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Beyond Black and White: Race in the Boston Public Schools

In partnership with:
With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Basic Black hosts an hour-long forum with panelists and an audience in the WGBH studio. The discussion explores how the Boston public school system can maintain a commitment to diversity and provide a quality education. Major areas covered in the discussion include: the re-segregation of schools and how this impacts the achievement of students of color; multilingual education and the obligation to address the needs of a swelling immigrant student population; the re-examination of school assignments; and the impact of the recent court decision that the voluntary desegregation plan in Lynn, MA is unconstitutional. One of the goals for the forum is to provide a setting where the academy meets the community--a gathering that promotes conversations and ideas among Boston's scholars, parents, education activists and students.

Charles Ogletree is the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at the law school. He is the author of the critically acclaimed *All Deliberate Speed*, and has received numerous awards and honors, including being named one of the 100+ Most Influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine. In the immediate aftermath of the Crowley-Gates incident, Ogletree acted not only as counsel to Professor Gates but continues to act as advisor on police behavior to both Harvard University and the City of Cambridge. He was a senior advisor to President Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.
Professor Orfield received his B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota and his M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Chicago. He is primarily interested in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He was co-founder and director of the Harvard Civil Rights Project and is now co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. Orfield's central interest has been the development and implementation of social policy, with a central focus on the impact of policy on equal opportunity for success in American society. Orfield received the 2007 "Social Justice in Education" Award by the American Educational Research Association for "work that has had a profound impact on demonstrating the critical role of education research in supporting social justice." He is a member of the National Academy of Education. Professor Orfield, together with Professor Patricia Gondara, co-director of the Civil Rights Project, received two new research grants since June 2007. The first initiative, funded by the Eleanor Foundation of Chicago, is entitled, "The Future Rests on Working Moms: Unequal Opportunity and Policies to Help Them Realize Their Dreams for Their Children." The second study, funded by the Ford Foundation, is called "Breaking the Chain of Failure: Moving from Weak High Schools to Strong Community Colleges for Students of Color."