Equity and SEL Resources

The following is a curated list of resources on equity as it relates to social and emotional learning. This list was developed with input from several experts in the field.

CASEL believes SEL instruction and opportunities are essential to an effective and sound education for all children and youth regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, and/or other cultural differences.

Recommended Resources

CASEL: Emerging Insights on Advancing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) as a Lever for Equity and Excellence

  • This CASEL report summarizes five emerging insights on advancing SEL as a lever for equity and excellence that districts at all stages of their SEL implementation can reflect on as they shape their strategies

ASCD: How to Be an Antiracist Educator

  • This piece delineates what it means to practice anti-racism and provides actionable strategies for being an anti-racism educator

Facing History and Ourselves: Let’s Talk: Discussing Race, Racism, and Other Difficult Topics with Students

  • This guide provides strategies that educators can use to facilitate open conversations with students talk about the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of social inequality and discrimination

NAEYC: Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families

  • This article addresses the importance of talking about race and racism in developmentally appropriate ways with young people

National Museum of African American History and Culture: “Talking About Race” Web Portal

  • This online portal is designed to help educators, families, and other individuals talk about racism, racial identity, and the way these forces shape society

EdWeek: 15 Classroom Resources for Discussing Racism, Policing, and Protest

  • This article offers a list of resources specifically for classroom teachers, based on experiences of other teachers across the country

Facing History and Ourselves: Reflecting on George Floyd’s Death and Police Violence Towards Black Americans

  • This teaching guide will help teachers begin conversations with their students about George Floyd’s death and the events that surround it, including reflection activities to prepare for teaching, creating space for emotional processing, and diving deeper with multimedia tools

NEA: Creating the Space to Talk About Race in Your School

  • This white paper presents ten areas of focus (with complementary strategies) for creating a classroom space and culture where students feel comfortable talking about racism

The Atlantic: What Anti-racist Teachers Do Differently

  • This short article describes the mindsets necessary to engage in anti-racist teaching practices and support the success of all students

Teaching Tolerance, via Greater Good Science Center: Common Beliefs Survey – Teaching Racially and Ethnically Diverse Students

  • This professional learning activity leads staff to reflect on their beliefs and then critically examine commonly held beliefs about how to meet the learning needs of racially and ethnically diverse students

NCTSN: Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom – A Resource for Educators

  • This professional learning tool defines key terms, describes developmental differences in how children may be affected by racial trauma, and offers recommendations for creating a more trauma-informed classroom

Teaching Tolerance: Talking to Students About Race and Ethnicity

  • Packaged tools, webinar, and publications to support conversations with students about race, the Black Lives Matter movement, and injustice

Greater Good in Education: Standing Up Against Discrimination

  • In this high school level jigsaw activity, students explore real-world examples to identify peaceful ways of responding to discrimination when they see it

Teaching Tolerance: Why Teaching Black Lives Matter Matters, Part I

  • This article discusses the history and importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and explores effective strategies for addressing the movement with young children

EL Education: Reopening Guidance: Moving Toward More Equitable Schools

  • This toolkit centers equity in planning for reopening as an opportunity to re-examine, transform, and improve our systems to more wholly center on the experiences of our students and staff. The guidance and support for schools and districts includes SEL, as well as trauma-informed and cultural competent practices.

Research Resources by Publication Type 

Articles and Book Chapters

Gregory, A., & Fergus, E. (2017). Social and emotional learning and equity in school discipline. Future of Children, 27(1), 117-136.
View the article

Jagers, R. J. (2016). Framing social and emotional learning among African American youth: Toward an integrity-based approach. Human Development, 59, 1-3.
View the article

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465-491.
Article available for purchase

Targeted universalism: Policy & practice. Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. Berkeley: University of California. Retrieved from https://belonging.berkeley.edu/targeteduniversalism
View the article.

Merrell, K. W., & Gueldner, B. A. (2010). Social and emotional learning in the classroom: Promoting mental health and academic success (Chapter 5: “One size does not fit all: Adapting social and emotional learning for use in our multicultural world,” pp. 83-102). New York: The Guilford Press.
Chapter available for purchase.

Slaten, C. D., Irby, D. J., Tate, K., & Rivera, R. (2015). Toward a critically conscious approach to social and emotional learning in urban alternative education: School staff members’ perspectives. Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, 7(1), 41-62.
View the article.


Cartledge, G., & Milburn, J. F. (1996). Cultural diversity and social skills instruction: Understanding gender and ethnic differences. Champaign, IL: Research Press
Book available for purchase.

Ginsberg, M. B. (2015). Excited to learn: Motivation and culturally responsive teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Book available for purchase.

Hammond, Z. (2015). Culturally responsive teaching and the brain: Promoting authentic engagement and rigor among culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Book available for purchase.

Thompson, G. L., & Thompson, R. (2014). Yes, you can!: Advice for teachers who want a great start with the students of color. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Book available for purchase.

Briefs and Reports

The Aspen Institute (2018). Pursuing social and emotional development through and equity lens. A call to action. Washington, DC: Author.
View the report.

Council of Chief State School Officers. (2017). Leading for equity: Opportunities for State education chiefs. Washington, D.C. Retrieved from https://ccsso.org/sites/default/files/2018-01/Leading%20for%20Equity_011618.pdf
View the report

Jagers, R. J., Rivas-Drake, D., & Borowski, T. (2018). Equity & social and emotional learning: A cultural analysis. Chicago IL: CASEL.
View the brief.

Jagers, R.J., Rivas-Drake, D., & Williams, B. (2019) Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): Toward SEL in Service of Educational Equity and Excellence,Educational Psychologist. 54, 162-184. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2019.1623032
Article available for purchase

Osher, D., Kanter, E., LaHayne, S., Moroney, D., Money, J., & Nolan, E. (2019). Building equitable, safe and supportive schools: Trauma and culturally sensitive practices for guidance. Washington, DC: Move This World and American Institutes for Research.
Download the white paper

Videos and Webinars

Jagers, R., Randall-Gardner, P., & Van Ausdal, K. (2018). Equity and SEL: What educators need to know. Chicago IL: CASEL.
View the webinar recording.


Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (2019). Inclusive teaching. Hanover, NH: Author.
View the website.

Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity (2018). Implicit bias modules series. Columbus, OH: Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, The Ohio State University.
View the website.

Check out the five-part SEL as a Lever for Equity webinar series