New Effort Pairs Educators and Housing Advocates to Tackle School Segregation (Elm City Communities)

Date Published: 
December 16th, 2020

From The 74:

Seeing how 2020 has become the year of highly unlikely events actually happening, Karen DuBois-Walton, president of the Housing Authority of New Haven in Connecticut, would like to put one more on the table: school integration.

After all, she notes, protests following the police killing of George Floyd have already led to a “sweeping police accountability bill” in Connecticut that she previously believed was unthinkable. She wonders what else might be possible in her state, where inequities loom large. The educational gaps between white students and Black and Latino students there are some of the largest in the country. Black and Latino residents comprise less than 30 percent of Connecticut’s population but approximately 80 percent of the low-income residents served by the housing authority.

“What in this moment can we seek to change as it pertains to education funding, education access, and equity in housing policy?” DuBois-Walton said.

This commingling of housing and education advocates to fight for school integration is the focus of The Bridges Collaborative, a new effort that brings district and charter schools together with housing organizations in a coordinated attempt to spur progress on this long-stalled issue. The Housing Authority of New Haven is among the 56 organizations across more than 20 states selected for the inaugural cohort that will collaborate over the next two years. The Collaborative plans to develop new messaging and new approaches that will support its members in building on one-off initiatives, such as a Maryland county’s redistricting plan to promote socioeconomic integration, and achieving more widespread progress by modifying zoning restrictions and redrawing school enrollment areas.

Read The 74's artcle "New Effort Pairs Educators and Housing Advocates to Tackle School Segregation," featuring Elm City Communities.

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