131 episodes

Hosts, Andrew, a White dad from Denver, and, Val, a Black mom from North Carolina, dig into topics about race, parenting, and school segregation. With a variety of guests ranging from parents to experts, these conversation strive to live in the nuance of a complicated topic.

The Integrated Schools Podcast Andrew Lefkowits, Val Brown, Courtney Mykytyn

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.8 • 219 Ratings

Hosts, Andrew, a White dad from Denver, and, Val, a Black mom from North Carolina, dig into topics about race, parenting, and school segregation. With a variety of guests ranging from parents to experts, these conversation strive to live in the nuance of a complicated topic.

    The 70th Anniversary of Brown v Board - Do It Live!

    The 70th Anniversary of Brown v Board - Do It Live!

     Dreams really do come true . . . We have wanted to do a live show for quite some time, and finally had the opportunity thanks to The National Coalition for School Diversity, The Century Foundation, and the American Institutes for Research,who invited us to facilitate their event marking the 70th anniversary of Brown v Board. Hosted at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, on the Oprah Winfrey Stage, we were honored to facilitate three panel discussions grappling with the challenges we face today in fulfilling the true promise of Brown. 
    Joined by an amazing group of speakers, all deeply committed to doing integration better, we brought the nuanced, honest conversations you know from the podcast to a live audience for the first time, and hopefully not the last. From the incredible Representative Jim Clyburn, to past podcast guests, Stefan Lallinger and Matt Gonzales, to many others, we are thrilled to share excerpts from the event today. You can also watch the full program.
     
    LINKS:


    Brown v Board at 70: Fulfilling the True Promise of School Integration - the full event video


    Speaker Bios 

    Stefan Lallinger on our show - S7E3 – Generational Work: Stefan Lallinger on Integration


    Matt Gonzales on our show - S5E12 – COVID-19: Matt Gonzales on Equity



    The Bridges Collaborative at The Century Foundation

    Check out our Bookshop.org storefront to support local bookstores, and send a portion of the proceeds back to us.
    Join our Patreon to support this work, and connect with us and other listeners to discuss these issues even further.
    Let us know what you think of this episode, suggest future topics, or share your story with us – IntegratedSchools on Facebook, or email us podcast@integratedschools.org.
    The Integrated Schools Podcast was created by Courtney Mykytyn and Andrew Lefkowits.
    This episode was produced by Andrew Lefkowits and Val Brown. It was edited, and mixed by Andrew Lefkowits.
    Music by Kevin Casey.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    A Tipping Point for Change 70 Years After Brown v Board

    A Tipping Point for Change 70 Years After Brown v Board

     May 17th, 1954 the Supreme Court handed down its famous decision in the Brown v Board of Education of Topekacase. So much of the work of Integrated Schools is about trying to live into the promises made through that unanimous decision. On May 17th, 1973, a girl was born in Woodbridge, Virginia. That girl, Courtney Everts Mykytyn, would go on to found Integrated Schools in 2015, calling in parents and caregivers with privilege to work towards fulfilling the vision extolled by the court nineteen years to the day before she was born.
    Tragically, Courtney was struck by a car and killed on Dec 29th, 2019, cutting short a life full of promise. Not before, however, she had started a movement. All of us at Integrated Schools, from the podcast team, to chapter and networkleaders, to book club facilitators, to social media managers, are here because of her vision, her heart, and her commitment to always working to know better and do better.
    To mark this special day we are re-releasing one of Courtney's last episodes of the podcast, originally called "All I Want for Christmas is 3.5%". It beautifully captures her clear-eyed realism, and her unfaltering optimism. She believed that if we can call enough people in, real change is possible, and a better world can await our children, and their children. So, on this special day, we call you in to our work. How can you be part of the 3.5% of people needed to create change? What can you do to join this work? We await you with open arms.
    LINKS:

    Courtney's Blog post, 3.5%, Gratitude, and Shape-Shifting Reptiles



    Dr. Erica Chenoweth's Ted Talk



    Matt Gonzales – “White Lips to White Ears”

    Dr. Elizabeth McRae on the Mother’s of Massive Resistance



    Professor Michelle Adams on Milliken v Bradley and the hope for a multi-racial democracy


    Our Brown v Board at 65 Series called "The Stories We Tell Ourselves"

