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Indianapolis Coalition on Educational Equity (ICOEE)

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COMMITTEE  REFLECTIONS
on the Establishing a National Agenda for Meeting the Promise of Brown v. Board: 70 Years Later (Washington DC May 2024)

Good afternoon. First of all let me thank you and the ICESC board for providing this opportunity.  The National Conference on Establishing a National Agenda for Meeting the Promises of Brown v. Board 70 years Later  was transformational for me.   I'm not the same person today that began experiencing the conference last week. I understand one of our responsibilities as an attendee was to report out on the workshops we attended.   I was particularly interested in the workshop of Dr. Carol Lee titled “Sustaining the lessons of Brown: Teaching civic reasoning discourse and engagement across the K-12 sector and across academic disciplines.”

I have been studying democratic ed. and student voice since the early 1970’s when I realized  that the purpose of our public schools is to create citizens, not workers.  It's not that preparing students for employment/careers is not important, but the purpose of our public schools is to educate students for critical citizenship. That's why they're called “public” schools.

I also knew that understanding and practicing the democratic potential of self-determination is empowering. So, since students don't get a chance to practice democracy they don't have the sense of empowerment around their own and their community’s own self-determination and self-sufficiency.  

This led me to surmise that some parts of society benefited from certain students not knowing the political “system” and how it works.  
The conclusion here is that disempowerment was actually disenfranchisement and must be exposed and abandoned. Public schools that both taught and practiced democracy were the obvious answer.  It was also Dr. Lee’s answer. 

Please find time to critique the report.  Let’s all have a conversation. 
- John Harris Loflin

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"I'm a firm believer that we can and should do for ourselves, use our resources efficiently and effectively. We have the brainpower and determination to do whatever we set our minds, hearts, and hands to do. And we don't need Brown's forced integration to accomplish our educational goals for our children."

- D. R. 

We Shared Solutions!

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Image Credits: S. Bonds
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