The Equity Starter Kit

(5 customer reviews)


A Blueprint for Building Equity Within High Schools by Lawrence Garrett

ISBN: 9781733037570
Pub Date: Dec 2020 
Publisher: Eight Twenty Eight

The Equity Starter Kit is a guided blueprint for creating equity and inclusivity in High Schools. Built on the principles of being systemic and sustainable, The Equity Starter Kit examines power through a student-centered design model and proven Equity leadership principles and practices. If you’re looking to move beyond insular book studies and want strategies to improve equity within your school, this is the book for you. The Equity Starter Kit takes your courage and commitment towards equity and helps you harness them to become a calculated strategist. 

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The Equity Starter Kit is a guided blueprint for creating equity and inclusivity in High Schools. Built on the principles of being systemic and sustainable, The Equity Starter Kit examines power through a student-centered design model and proven Equity leadership principles and practices. If you’re looking to move beyond insular book studies and want strategies to improve equity within your school, this is the book for you. The Equity Starter Kit takes your courage and commitment towards equity and helps you harness them to become a calculated strategist. 

*BONUS: Customers who order 10 or more copies of The Equity Starter Kit will get a FREE, 30-minute consultation on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with the author! 

PRAISE FOR The Equity Starter Kit


“Lawrence Garrett is arguably the most strategic and intuitive leader in the region. He engages in the work of equity and inclusion with surgical precision producing transformational impact and systemic change. This book is a must read for those looking for a roadmap to personal growth and organizational revolution.”  –  Grant M. Twyman Jr., Equity and Inclusion Program Manager at Clover Park School District


“Lawrence Garrett is an engaging, dynamic leader who is relentless in his work of equity, diversity and inclusion. He understands the harm caused to our youth by institutional racism and is uncompromising in his journey to make real change within the system.  He challenges those he teaches in a way that can be heard – with honesty, respect, and from the heart. Garrett is a remarkable teacher, in a time and space that it is unquestionably needed.”  – Tracy Oster, Executive Director of Communities in Schools of Federal Way


“Lawrence Garrett is an agent of change and an influential leader for equity and inclusion. He provides valuable insight into the power differential, the pervasive inequities in the educational system, and the processes for systemic transformation. Skilled in the human dynamic, Lawrence grounds equity work in the philosophy of ‘calling people in’ before ‘calling people out’ to build capacity and advocacy for change. This book is a game-changer!”  – Alicia Nosworthy, Director of Instructional Leadership at Puyallup School District


“Learning from and growing with Lawrence has truly been a divine experience for me as a college administrator stewarding our most vulnerable students, many of whom are first generation, lower income, and from communities with diverse backgrounds … Equity is his purpose! … Lawrence ignited passion and instilled purpose in students with intentional design that could only be done because of who he is, his knowledge, and expertise … Readers, I dare you to read this book with an open mind, and more importantly, open heart. Be ready for the next level on your journey toward and through equity.”  – Dawn E. Reed, Director of Student Equity, Design, and Engagement at Pierce College


“I have an enormous respect for Lawrence Garrett and his dedication to equity work. What I most admire is his tireless dedication and endless determination to dismantle systems of racism. I am always in awe of his great knowledge and skill when it comes to human behaviors … he has a gift and the intelligence of interpersonal skills for working with people. It has been a privilege to get to know this brilliant individual who has become my ‘911’ in times of equity fatigue. His works have quickly become an asset to our organization. If you are serious about walking the walk of equity, this book is your compass.”  – Stacey Wright, M.S.Ed, Assistant Principal at Franklin Pierce High School


“Not only is Mr. Garrett exceptionally talented at positively impacting reluctant learners, he is also highly effective at empowering, celebrating, and acknowledging those who are interested and equity-focused individuals.  Perhaps most noteworthy, is Mr. Garrett’s ability to scaffold tough concepts within the context of race relations, systemic racism, bigotry, and implicit bias. He does this through creating and delivering hands-on or experiential activities that give participants of all backgrounds a chance to really understand race and racism in concrete ways. If your organization needs work surrounding the following: collaboration, eliciting and maintaining social-justice perseverance, and designing equitable and effective community culture, you would be hard-pressed to find a more fitting individual for the job.”  – Chimere Hackney, Dean of Students at Franklin Pierce School District


“Lawrence Garrett has had a transformative impact on me and our organization. He has a depth of empathy and compassion that makes tough conversations easier to receive and offers concrete strategies that illuminate the path for achieving DEI goals. He has helped me confront my own biases in a way that has been cathartic and healing, and in the process has helped me become a better leader. Our organization is more deeply committed to embedding equity and inclusion in everything we do and we are hopeful for the future because of our work with Lawrence.”  Erin Guinup, Executive & Artistic Director of Tacoma Refugee Choir


“A skillful and thought-provoking communicator, Lawrence Garrett has led us in transformative conversations to help shift our approaches to achieve equity, organizational structures, and building healthy relationships. Equally impressive is this targeted guide for high schools to take concrete next steps towards equity, yet we also find the learnings included to be relevant and relatable to many other sectors. This book is a must read from front to back and highly recommended as a group dialogue starter.”  Cindy Caldwell, Pierce County Community Engagement Taskforce


