What is true integration?
The Reimagining Integration: Diverse and Equitable Schools Project (RIDES) started at Harvard University in recognition that having students of different races in school together does not automatically translate to educational equity. We are committed to fostering school diversity, but we also know that diversity in itself is not enough for a school to be truly integrated.
We believe that true integration is more than diversifying the number and types of bodies in a school building. It is more than having one-off events celebrating minoritized groups, adding stock images of people of color to presentations, or organizing isolated professional development sessions on race and unconscious bias.
We believe true integration is when schools achieve the ABCDs: strong academics and a sense of belonging for all students, a commitment to dismantling racism, and an appreciation of diversity.
How we advance our mission.
While segregation and educational inequity are systemic issues, impacted by a history of structural racism from the federal to local level, we believe that our primary means to disrupt this is to work with schools, districts and charter management organizations, providing them with tools to move from desegregation to integration. We also highlight resources on our website that we believe can help achieve the ABCDs, and are launching a fellowship in conjunction with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to help support educators and leaders committed to diverse and equitable schools.