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Community and Youth Organization and Reform

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Date and time
Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Harvard Graduate School of Education hosts a forum focused on community and youth organizing as a strategy to build civic participation and power in low income communities and as a powerful force for change in urban schools.

Karen L. Mapp is a lecturer on education at HGSE. Her research and practice expertise is in the areas of educational leadership and educational partnerships among schools, families, and community members. Mapp joined HGSE in January 2005 after serving for 18 months as the interim deputy superintendent of Family and Community Engagement for the Boston Public Schools (BPS). While working with the BPS, she continued to fulfill her duties as president of the Institute for Responsive Education (IRE); an organization that conducts research on and advocates for effective school, family, and community partnerships that support the educational development of children. Mapp joined IRE in 1997 as project director for the Boston Community Partners for Students' Success initiative. She was appointed vice president in May 1998 and president in September 1998. Mapp holds a doctorate and master's of education from HGSE in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, a master's in Counselor Education from Southern Connecticut State University, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1997, she was awarded a Spencer Dissertation Fellowship for her research on how and why families are involved in their children's educational development. She is the author of "Making the Connection between Families and Schools," published by the *Harvard Education Letter* (1997) and "Having Their Say: Parents Describe How and Why They Are Engaged in Their Children's Learning" in the *School Community Journal* (2002). She also coauthored with Anne Henderson *A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement* (2002).