Integrated Schools has a simple, yet ambitious mission: build out grassroots efforts with PARENTS to integrate schools – to deliberately and joyfully enroll our children in schools that are racially, ethnically, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse. Integrated Schools develops and supports coalitions of parents from all racial, socioeconomic and linguistic backgrounds to work together to integrate schools, campus by campus, community by community, parent to parent.
The following four pillars of action grounds this work:
- Generate Awareness – Raising consciousness of the problem of segregation and the promise of integration, we uplift stories, news and research on this topic and provide forums for discussion. Since most school decisions are heavily influenced by social networks, we are sharing stories, news, research that parents can bring back to those untraditional and overlooked places of decision-shaping-power like grocery store lines, birthday parties, playgrounds, etc. We both generate awareness within our networks and empower parents to do this work in their communities.
- Desegregate Our Children – Enrolling our kids in integrating schools is the critical first step toward ending our separate and unequal system. On the path to integration, we start with desegregation. Integrated Schools supports parents in the process of making these decisions through a community of support and providing one-on-one parent mentoring with other parents who have walked this path.
- Integrate with an Equity & Inclusion Mindset – Meaningful integration demands respecting the needs and dreams of all students and families in a school. It means true partnership, mutual investment, being “in service” and “in community”; it cannot be a form of colonization/gentrification. Integrated Schools provides spaces to share better practices.
- Activate Politically – Systemic integration and educational equity policies are not created in a vacuum. Integrated Schools is creating a grassroots demand and personally-invested constituency for courageous policy.