Integration: incorporation as equals into society or an organization of individuals of different groups.
For those of you who may not be familiar with This American Life, we wanted to share with you their most recent radio program titled “The Problem We All Live With”. This episode is a full hour of in-depth reporting by veteran education reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones about school integration in Missouri. The Normandy district caught Hannah-Jones’ attention last year during the coverage of the Michael Brown shooting because it is the district where Brown graduated from high-school. It’s also a district that, until it lost accreditation in 2013, had been failing to meet state standards for 15 years. 15 years.
This story brings to mind all of our members: the partnerships between schools in districts like Normandy and neighborhood churches. It reminds us that everyday work of our partnerships is such an important life-line to the students and families in failing districts. It is important work; Godly work. It also shows us a path for future work advocating for children and communities. Advocating for better policies, better funding, and better understanding of how integrated communities serve to lift us all to greater success.
We hope you’ll take the time to listen to this story, share it, and reflect on the urgent need facing our public schools.