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When lifelong educator Gloria Ladson-Billings framed the concept of “education debts,” she had Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Dream” in mind; that one day, our nation would overcome inequality, uplift one another to realize the full potential of our gifts, and let judgment fall on our character.  

More than six decades after Brown v. Board of Education legally desegregated America’s schools, we have made progress in our society’s effort to confront racial inequality. High school completion rates continue to increase for minoritized students. The percentage of minoritized students between the ages of 18 and 24 enrolled in a college or university also continues to rise. But let’s be clear: We still have so much work to do.

High school completion and college enrollment rates, along with a litany of research and news headlines, continue to show that