At The Equity Imperative, we envision the day when all organizations become sanctuary sites for equity.
Our mission is to relentlessly secure opportunities for all, especially those who are marginalized.
Meet The Team
Matthew Rodriguez is a teacher. In his nearly two decades of experience in education, he began as a janitor in a small alternative high school, transitioned to be a math tutor, then began teaching Math and Social Studies. He became a teacher leader, then an Assistant Principal, and ultimately was the Principal for 7 years in the same school in the Humboldt Park Community of Chicago. There he learned that education is, for many of our youth, the difference between life or death. The imperative nature of education, in this context, captured his imagination and frames how he continues to prepare leaders in schools today.
Matthew transitioned from the high school setting to a national role in designing and implementing curriculum to support educational leaders to have the highest impact with their student populations before he transitioned back to Chicago to become the Chief Education Officer of a small district.
Judith's heart is in the heart of schools. Community organizing led her to a schoolhouse door of her Humboldt Park Community. There she dedicated herself to mentoring youth through overcoming daily and major life stressors to successfully graduate. Such led to an in-depth understanding of positive school climate, Response to Intervention, Social Emotional Learning and, more formally, M.Ed in Youth Development.
As Dean of Student Affairs, Judy led shifts in school culture to support all students, meeting them where they were, and guiding them through the urban terrain through services, supports and opportunities. Judith believes the core of equity in schools lies in fostering a welcoming, safe and supportive space for students to thrive.
EDWARD MORRIS, JR.
Edward Morris Jr. is passionate about building the capacity of leaders who carry a vision for changing lives and fulfilling social enterprise centric missions with excellence. Ed committed to his passion first serving as a teacher, then as principal and aspiring principal developer and coach in Chicago.
He brings to the Equity Imperative several years of insight and influence in education reform having served in director and executive roles for 3 national education non-profits (New Leaders, Leap Innovations, and Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity). Through Visionport LLC., where he serves as president, he is honored to team with and work for Equity Imperative and the organizations we partner with.
Juanita brings over 12 years of experience serving in multiple roles in schools. From Manager of School Operations to Dean of Restorative Justice, Juanita has worked to create data driven systems of equity, as well as peace rooms where talking circles normalized restorative practices in a secondary school on the West Side of Chicago. Her work with the use of SEL Standards and practices garnered the Exemplary Supportive School Certification from Chicago Public Schools. Such experience has guided her philosophy of education to be rooted in freedom.
Currently, Juanita is earning a Masters in Educational Leadership at Northeastern Illinois University.