"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 next generation doesn't have to struggle like we do," she said. 

Smith said fighting to dismantle racism in schools is hard — and scary.

"You automatically know you are going to meet resistance, you are going to meet hostility, people who are going to downplay what you have to say," she said. 

"But, if everybody's so afraid to make the first move, we're all just going to be standing there. 

There will always be excuses for why you shouldn't get started. But none of them are good enough."

You can watch excerpts from Jamie's interview here.

Stay tuned to hear from more of our partners about their commitment to integrated schools.