On May 1, 2019, Professor john powell gave a keynote address at the Harvard Graduate School of Education national conference, entitled “Beyond Desegregation: Engaging Practices for Creating Diverse and Equitable Schools” in Cambridge, MA. The conference was organized around the idea of going “beyond desegregation” because the most common mistake made in the last sixty years is to use the words “integration” and “desegregation” as though they are the same. Desegregation gets diverse bodies in the building but it does not ensure that all children learn at high levels, feel included, appreciate their own and other cultures, understand racism, and work to dismantle it. Thus, in his keynote, Professor powell elaborated upon why desegregation is necessary but not sufficient for true integration. He did so by discussing the larger context for such conversations, wherein concentrated wealth and poverty seem greater than ever, while the political appetite for integration has been waning. He argued that integration requires an account of socio-economic and spatial mobility as well as a strengthened role for local, state, and federal governments. Professor powell presented mobility vouchers, relocation subsidies, and other such programs as important avenues toward meaningful integration.
View a copy of the presentation slides here.