John D. Marshall: An Unwavering Advocate for Racial Equity in Schools

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An Unwavering Advocate for Racial Equity in Schools

Anyone who listens to John D. Marshall, the chief equity officer for the Jefferson County, Ky., school district, will eventually hear that word as he advocates for students of color, those who are homeless, and the disadvantaged in the 101,000-student district.
He feels empowered to ask for—even demand—what those students need.
“You are speaking for those who might not be able to speak up,” he says. “I’m the inside agitator who is never satisfied.”
Marshall, who has spent nearly his entire life in Jefferson County Public Schools, is one of few district chief equity officers in the nation. It’s a job designed to ask uncomfortable questions and raise prickly issues about why some groups of students struggle when others thrive. Marshall does this with conviction—though not always with the utmost diplomacy—in this river city community that has a history of confronting racial inequities in its schools.
Read more here.