Follow the Money
What is The Equity Collaborative LLC?
The Equity Collaborative LLC was registered as a limited liability company in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
By the end of 2020, The Equity Collaborative had a PR problem.
It hired Ivan Ross, founder of Ivan Ross Creative, a Durham, North Carolina, marketing specialist. He said, in a blog post: “I’m helping them restructure and redesign their website, simplify their message, expand their email marketing reach, write provocative blog posts, and improve their Google search results.”
He wrote: “Just a couple of conversations into our relationship, I saw an opportunity for The Equity Collaborative to be both proactive and provocative. I rewrote their web copy with an eye toward rising the ranks of the highest volume keywords relevant to their work. I went to work upping the number of high-quality inbound links to their website. I set up their blog and began writing posts that would further establish their voice as authoritative yet approachable. Within a couple of weeks, according to Moz Pro tools I was using, their “search engine visibility” went up just shy of 40,000%.”
In mid-December 2020, Ross published a blog post, “Fox News, Virginia, and US: Educational Equity in Loudoun County.”
What services does The Equity Collaborative LLC offer?
The Equity Collaborative says it sells programs to “create educational equity and social justice by addressing bias and oppression.” Its services include a “racial equity institute,” “equity focused” coaching and “culturally responsive practice workshops.”
It states explicitly on its website that its “Advanced Practice Series” teaches “Equity Leadership through a Critical Race Theory Lens.”
It notes, “This institute is our series for advanced conversations about equity, all driven through an approach that turns critical race theory into practices for building equitable learning environments.” It continues: “The sessions focus on applying Critical Race Theory as a form of practice for interrupting systemic racism and creating more equitable learning environments. These conversations are for equity practitioners who are ready to move from changes in their own practice to changes that interrupt the existing system of schooling.”
- Session 1: “Intro to Critical Race Theory”
- Session 2: “Understanding and Supporting Positive Racial Identity Development”
- Session 3: “A Walk in their Kicks: Literacy for Black Males”
- Session 4: “Students’ Six: Students Teaching Teachers Culturally Proficient Teaching Strategies”
- Session 5: “Adaptive Leadership for Equity”
What K-12 work has The Equity Collaborative LLC done?
Loudoun County Public Schools
In Invoice No. 246, dated June 9, 2020, Loudoun County Public Schools signed a $34,167 contract with the Equity Collaborative to teach “critical race theory development.”
The line item was for “Equity Leadership Coaching.” The “Time Entry Notes” were: “Coaching support for LCPS leaders – follow up meetings focused on Critical Race Theory Development May 2020,” the month before the invoice date.
The rate was $625 per hour for five hours of work for a total of $3,125 for just that line item.
In 2019, Loudoun County Public Schools paid The Equity Collaborative a total of $314,000 for training.
On Dec. 31, 2019, Loudoun County Public Schools signed a four-month contract to pay The Equity Collaborative $192,000 for work between March 2019 and June 2019, according to a copy of the contract. The contract included:
- $120,000 for an eight-day “Systemic Equity Assessment” including “various stakeholders,” including county staff, students and community members. It would be led by three Equity Collaborative consultants paid $5,000 per day per consultant.
- $32,000 for a “District Equity Plan” led by Graig Meyer and Jamie Almanzan for four days at a rate of $4,000 per day per consultant.
- $40,000 for “Equity Driven Central Office Leadership” for five months between July and December 2019 for two days per month of consulting by Jamie Almanzan at a rate of $10,000 per month.
- $50,000 for “Equity Driven Central Office Leadership” of two days per month of consulting by Jamie Almanzan at a rate of $10,000 per month.
On Nov. 20, 2019, the school district paid an additional $22,000 for a four-day “Equity in the Center Co-Facilitation,” according to an addendum that noted that Almanzan would receive $5,500 a day.
On Jan. 19, 2021, Parkview High School Principal Kirk Dolson signed an agreement to pay The Equity Collaborative $24,000 for six virtual sessions of the company’s “Equity Centered Leadership & Coaching Institute” program, “Developing Equity Centered Facilitative Leadership,” according to a copy of the contract.
The six sessions were:
- “Session 1: Using an Equity Transformation Frame, Scheduled for 2/1/21”
- “Session 2: Listening as a Culturally Responsive Skill, Scheduled for 2/8/21”
- “Session 3: Addressing Inequities through Coaching, Scheduled for 3/1/21”
- “Session 4: Practice Using Coaching Skills to Support Adults to Grow and Change, Scheduled for 3/8/21”
- “Session 5: Managing Team Dynamics for Multiple Perspectives, Scheduled for 4/5/21”
- “Session 6: Facilitating Groups to Grow and Change, Scheduled for 4/12/21”