Racial/Socioeconomic Desegregation

Action Team Goal:

Community members must demand the end of socioeconomic and racial segregation.

Meeting 6 Recap

  • Recap of an interim meeting held in November to develop the role of facilitators and use of storytelling in the team project

  • Attendees agreed on the team and local artists to:

    • be trained on anti-racism, cultural competence, and school desegregation

    • Build out a curriculum with elements of storytelling

    • Facilitate their created curriculum

    • Decide how to integrate and present this curriculum in the community 

  • Team brainstorm around project implementation and preparation for the next phase with a focus on:

    • Size and demographic composition of the team

    • What types of trainings the group and facilitators should receive

    • How big a team should be

    • Who should train the team

    • What commitments the team should make to the process

    • What the curriculum could cover

    • Who a pilot audience would be

    • Where this program would be piloted

    • Overall goal of the project

  • The team reached the following consensus:

    • Start with a core group of 10 to 12 facilitators

    • Racially diverse team with an emphasis on youth members negatively impacted by segregation and parents who can develop skills in responsive integration practice

    • Team to be trained in anti-racism, history, and current statistics around local desegregation and equity issues

    • Piloting the curriculum in neighborhoods most affected by segregative practices

Meeting 5 Recap

  • Small group discussions and share outs on the concepts of complacency and complicity

  • Team created questions they needed to answer in regards to what the cultural competency programming should look like

  • Brainstorm ideas for project implementation, scope, and goals

  • Reached consensus on what elements were essential to include in the program, such as:

    • using diverse facilitators

    • going into different communities with this program

    • having artist involvement with the storytelling component

    • creating a shared and consistent script for all of the facilitating teams

    • finding shared and transparent messaging for the program

    • having an end goal that leads to action

Meeting 4 Recap

  • Explored common thought processes held by parents considering enrolling their child in a segregated school

  • The team discussed the difference between desegregation and responsible integration practices based on research provided by national organization Integrated Schools

  • After discussion, the team underwent a voting and workshopping process to narrow down project ideas proposed from the group in prior meetings

  • The chosen project will focus on combining cultural competency training with a storytelling campaign to elevate the experiences of students, teachers, parents, and community members

Meeting 3 Recap

  • Participated in an interactive mini-workshop on the historical perspective of school segregation with guest facilitator and artist Josiah Golson

  • Discussed project proposals including the following approaches

    • Communication/awareness building campaign

    • Neighborhood/education based work

    • Community exchange/reconciliation work

    • Student-led initiatives

    • Integrating the arts into conversations around school segregation

Meeting 2 Recap

  • Discussed common arguments and myths surrounding segregation in our community, specifically:

    • De jure segregation (segregation that is imposed by law) vs. de facto segregation (segregation that is a result of social difference and choice)

    • Racism as a problem of the past, present, and future

    • Myths associated with school integration being harmful and unfair for high performing students

  • Reflected on how our individual choices as parents, students, teachers, and community members impact all students in Hamilton County

  • Explored shifting the perspective past individual interest to the health and well-being of the community as a whole

Meeting 1 Recap

  • Participants discussed the ways they have experienced, seen, or learned about socioeconomic and racial segregation

  • The group determined the opportunities and challenges faced in achieving socioeconomic and racial integration in our public schools

Next Steps:

  • The group has decided to have an interim meeting in 3 weeks before the official 6th meeting to spend time 1) brainstorming and outlining logistics for training and identifying facilitators and experts in the field and 2) creating a framework for the curriculum and storytelling element of the project.