"Dr. Lauren Wells challenges readers to take our conversations about equity to the next level. Well-intentioned leaders and policymakers can maintain practices and policies that undermine student achievement and ruin our aspirations for equity. The good news is that the author provides practical advice for every teacher, leader, and policymaker. Good intentions, Dr. Wells demonstrates, are not enough. We need concrete actions to match our rhetoric.
"This book is a rally call for all who know that Black student genius is alive, active, and well. Dr. Wells' work challenges the deficit, inequitable, spirit-murdering, and warehousing structure that we call school and calls for an Emancipatory Educational Ecosystem to take its place, which consciously connects every entity of the community in service of every Black student. In the spirit of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Carter G. Woodson, James Baldwin and other historic and modern liberators, this concept is bold and doable.
"If what we do says more about what we believe than what we say we believe… then this book must serve as an essential guide to help us reimagine how our schools can fearlessly pursue high intellectual performance, joy, freedom, and a sense of connection and meaningful relationships for our Black and Brown students. We must, as Dr. Wells asks, look in the mirror, both individually and collectively, and fiercely reimagine and rewire communities, schools, and classrooms to be the ecosystems of equity and justice our children deserve."
“In this age of responding to the effects of two enduring pandemics: COVID and racism, this book is a must-read. Dr. Wells gives educators a long overdue charge: STOP using deficit ideology to educate Black youth. She weaves large-scale research, historical events, ecological theory, and human experiences into a book of answers to fix racial inequities in schooling. I applaud her commitment to shifting to an ‘emancipatory’ and systemic paradigm for school reform. Brava!”
“There Are No Deficits Here is a call to interrupt the beliefs and dismantle the practices and policies that prevent Black children from thriving in schools. Simultaneously an honest indictment of the education system as well as an invitation to correct it, Dr. Wells calls on all of us who claim to be invested in the education of Black children to step up individually and collectively and dream the change we know is possible. She makes plain her own story and mission to improve education and encourages all of us to do the same.”
"There is such a wide diversity of thought in education circles relative to what equity is and what equity is not. Much of this thought is so disjointed that it leaves the teacher who wants to be a true equity practitioner completely confused. Dr. Wells’ new book, There Are No Deficits Here: Disrupting Anti-Blackness in Education brings it all together. I consider this book an important must read for anyone in education working with Black children."
“What was most striking about my first reading of There are No Deficits Here was the earnestness by which Dr. Lauren Wells exposes and confronts anti-Blackness in schools. In this instructive text, readers will learn from the many named and unnamed Black students, educators, activists, and intellectuals Dr. Wells invokes in her writing. Despite delineating the multiplicative ways schooling reinforces white supremacy, each chapter emanates hope. The narratives, theories, and empirical evidence presented highlight how everyone benefits from Black people’s brilliance.
“Since the construction of race and race-based ‘science,’ anti-blackness has insidiously permeated every aspect of our society, institutions, structures, and systems, ultimately resulting in individual, collective, and structural life-altering impacts; the education system is no exception. In There Are No Deficits Here: Disrupting Anti-Blackness in Schools, Dr. Lauren Wells expertly lays out the ways U.S. schools have proven to be bastions of anti-blackness and ecosystems that reinforce, maintain, and feed the structure of racial capitalism and anti-blackness.
"Dr. Lauren Wells takes on a topic of profound importance to all of us: 'How can we as educators purposefully and intentionally contribute to activating the limitless potential in Black students?' Setting forth a framework of analysis to explain how we came to be where we are, and what we need to do to 'ignite the genius already within our students,' Dr. Wells issues a clarion call for us to believe in (and act to support) the innate intellect and talent of Black students as evidenced by their creativity and resilience.
“Dr. Wells highlights the inequities Black children face in the American educational system. She provides opportunities for reflection throughout the book, and the examples shared are thought-provoking and relevant to the current climate in this country. Wells challenges educators to not simply acknowledge the disparities in education but to reflect on our bias and take action to move the educational system forward. All educators should read this book; this would be an excellent resource for a graduate-level course on social justice.”
“For generations, Black students’ dreams have been shattered by a U.S. education system functioning precisely as it was designed – to underestimate their potential and underinvest in their development. Lauren Wells offers a vital counter vision for this broken system and a roadmap to create a better one that brings together our Black students’ identities, cultures, histories, and communities.
"There Are No Deficits Here: Disrupting Anti-Blackness in Education is a clarion call for sweeping systemic change in our educational landscape. It vehemently challenges the underpinning narratives that have long permeated educational systems and practices that have reinforced a deficit-oriented view of students of color.