    S6E8 – BvB@67 – Rucker Johnson Revisited

    S6E9 – BvB@67 – Noliwe Rooks Revisited

    S6E10 – BvB@67 – Amanda Lewis Revisited

    S6E11 – BvB@67 – David Hinojosa Revisited

    S6E12 – BvB@67- Greg and Carol Revisited

    The Hechinger Report's Series - Revisiting Brown 70 Years Later



    The Civil Rights Project - The Unfinished Battle for Integration in a Multiracial America



    Colorlines - Attacks on Public Education Threaten the Legacy of Brown



    Check out our Bookshop.org storefront to support local bookstores, and send a portion of the proceeds back to us.
    Join our Patreon to support this work, and connect with us and other listeners to discuss these issues even further.
    Let us know what you think of this episode, suggest future topics, or share your story with us – IntegratedSchools on Facebook, or email us podcast@integratedschools.org.
    The Integrated Schools Podcast was created by Courtney Mykytyn and Andrew Lefkowits.
    This episode was produced by Andrew Lefkowits and Courtney Mykytyn. It was edited, and mixed by Andrew Lefkowits.
    Music by Kevin Casey.

    • 21 min
    Local Stories of Desegregation: Charlotte

    Local Stories of Desegregation: Charlotte

     In 1954’s Brown v Board decision, the Supreme Court ruled that separate was inherently unequal. However, the Brown II decision a year later said that fixing our separate education system should happen with “all deliberate speed.” The deliberate speed in most places was glacial, leading many local communities to file law suits demanding action. These local desegregation cases happened across the country following similar patterns, but varying due to local contexts. We started with a three-part series on Denver. This is our second deep dive into one of those stories, this time focusing on Charlotte, NC.
    In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in Swann v Charlotte - Mecklenburg Board of Education that, among other things, student assignment policies that involved bussing kids to achieve racial balance was a legitimate remedy for districts violating the mandate of the Brown decision. Eventually embraced by the city, the decision, and the bussing plan it led to, were held up as a model for the country of how to do desegregation right. Business boomed in Charlotte, in part because of the community embrace of school desegregation. Twenty eight years later, in Capacchione v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the district court ruled that Charlotte-Mecklenburg had complied with the Swan decision "to the extent reasonably practicable", and terminated the desegregation order, declaring it a "unitary system."  Much like many other cities around the country, once the court was no longer mandating desegregation, the district began to re-segregate. Today, with nearly 75% of CMS students identifying as students of color, and massive segregation both racially and socio-economically, the district is struggling to serve all kids well.
    Dr. James Ford grew up in Illinois and was bussed through a desegregation plan premised on the Swann decision. While the additional resources this provided were important, he experienced an educational environment that felt unwelcoming, and, at times, outwardly hostile. He made it his life's work to dismantle the systemic racism that caused that harm. Eventually landing in Charlotte as a teacher, he wanted to understand the history of the city and choices made by the people in power that led to him teaching in a highly segregated high school named after the superintendent who had overseen the nationally lauded desegregation plans of the 70s.
    His commitment to dismantle racism through the field of education led him to create the Center for Racial Equity in Education, where he serves as the executive director, working to "serve each and every child by also making students of color central to every facet of how schools function." He joins us to share the history of Charlotte, and his current work.
    You can support his important work by donating here.
    LINKS:


    The Center for Racial Equity in Education - CREED

    Dr. Ford's Op-Ed on segregation


    Swann v Charlotte - Mecklenburg Board of Education

    Capacchione v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools


    The Dudley Flood Center's North Carolina School Desegregation and Resegregation Timeline


    Integrated Schools' local chapters and networks


    The Legacy and Philanthropy of Anna T Jeanes

    S10E11 - Local Stories of Desegregation: Denver (Part 1)

    S10E11 - Local Stories of Desegregation: Denver (Part 2)

    S10E11 - Local Stories of Desegregation: Denver (Part 3)


    Check out our Bookshop.org storefront to support local bookstores, and send a portion of the proceeds back to us.
    Join our Patreon to support this work, and connect with us and other listeners to discuss these issues even further.
    Let us know what you think of this episode, suggest future topics, or share your story with us – IntegratedSchools on Facebook, or email us podcast@integratedschools.org.
    The Integrated Schools Podcast was created by Courtney Mykytyn and Andrew Lefkowits.
    This episode was produced by Andrew Lefkowits and Val Brown. It was edited, and mixed by Andrew Lefkowi

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Rebuilding The Black Educator Pipeline

