These are our Parent Volunteers… parents who are sending their kids to integrating schools and who are happy to talk with parents thinking about this decision.
Lisa (Kansas City)
I grew up going to Indianapolis Public Schools and now live in Kansas City, Missouri. I have 3 kids in public schools here, 7th grade, 4th grade, and 1st grade. We are a white family in a majority Hispanic and black K-8 language immersion magnet school. Our school serves a lot of ELL students, but enrolls a lower number of low income families than many of the district’s schools. Looking forward to chatting with you!
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.
Molly (New Haven)
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.
Colleen (Los Angeles)
Colleen is a mother of three, and a converted integrationist. Unwittingly Colleen enrolled her kids in an integrating school. 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).
Rebekka (New York)
My name is Rebekka and I am a parent of 3 children, ages 5, 8 and 10, all of whom attend an integrated public school in the Capital Region of New York State. I grew up attending integrated public schools in Rochester, NY and am passionate about equity in education.
My name is Jessica and I am a parent of 5 children, ages 11,9,7,5 and 3. My children attend global majority Title one schools in Houston, TX. We chose our neighborhood schools, but the majority of our neighborhood does not, and this led me to want to learn more about the history of segregation in our country and it’s ongoing effects today. We love our school and the journey has been one of learning, challenge and growth.
My name is Tonya. I’m a parent of two children – one of whom is currently a senior in the only public arts high school in Boston public schools. Living through years of budget cuts has demonstrated the ways in which well-meaning white families can both work with and also further marginalize families of color in the district. I look forward to talking with families interested in building multi-racial school communities that focus on lifting up the most marginalized voices.
My eldest daughter attends a global-majority school in Hoboken NJ. Our district and our town have undergone tremendous changes in the last 10-15 years, yet segregation in our elementary schools still persists. Our daughter’s experience as a now first grader has been a rich, yet challenging one. I want families to know that being “the first” or one of the first in a school is a gift and privilege, and to be mindful of the community that they are joining.
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.
Erica Hunt (Saint Paul)
Our choice for integrated schools reflects our commitment to being rooted in our culturally diverse neighborhood where we have lived for almost twenty years.
Denise (Santa Fe)
I’m Denise, and am a recent transplant to Santa Fe, NM via Dallas, southern and northern California, and Boulder, Colorado. I have one son who is 6 years old and in the first grade. Like so many, Nikole Hannah-Jones gave me my lightbulb moment around the positive impacts of school integration for all children, yet we found ourselves confronted with this choice when looking for an elementary school for our son and the realization we weren’t going to get a spot in the popular school. Through this journey I came to realize that maybe the popular choice isn’t necessarily the best choice, and that our personal choices have broader societal impact. My passion is to facilitate dialogue and share stories around the realities of public schools, to dispel the rumors, perceptions and fears that perpetuate segregation.