After wrapping up the areas of economic wellbeing and housing, the Inclusive Dubuque network’s equity profile process will shift its monthly focus to education in April. The network will look at data around equity and inclusion in areas including: achievement rates among diverse student populations, highest level of education completed, and more.
Education impacts quality of life, community vitality, and economic development and growth, making in an issue with regards to equity and inclusion.
“The profile will enable us to ascertain what factors are impacting equity in education,” said Liang Chee Wee, Ph.D., president of Northeast Iowa Community College and Inclusive Dubuque network partner. “What barriers are impeding someone in our community from accessing education to achieve his/her goals? How do we invest in resources to address and remove those barriers?”
In Dubuque, recent collaborations between the nonprofit, education and government sectors are working to improve access to educational opportunities. Re-Engage Dubuque, for example, focuses on engaging students who dropped out of the K-12 system to help them complete their high school education. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, another successful collaboration, provides free books monthly to all children from birth to five years of age. Reading-focused programs like this are of particular importance because a child’s ability to read proficiently affects his/her future educational performance and career prospects.
In April, Inclusive Dubuque’s goal for data collection, community dialogues and online surveys will be to identify where there might be opportunities for improvement in equity and inclusion in Dubuque’s education systems.
Dr. Wee emphasizes the importance equitable access to education. “The late Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ To achieve that change, the opportunity to access education must exist,” said Wee.
For more information on the equity profile, including details about upcoming dialogues, survey links and more, visit www.inclusivedbq.org and follow @InclusiveDBQ on social media.