    Rebuilding The Black Educator Pipeline

     In 2021, 80% of teachers in our country's public schools were White, while just 6% were Black. That same year, 54% of public school students were students of color, and 15% were Black. We also know of the extensive research showing the positive impacts of Black teachers on all kids, but especially on Black kids. However, as we learned last episode from Dr. Leslie Fenwick, we lost over 100,000 Black teachers in the wake of desegregation attempt, and the Black teacher pipeline was crushed through explicit and implicit government action. In 2019, Sharif El-Mekki founded The Center for Black Educator Development to do something about it. With a commitment to the "deeply subversive act of teaching superbly", they are targeting interventions to increase the number of Black teachers so Black and other disenfranchised students can reap the full benefits of a quality public education.
    Mr. El-Mekki joins us to discuss his work, and explain how it is rooted in a Black educational tradition that stretches back generations. His teaching and leading is informed by his own upbringing attending a Black freedom school in Philadelphia, his experience as a teacher and school leader, and the teacher activists who poured into him throughout his life.
     
    LINKS:

    The Center for Black Educator Development


    Philly's 7th Ward - Mr. El-Mekki's blog

    The 8 Black Hands Podcast


    Reviving the Legacy of the Black Teacher Tradition - Mr. El-Mekki's TED Talk

    S10E14 - Jim Crow's Pink Slip with Dr. Leslie Fenwick


    Ep 5 - Interview with a Skeptic - Chris Stewart on our show

    The Nguzo Saba

     
    Check out our Bookshop.org storefront to support local bookstores, and send a portion of the proceeds back to us.
    Join our Patreon to support this work, and connect with us and other listeners to discuss these issues even further.
    Let us know what you think of this episode, suggest future topics, or share your story with us – IntegratedSchools on Facebook, or email us podcast@integratedschools.org.
    The Integrated Schools Podcast was created by Courtney Mykytyn and Andrew Lefkowits.
    This episode was produced by Andrew Lefkowits and Val Brown. It was edited, and mixed by Andrew Lefkowits.
    Music by Kevin Casey.
     
     

    • 1 hr
    Jim Crow's Pink Slip with Dr. Leslie Fenwick

    Jim Crow's Pink Slip with Dr. Leslie Fenwick

     Seventeen years after the Brown v Board decision, in 1971, US Senator Walter Mondale chaired a number of Select Committee hearings on Equal Educational Opportunity. One of these hearings focused on what was happening to Black teachers and principals as the country begrudgingly worked to desegregate our schools. The hearing featured testimony and supplemental documentation calling attention to the vast number of Black teachers who were losing their jobs in the Southern, dual-system states. Despite Brown's promise of desegregated schools including faculty and staff in addition to students, districts across the South were finding ways to remove Black teachers and principals, rather than allowing them to teach White kids. 
    The transcripts from these hearings quite literally fell into Dr. Leslie Fenwick's lap as she began a PhD program in educational policy. The stories they held matched her own lived experience. Stories of highly qualified, highly educated Black teachers who served as community leaders, and fostered a sense of belonging and empowerment among their Black students was what Dr. Fenwick and her parents and grandparents had known. And yet, as she embarked on her PhD program, these stories weren't being told. Eventually, these transcripts would form the primary evidentiary basis for her bestselling 2022 book, Jim Crow's Pink Slip: The Untold Story of Black Principal and Teacher Leadership. 
    She joins us to talk about the book, her journey to writing it, and what understanding this untold history means for the ongoing quest for more teachers of color. 
     
    LINKS: 


    Jim Crow's Pink Slip: The Untold Story of Black Principal and Teacher Leadership  


    Transcript for the Senate Select Committee Hearing on the loss of Black Teachers


    Dunbar High School - Washington, DC


    Sumner Academy of Arts and Science - Kansas City, MO

    The Summer of Soul documentary


    Whitey On The Moon - Gil Scott-Heron

    Sharif El-Mekki - The Center for Black Educator Development


     
    Check out our Bookshop.org storefront to support local bookstores, and send a portion of the proceeds back to us.
    Join our Patreon to support this work, and connect with us and other listeners to discuss these issues even further.
    Let us know what you think of this episode, suggest future topics, or share your story with us – IntegratedSchools on Facebook, or email us podcast@integratedschools.org.
    The Integrated Schools Podcast was created by Courtney Mykytyn and Andrew Lefkowits.
    This episode was produced by Andrew Lefkowits and Val Brown. It was edited, and mixed by Andrew Lefkowits.
    Music by Kevin Casey.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Local Stories of Desegregation: DENVER (Part 3)

