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Using art to take ownership of the history of school segregation

As a former classroom teacher and educator at the New York Historical Society, Katie Fuller knows the possibilities of learning through stories and artifacts.

By asking students questions about art, the act of learning becomes reciprocal. Students gets to tell the teacher what they see, and bring their own experience to the table. Their interpretation of the art — and, by extension, history and the world around them — matters.

That’s why Fuller spearheaded Race + Revolution: Still Separate, Still Unequal, a traveling exhibit of...

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No justice without equity, says John B. King, CEO of The Education Trust and former U.S. Secretary of Education

In his speech at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on Wednesday, former U.S. dismantling racism in schools is more urgent than ever.

    He not only diagnosed what he considers to be the greatest challenges facing equity in today’s schools, but also offered some prescriptions, including diversifying the teaching force and organizing structures around the students with the highest needs —  although he warned against silver bullets....

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What reviewers are saying about "America to Me," which will be featured at RIDES Conference on May 29

"James’ docuseries declares that now is a time for urgency, and the first three hours make quite the compelling case...Chicago’s Oak Park and River Forest High School is considered an elite institution, home to a diverse student population that represents America as a whole...But there’s a problem at this seemingly ideal school: Test scores are on the rise for white students, but black students aren’t seeing any progress. The gap is growing, even though it appears all students are being given the same opportunities. And no one knows why."

-Ben Travers...

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"There will always be excuses."

Last spring, we asked the educators, administrators, and students to sit down with us and talk about their reasons for pursuing integrated schools.

Jamie Smith was teaching at Bowman Elementary School in Lexington, MA at the time.

When Smith was a child, she was one of the only students of color in her class, an experience she describes "as having to do a very narrow tight-rope walk trip every day."

That feeling is what inspires her to work toward true integration today. 

"We've struggled, and it's important that the...

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Reflecting on pathways to equity

Last Saturday, our local school and district partners joined Harvard students in RIDES courses for our annual Pathways to Equity conference, where we reflect on our work over the past school year. Educators and students shared their challenges and successes as they pursue true integration, as well as steps they're excited to take next year.

Here is just an abbreviated list of what our partners accomplished this year: 

A team from Bowman Elementary continued work on a schoolwide Dismantling Racism curriculum. 

Cambridge Rindge &...

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Student voice in reimagining integration Alumni of Color Conference

Earlier this month, hundreds of educators, students, academics and activists descended onto Appian Way, home of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, for the annual Alumni of Color Conference. The theme this year was “Radicalize, Reimagine, Reconstruct,” and so RIDES’s work on reimagining integration fit right in.

For one of the panels, educators and one student who we’ve worked with talked about how they are reimagining integration at their schools, with a special focus on the role of students.

Here are some highlights...

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