“Lawrence Garrett is a son, husband, father, leader, and role model in Pierce County. His energy and guidance have created a new set of standards for how support systems look. Since it’s inception, Lawrence has been on the leadership board for the Pierce County Community Engagement Task Force (PCCETF). He is also co-leading the Organizational Structures Committee, which focuses on institutions themselves, their governance, and how they operate. The team assists organizations in becoming more responsive and accountable to the communities they serve. This is done by guiding them through the restructuring of operational policies and improving professionalism and interagency integration. Lawrence has continued to motivate others, graciously giving the tools and advice needed to do so.”  – Collective endorsement from Tamar D. Jackson, Director of Community Engagement for WorkForce Central and the Founder of the Pierce County Community Engagement Task Force; Korbett Mosesly, Co-Founder of The Black Parents Alliance; and Dr. Cindy Caldwell, Co-Lead of the Organizational Structure Committee for Pierce County Community Engagement Taskforce


“Committing to work on diversity and inclusion can be complex, challenging and, at times, overwhelming work, which makes Lawrence’s skill and ability at fostering a sense of curiosity, inquiry and ultimately empowerment all the more remarkable.  His open, collaborative, and authentic communication style draws one into this work in a compelling and engaged manner … He is a dynamic agent of change; an inspiring thought leader and the most adept, relatable and inspiring coach I have worked with … Lawrence’s work led us to the establishment of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team for our organization – the most powerful teambuilding work we have done to date.”  – Suzy Green, owner of Three Trees Yoga LLC




Lawrence is considered a modern-day cultural savant. Known by many for his knack of decoding cultural behaviors that either support or undermine values and performance, Lawrence has grown a reputation for getting to the heart of the matter by identifying specific behaviors that are directly impacting business outcomes. Over the last 15 years,  Lawrence was able to hone these skills through his current consulting practice, Eight-Twenty-Eight, LLC., focusing on Leadership and Inclusion in the greater Pierce County area, his prior role as Executive Director of Advancing Leadership, as well as his numerous partnerships and consultative work with various non-profits within the community.

His talents, temperament and tenure as a leadership trainer, performance coach and equity and inclusion practitioner provides a unique combination of results, relationship and emotional quotient enhancement. Lawrence takes pride in his ability to assess, design and shift culture for maximum impact. A colleague and friend said it best about Lawrence, “He knows how to ‘change the weather’ in any environment he’s in.”



5 reviews for The Equity Starter Kit

  1. Melissa McPheeters

    Lawrence Garrett’s The Equity Starter Kit – A Blueprint for Building Equity Within High Schools is a valuable, must-have resource for anyone with a role in the education system – even if you work with younger grade levels. The book serves as a framework for schools to begin to undo and address the harms the education system has perpetuated against students and families since its inception. Rather than inundating the reader with text-heavy content, the book is succinct and direct. Each chapter guides you through realistic, task-oriented steps for successfully building equity in schools. The book is not a one-and-done read, but will leave you ready to do ongoing work towards building the equity we owe students and families.

  2. Nick Bayard

    Lawrence Garrett has created a straightforward, yet thorough, guide for anyone who cares about incorporating equity into high schools. Regardless of whether you are new to equity work, or if equity is in your job title, this resource has important insight to offer.

    As Assistant Chief Equity Officer for the City of Tacoma, my job is to incorporate equity into all aspects of local government, and my former role as a nonprofit director also centered on equity and inclusion. I see this book as not only valuable for high school faculty and administrators, but also for those of us in government and nonprofits.

    Since so many organizations seem to struggle with “where to begin” with equity work, “The Equity Starter Kit” meets a very important need for almost any organization that aims to improve the lives of young people and build more racial equity and other forms of equity into our communities. I recommend it for individuals, teams, and organizations.

  3. Madisen Wojciechowski

    Equity work is not about checking off a list, but truly “embracing, to enforce” and understanding the reality of situations and not a mantra of possibilities. Lawrence is one of the most eloquently truthful leaders I know and truly hits on the blueprint for building equity in high schools with this book. It’s not just about training and gaining knowledge, but igniting compassion and relationships to be on a mission together, that isn’t forced, but embraced with a shifted paradigm for the desire of full inclusion

  4. Erin

    I read this book from a business perspective and I truly enjoyed it. The content was strong with fresh information, and Lawrence’s writing is beautiful. There were several powerful quotes that I reread a several times and that I’ll take with me.

    I loved the way it was formatted with recaps and the summary was smart, too. Lawrence referenced other thoughts and movements, but he didn’t insult the reader’s intelligence by delving in too deep to concepts that the audience is most likely familiar with.

    Overall, I was wholly impressed!

  5. Paul Cavanagh

    It is easy to find literature and trainings on the why of equity work, but the how can be harder to come by. This is exactly what Lawrence Garrett’s “The Equity Starter Kit” offers. Garrett provides a simple, straightforward explanation for why equity work matters today – inequities exist and are perpetuated by social systems like public schools – and then, chapter by chapter, lays out an extremely clear and useful framework for taking action. As an educator, what I find most compelling in this book is the emphasis on building relationships (“Build People First, Policy Second”) with the eventual goal of shifting the culture of an institution. As someone who has been fortunate enough to work at a school where Lawrence and the 828 Team were contracted, I can attest to the effectiveness of the approach laid out in “The Equity Starter Kit.” After one year, the culture of my building is undoubtedly shifting in ways that will benefit our most marginalized students. Throughout “The Equity Starter Kit,” Garrett suggests practices, plans, and questions that help us identify: Who are we truly serving? And how can we more effectively center the voices and needs of those getting left behind? Garrett helps us see both the rationale and the concrete steps for integrating students, families, community members, teachers, and administrators, in the conversation. Furthermore, the form as well as the content of the book invites us in on a personal level. Each chapter ends with reflection and journaling questions, giving us time and space to stop, consider our role in equity work, and grow from wherever we are in this moment.

    Paul Cavanagh
    English and Ethnic Studies Teacher at Franklin Pierce School District

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