Spotlight on Equity Education, June 2024 Issue

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Our June issue of Spotlight on Equity Education highlights Pride Month and LGBTQ+ student voices. We’ve also included information about Albemarle County’s 21-Day Equity Challenge and Juneteenth resources and community celebrations. Plus, we’ve highlighted our culturally responsive teaching professional learning opportunities for this summer.

Pride Month

June is a month dedicated to celebrating the contributions and history of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Community. In this year’s Pride Month Compass post, we are highlighting the experiences of our ACPS LGBTQ+ students. Their stories emphasize the importance of creating spaces in our school to help them feel affirmed, valued and empowered to be the most authentic version of themselves.

Check out this video of Zoë Padron, Talent Development Resource Teacher and Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) Advisor* at Western Albemarle High School:

ACPS LGBTQIA+ Student Voice

What does Pride Month mean to you?
“Pride Month is a celebration of queer culture and support for lgbtqia+ people.” — WAHS Student
“It’s a month where I can be gay and not be ashamed of it.” — Center I Student
“It’s important to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community to recognize the hardships they face just to be themselves.” — JMS Student

Why is it important to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community?
“Because we’re hero’s” — Center I Student

How do the adults in your schools help you feel like your identity is affirmed and valued?
“My teachers support my identity and report homophobic actions.” — WAHS Student

What is your GSA group doing to celebrate Pride Month this year?
“We host Pride Events and we are making t-shirts!” — WAHS GSA
“We are celebrating pride month by creating and hanging posters up around the school with positive messages and various pride flags. We are also working on a slideshow of book recommendations and LGBTQ+ people that helped shaped history for our morning announcements.” — JMS GSA

LGBTQIA+ Professional Learning Resources

Safe Space Workshops: UVA’s LGBTQ Center offers free workshops around Safe Spaces as well as other informative sessions. The ACPS Equity Education Coordinators will be partnering with UVA’s LGBTQ Center to offer Safe Space Training for ACPS employees starting in the 2024-25 school year.

*To learn more about Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) or similar organizations at your school, contact your school counselor. For general information about GSAs division-wide, contact Megan Washburn.

Summer Equity Challenge

Albemarle County Government’s Office of Equity & Inclusion developed the 21-Day Equity Challenge to help adults explore and understand different aspects of equity, such as race, gender, sexuality and ability. The challenge seeks to inspire participants to actively contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable county and world. Over the summer, our equity education specialists had the honor of partnering with the County’s equity and inclusion team to develop similar experiences for students in grades K-8. If you are interested in learning more about the Equity Challenge, check out the project web page.


Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It’s celebrated on June 19 each year, marking the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were now free. This announcement came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Juneteenth is a time for reflection, education and celebration of African American history and culture, as well as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice. In 2021, it gained particular significance as President Joe Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making Juneteenth a federal holiday in the United States.

Juneteenth Learning Resources

The following resources explain the history and purpose of this holiday:

Videos for students:

Local Celebrations

JSAAHC Juneteenth Celebration 2024
Saturday, June 15, 2024 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

JSAAHC once again will be parading for Juneteenth! The event is free and open to the public. If you would like to help plan, or walk in the parade, sign up here or contact Leslie M. Scott-Jones at or call 434-260-8722.

3rd Annual Descendants Day at Highland
Saturday, June 8, 2024 | 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Highland Council of Descendant Advisors welcomes anyone working on or interested in the histories of slavery, the shared work of making our present and future more equitable based on historical knowledge, and collaboration in research. Plan to share information, resources and encouragement with others journeying on the same path. Space is available to display your community’s resources and stories. This event is free and open to the public. For a schedule of events and to register for the event, visit the event website.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Credentialing Calendar

During our 9th annual Equity Conference, we had the honor of celebrating 145 newly credentialed and certified culturally responsive educators and leaders. Visit the event website to see a full list of honorees along with our Equity Educators and Leaders of the Year.

Holidays & Observances

  • Month of June:
    • Pride Month
    • Black Music Month
    • Caribbean American Heritage Month
  • June 19: Juneteenth

ACPS Equity Specialists are available to provide Professional Learning Community (PLC) and school-level support for Culturally Responsive Teaching practices and to assist in helping teachers work through the credentialing process. For support or assistance, please reach out to the specialist(s) assigned to your school or email