Families Choosing Integration
Integrated Schools is made of parents who care a LOT about sending their kids to school outside of ‘the bubble’, who believe that our kids are strong and that growing up with children from all backgrounds makes great people. We looked at the schools in our neighborhoods and saw white “good” schools and poor/global-majority “bad, segregated” schools and got angry… and active. We are an all-volunteer army.
We don’t expect that changing the conversation around integration will be easy. But we firmly believe that integration is not a sacrifice of our own children but rather an investment in the future of all children and building a world we want our kids to be adults in. (And that sometimes we can end a sentence in a preposition).
As one of the most important pillars of our democracy, America’s public education system has the promise of building shared experience, common knowledge, and equal opportunities. However, despite the landmark 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education ruling that “separate is not equal,” our public schools today are increasingly segregated by race and class. Many of our nation’s children of color are left in racially isolated schools of concentrated poverty while their white and/or privileged peers enjoy greater access to more heavily-resourced schools and are themselves largely isolated from learning and growing with classmates who have different life experiences. This caste system of public education magnifies our polarization, harming our children who are growing up in segregated spaces, thus presenting grave threats to justice and our democracy as a whole.
Integrated Schools is growing a grassroots movement of, by and for parents who are intentionally, joyfully and humbly enrolling their children in integrating schools. Embracing the promise of integrated schools to prepare all students to thrive in an ever-globalizing world, provide equitable access and cultivate meaningful bonds across race, class, and ethnicity, we not only value but prioritize integration. Because school segregation is as much a story of failed public policy as it is one of white/privileged families thwarting it, our hearts-and-minds campaign offers a new model for integration in which this undertaking falls not on the backs of marginalized communities, but on white and/or privileged families who care about equity. By working with parents to examine their privilege and understand that their impact matters more than their intentions, Integrated Schools prepares parents to support meaningfully integrated classrooms that reflect the diversity of their district as well as school communities that respect ALL families and are galvanized around supporting ALL children. Through national organizing to promote local action, we support, educate, develop and mobilize families to “live their values,” disrupt segregation, and leverage their choices for the well-being and futures for their own children, for all children, and for our democracy.
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.
Desegregating Our Children
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.
Integrating 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”.
Integrated Schools is creating a grassroots demand and personally-invested constituency for courageous policy.