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Student-Led Equity Task Force

Creating opportunities for students to design and lead district-wide equity and inclusion work


With the shift to distance learning, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District leaders recognized that pursuing greater equity at the system level would mean giving students greater voice and ownership in how issues of equity were prioritized and addressed. Students came together to form a district-wide equity task force to lead the work.


MPUSD students from across all four of the district high schools came together to form a student-led equity task force to understand challenges and create training, tools, and strategies to address inequities of race and identity in the school system. Supported by staff members, these students began meeting weekly.

One of the first steps the group took was to survey all high school students. They analyzed these data to inform priorities and steps for the task force. Working across schools, the team met regularly to plan programs and initiatives, with student site-leads taking the ideas back to their own schools. Over the course of the year, the task force facilitated student voice panels, engaged with the school board, and developed programming throughout the year, including parent workshops, campus “equity assemblies,” and conversations around distance learning.

“Some of the things our kids have been able to do during this has been really awesome, and I'm looking forward to figuring out how to continue to leverage that. During Black History Month, we have a student-led equity leadership team district-wide. For Black History Month, they organized this whole day of community leaders coming in to speak to a whole bunch of our students. And it was totally student-run, student-driven. We helped.” - PK Diffenbaugh, Superintendent, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District

This strategy is a part of TLA's Hop, Skip, Leapfrog release, which explores the concrete ways in which schools and systems pursued student-centered innovation during COVID-19. Explore the full guide to find additional strategies, insights, and resources.

Strategy Resources

Equity Task Force Slide deck

This example slide deck by Monterey Peninsula Unified School District showcases how they ran a... Learn More