School Integration in 2018: Past Achievements, Present Threats, and Future Opportunities

School Integration in 2018: Past Achievements, Present Threats, and Future Opportunities
Thursday, July 26, 2018
1:30PM – 2:45PM
House Visitor Center, Room 200
First St NE, Washington, DC 20515

Please join us for a briefing about the importance of school integration, including the real and hard fought benefits it has brought to our society as well as the multiple threats facing it. Our expert panelists will provide their insights on innovative solutions to remedy rising resegregation.

Register here. Read about the event here, we also shared this document with attendees. 

If you have any additional questions, please contact James Colligan at or 202-930-6813.

Beverages and snacks will be provided.




James Ford
Independent Consultant, Filling the Gap Educational Consultants, LLC

Erica Frankenberg
Associate Professor of Education & Demography, Pennsylvania State University
Director, PSU Center for Education and Civil Rights 

Cara McClellan
Skadden Fellow at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Zahava Stadler
Director of Policy and Research, EdBuild

Conversation Moderated By:

Damon Hewitt
Executive Director, Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
Senior Advisor for U.S. Programs, Open Society Foundations



About the Speakers:

James E. Ford (BS in Mass Communication, Illinois State University; MA in Teaching Rockford University) is an activist, writer, minister, husband, and father who considers his work an extension of his greater life-calling. He is an award-winning educator and consultant on issues of equity in education. He is the Principal at Filling the Gap Educational Consultants, LLC and is currently pursuing his PhD at UNC-Charlotte in Urban Education. Most recently, he was the Program Director at the Public School Forum of North Carolina, an education think-tank and advocacy organization. Prior to this, he served as the 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year and the representative for 95,000 public school teachers throughout the state. While in this position, he lobbied the state legislature to help secure the first post-recession raises for teachers and was made chair of the Governor’s Teacher Advisory Committee. Ford taught World History at Garinger High School in Charlotte, NC starting in 2010. Ford’s early career cemented his connection to children and youth. He worked as a truancy intervention specialist in high schools and director of a teen center that provided educational and after-school activities for youth at risk of dropping out of school. In 2014, Ford was recognized as Charlotte Magazine’s Charlottean of the Year and the National Alliance of Black School Educators’ Teacher of the Year. He is a Carnegie Fellow. A self-professed “equity warrior” who believes education is a human right, Ford writes and speaks extensively on the topics of race, class, and education equity and advocates for the most disadvantaged student populations. He is a civic leader in Charlotte, serving as the co-chair for the Leading on Opportunity Council, an effort change the systemic barriers to economic mobility in the city.

Erica Frankenberg (Ed.D., Harvard University) is an associate professor of education and demography in the College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focuses on racial desegregation and inequality in K–12 schools with an emphasis on segregation in suburban areas, school choice and racial stratification, politics of school diversity, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in leading education policy journals, law reviews, and housing journals as well as writing for policy and practitioner publications. In 2014, she coordinated the Civil Rights and Education conference at Penn State, and is co-editor of a 2016 book from this conference and has edited four other books. In addition to her scholarly work, she has helped school districts design diversity policies, and has served as an expert witness in school diversity cases. Prior to becoming a professor, she led the initiative on school integration at the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles. She is a graduate of desegregated schools in Mobile, Alabama.

Prior to joining LDF as a Skadden Fellow, Cara McClellan was a law clerk to the Honorable Gregory M. Sleet of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and to the Honorable Andre M. Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Cara graduated with honors from Yale College, received an M.S.Ed. from Penn Graduate School of Education and a J.D. from Yale Law School. During law school, Cara participated in clinics where she represented youth in neglect and abuse proceedings and in expulsion proceedings and served as a Comments Editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review. She spent her law school summers as an intern at LDF and an intern at the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division—Educational Opportunities Section. Cara previously taught middle school with Teach for America in Philadelphia. She has published in the Columbia Journal of Race & Law, Yale Law & Policy Review Inter Alia, and the Huffington Post.

Zahava Stadler leads policy research and analysis at EdBuild. Before joining EdBuild, she worked with the School District of Philadelphia on its strategic planning process and completed an Education Pioneers fellowship at TNTP. She began her career in education at Innovative Schools, a nonprofit organization in Wilmington, Delaware, working with school districts and charter schools on human capital issues. Zahava holds master’s degrees in public administration and education policy from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University.


About the Moderator:

Damon Hewitt guides a philanthropic network of over 40 national, local, and community foundation presidents who are committed to systemic change and creating a shared strategy for supporting the liberation work of boys and men of color. Through his leadership, the EA has made philanthropy’s investments in boys and men of color more strategic and impactful. Damon also serves as Senior Advisor for U.S. Programs at the Open Society Foundations, providing strategic guidance on their efforts to advance racial justice, including reforming school discipline policies and improving life outcomes for boys and men of color. Previously, Damon worked for over a decade as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). There he founded LDF’s Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline initiative and worked in his hometown of New Orleans to coordinate post-Hurricane Katrina liti­gation and advocacy on education, housing, and voting-rights issues. Damon also worked as Executive Director of the New York Police-on-Police Shootings Task Force. Damon is coauthor of The School‐to‐Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform (2012, NYU Press), and he has published numerous articles on racial justice, school discipline policy and progressive education reform. He holds a B.A. in political science from Louisiana State University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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