bias among educators, working in two areas: early literacy and discipline policies.