Update and New Projects

The SD Notebook is back! And, better than before! Since my last post, I started a new position as a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Education and Civil Rights (CECR), which is based at Penn State University and run by Erica Frankenberg. I’m thrilled about the opportunity to learn from such a respected/accomplished school diversity researcher and to devote full time work to civil rights in education. Here is the official announcement.

I will continue to write posts for the blog, including news summaries, though there will be more collaborative overlap between the SD Notebook and CECR (look for #SchoolDiversityNotebook). For example, I’ll likely write about our events, including an upcoming panel on the anti-Affirmative Action case against Harvard and Jeff Sessions’ DOJ investigations into admissions policies at other highly selective universities. The position also allows me the opportunity to dive into my wishlist of blog post topics that I haven’t had the time to write about previously.

Along these lines, I’ve long wanted to put together a list of resources for folks who are new to the history or research or advocacy related to school diversity. I have to credit Courtney Mykytyn of Integrated Schools as a big source of motivation on this- In a conversation a while ago, Courtney asked if there is something easy she could share with parents who see something going on at their school but might not have access to materials/resources that connect local-level issues to larger themes. I think the same may be useful for teachers or K-12, undergraduate, and graduate students.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be putting together a list of the top 10 (or so) resources for folks who are relatively new to school diversity work- resource that can help folks to understand the barriers to integration and the pathways to meaningful school diversity. And, I thought it might be fun/interesting to crowdsource this a bit. It might be hard to imagine for folks who write and think about this all the time, but at some point, we encountered something that expanded our understanding of the topic, and it was very possibly something that changed us professionally and personally. Nikole Hannah-Jones piece on choosing a school for her daughter or her episode series on This American Life? This John Oliver segment? This short piece where Bronx 5th graders talk about their experience of school segregation? We’d love to hear about what really spoke to you and what you’d recommend for others.

And, the boundaries on this are pretty broad. Most importantly, the resources should be easily consumable – so, less than an hour to read, listen or watch (and multiple forms of media are highly encouraged). We’d love to have at least a few links that point folks towards productive avenues for policy, research or advocacy. Beyond that, resources could cover any relevant aspect of school diversity- from historical pieces to discussion of contemporary issues, from large-scale overviews or theoretical pieces to concrete resources for classroom instruction or local-level advocacy. Anything you think is great or useful. Feel free to share any recommendations in the comments here, to tweet to us (@psu_civilrights) or to email us directly at the center (psu.cecr@gmail.com). Looking forward to hearing your ideas and, more generally, to keeping you all updated on CECR’s work during this difficult and potentially transformational time for civil rights in education.

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