Social and emotional learning can be a powerful lever for creating caring, just, inclusive, and healthy communities that support all individuals in reaching their fullest potential.

Systemic implementation of SEL both fosters and depends upon an equitable learning environment, where all students and adults feel respected, valued and affirmed in their individual interests, talents, social identities, cultural values, and backgrounds.

While SEL alone will not solve longstanding and deep-seated inequities in the education system, it can help school districts promote understanding, examine biases, reflect on and address the impact of racism, build cross-cultural relationships, and cultivate adult and student practices that close opportunity gaps and create more inclusive school communities. In doing so, districts can promote high-quality educational opportunities and outcomes for all students, irrespective of race, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, and other differences.

This requires that SEL is implemented with an explicit goal of promoting educational equity.