    Local Stories of Desegregation: DENVER (Part 3)

    PART 3 of 3
    In 1954’s Brown v Board decision, the Supreme Court ruled that separate was inherently unequal. However, the Brown II decision a year later said that fixing our separate education system should happen with “all deliberate speed.” The deliberate speed in most places was glacial, leading many local communities to file law suits demanding action. These local desegregation cases happened across the country following similar patterns, but varying due to local contexts. We are going to dive into several of these local stories in the coming months, and we are starting today with Denver, CO.
    In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Keyes v. Denver Public Schools, requiring Denver to desegregate its schools. This led to 21 years of court ordered desegregation, including through the use of busing. A local educational advocacy organization, Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education, recently hosted an event to commemorate the anniversary and reflect on the promises made at the time of the case, and the ways we have failed to live up to them.
    Over the course of three episodes, we will be bringing you audio from that event. Our hope is that by understanding local stories, we can see national themes emerge that may help chart a path forward.
    If you have a local story of desegregation to share, let us know! Record a voice memo and email it to podcast@integratedschools.org, or visit Speakpipe.com/integratedschools.
    LINKS:

    A video of the full event – Integration and Equity in DPS 50 Years After Keyes


    Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education’s website – PHNEE.org


    The slideshow from the event


    Comments from the participants at the event

    Pat Pascoe’s book – A Dream of Justice: The Story of Keyes v Denver Public Schools‘

    Tomàs Monarrez on our show - S7E4 – Redrawing the Lines: Undoing the History of Segregation


    EPIC Youth Theater on our show

    S6E2 – EPIC’s “Nothing About Us”: Youth Theater on Integration

    S9E10 – Between The Lines: An EPIC Comeback

    S5E4 – All I Want for Christmas is 3.5%

    Rucker Johnson’s book – Children of The Dream


    A visual timeline of the Keyes case prepared by Laura Lefkowits

    Andrew on Brother Jeff’s show talking about Integrated Schools and the event


    Milliken v Bradley – which includes Justice Thurgood Marshall’s powerful dissent


    Our episode with Michelle Adams about the Milliken case

    More resources from PHNEE

    Check out our Bookshop.org storefront to support local bookstores, and send a portion of the proceeds back to us.
    Join our Patreon to support this work, and connect with us and other listeners to discuss these issues even further.
    Let us know what you think of this episode, suggest future topics, or share your story with us – IntegratedSchools on Facebook, or email us podcast@integratedschools.org.
    The Integrated Schools Podcast was created by Courtney Mykytyn and Andrew Lefkowits.
    This episode was produced by Andrew Lefkowits and Val Brown. It was edited, and mixed by Andrew Lefkowits.
    Music by Kevin Casey.

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
219 Ratings

219 Ratings

Holistic surfer ,

100th Episode

I am connecting David Bohm’s “On Dialogue” with one of many reasons why I love the Integrated Schools group.
“When we come together to talk, or otherwise to act in common, can each of us be aware of the subtle fear and pleasure sensations that “block” his ability to listen freely? Without this awareness, the injunction to listen to the whole of what is said will have little meaning. But if each of us can give full attention to what is actually “blocking” communication while he is also attending properly to the content of what is communicated, then we may be able to create something new between us, something of very great significance for bringing to an end the at present insoluble problems of the individual and of society.” —David Bohm
Integrated Schools’ people attend to long-standing inattentions to social injustice! Exciting that in this coming year they will include problem topics: ‘systems and how to do we change them?’ and ‘what are the features of quality education?’ 🎉 🎈 🎊

Jess-in-Oakland ,

Every episode feels like a new truth followed by a hug

If you are in pursuit of justice of any kind, this podcast is for you. I get tongue tied when I try to write a review for WHY Everyone should drop what they’re doing and listen to Integrated Schools NOW…so I usually just say, “trust me—listen to it.” And I think it’s because school integration intersects so much of our lives (even if you don’t have kids) that I just don’t know where to start.
The interviews are always educational, eye opening, and sometimes sad. My brain makes a new connection a new connection just about every episode. Though the best part of the podcast is really Andrew and Val and their dialogue and friendship around these issues. They help to name things we haven’t had words for and they help with the radical empathy for self and others that this work requires. Can’t recommend this highly enough. And meanwhile, Val and Andrew, please come do a live show in Oakland!

Black Mom from Denver ,

Amazing!

You keep giving me words, explanations, ideas, and perspective to the stuff I am thinking about and dealing with right now as a black mom of three kids.

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