Courtney (Los Angeles, CA)
Courtney has two kids – both teenagers! – who attend a large district high school LA. Her kids are two of only a few white kids enrolled and, yes, they’re doing great. Courtney has been locally invested in the issue of school segregation since her eldest was in preschool and founded Integrated Schools in 2015 in an effort to harness the energies of all us making these choices.
Colleen (Los Angeles, CA)
Colleen is a mother of three, an entrepreneur in a weird niche of the entertainment industry and a recently converted integrationist. Unwittingly Colleen enrolled her kids in an integrated school that happened to be walking distance from their house. Over the few years surrounded by this issue and all the angsty talk about this issue she has become convinced that integration is the key to many of the problems plaguing our nation. She struggles to balance her desire to convert innocent preschool parents at the park to the integration movement with sounding like a zealot, a kook or most likely a sanctimonious jerk. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and is one of eight children who all have red hair (some details that probably have a large influence on her identity).
Carissa (Nashville, TN)
Carissa Rasmussen is an 8 year veteran of Metro Nashville Public Schools as a middle school special education teacher, a wife to Cory, and a mom to Maxwell (7), Lincoln (4), and twins, Baker and Beau (2). Since jumping into the full-time mom role, the conversations around public education and neighborhood schools she was witnessing were alarming and drove her to back into action as an advocate for educational equity. Carissa is proud graduate of Millikin University (BA) and Belmont University (MA, Teaching) and has started a local Nashville chapter of Integrated Schools and serves on the Integrated Schools Parent Advisory Board.
Alexandra (Seattle, WA)
Ali McKay is a parent of two elementary aged kids in an integrated public school in Seattle, and started the Seattle chapter of Integrated Schools. Though her day job is as a lawyer, she writes, camps, sails and bikes for fun.
Ali (Austin, TX)
My name is Ali Takata. I live in Austin, TX with my husband and two daughters. After three years in our segregated, privileged, neighborhood public school, I started to educate myself about school segregation. As a result, I simply could not continue to uphold our racist education system with my choices and I decided transfer them to another school. Their present elementary school is 82% black and brown, and 89% econ disadvantaged. It's not a perfect choice, but our decision feels like a tiny step towards dismantling one of our many racist structures.
Andrew (Denver, CO)
Andrew is a father of a 2nd grader and nearly 5 year old in Denver. His kids attend the same, integrating elementary school he attended.
Bridget (Minneapolis, MN)
Bridget Gernander lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her middle school aged kids. Bridget grew up in Minneapolis going to an integrated elementary school before her parents white flighted to the suburbs. When it was time for her kids to go to school, their family found an integrating school where they would be part of a community that looked like the city as a whole. Minneapolis faces enormous equity challenges and Bridget has formed a local chapter of Integrated Schools to have parent to parent conversations about how to live your values through the school choices you make.
Denise (Santa Fe, NM)
Miriam (Inglewood, CA)
Miriam lives in Inglewood with her husband and two elementary school sons. Her boys attend a global-majority school.
Susan (Pasadena, CA)
Susan Savitt Schwartz lives in Altadena, CA, which is part of the Pasadena Unified School District. Two daughters, now in and beyond college. I have worked since 2008 with Pasadena Education Network (PEN), a grassroots local parent group that encourages parents to visit their local (district) schools, connect with parents who have kids in the schools, enroll, and engage. We offer parent leadership development workshops and work with parents and the district on effective, collaborative, cross-cultural parent engagement.
Molly (New Haven, CT)
Molly Wheeler is a resident of New Haven, CT, where she is a parent of five children, ranging in age from 2 to 19. Originally from New Hampshire, Molly is an archivist at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library but is currently pursuing coursework for a switch to nursing.
Zoe (Philadelphia, PA)
Vanessa (Washington, D.C.)
Brad (Washington, D.C.)
Sarah (Houston, TX)
Sarah is a white mom of three kids in Houston, TX.
Lee-Ann (St Louis Park, MN)
Lee-Ann Stephens is a champion for excellence and racial equity in education. She is also an advocate for learner-centered education. She has been an educator for 29 years and was named Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year in 2006. She currently serves as a Racial Equity Instructional Coach for the St. Louis Park Schools in Minnesota. Stephens holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.
Vicky (Los Angeles, CA)
Vicky is a community activist, organizer, mother and former Respiratory Care Practitioner that loves her community. As an immigrant she experienced discrimination throughout her life and continues to see it which led her to get involved with Integrated Schools. As a mother her hopes are that not only her children but those in her community and throughout grow up more aware of the privilege surrounding them and how added barriers are at times created.