NCSD in the News: Education Week Covers Passage of Strength in Diversity in House

House Passes Signature Bills on School Integration and Discrimination
by Andrew Ujifusa
September 15, 2020 (updated September 16, 2020)
Education Week

“Groups like AASA, the School Superintendents Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Coalition on School Diversity have backed the bill. This past summer, we spoke to the author of the Senate version, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., about why protests against racial injustice underscored the importance of the Strength in Diversity Act.”

Press Release: NCSD-Endorsed Strength in Diversity Act Passes in Historic U.S. House Vote

CONTACT: Michael Mouton
Communications & Partnerships Manager – NCSD

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2639, the Strength in Diversity Act with over 100 co-sponsors. The Strength in Diversity Act was introduced by Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11) in the House and by Senator Chris Murphy (CT) in the Senate as S.1418.

Read the full press release.



RAP Members in the News: NBC describes "The American dream while Black"

The American dream while Black: ‘We took our foot off the gas pedal’
by Erin Einhorn and Nigel Chiwaya
Aug. 31, 2020
NBC News

“The consequences of that resegregation have been painful, said Rucker Johnson, an economist and public policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley. ‘We must think of racism as an infectious disease and silence leaves the disease untreated,’ said Johnson, the author of ‘Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works.’ When communities resegregated schools, he said, they halted progress in bridging academic and economic gaps that had long existed between Blacks and whites.” 

“‘Despite those challenges, [Erica] Frankenberg said, it was a start. ‘We brought kids and teachers of different races together in the same building, which particularly in the South had not been done before, and the significance of that undertaking alone cannot be understated.’ ‘But then,’ Frankenberg added, we took our foot off the gas pedal for desegregation.’”

NCSD Member Myron Orfield is also quoted.

Using CARES Act Flexibility to Address Systemic Inequity and Integration

In NCSD’s latest publication, Jessica Mugler and Philip Tegeler of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council advance the idea of Using CARES Act Flexibility to Address Systemic Educational Inequality and Bring Students Together.

NCSD2020 Keynote Available Online

If you missed our #NCSD2020 keynote conversation, featuring Vanessa Siddle Walker and Elizabeth McRae and facilitated by Dani McClain, you can access it on YouTube.

The keynote conversation took place live on May 14th at 2:00pm.

This session was designed as a tribute to the late Courtney Mykytyn (founder and executive director of Integrated Schools, and NCSD steering committee member). Courtney was tragically killed in an automobile accident in December 2019. As such, author and entrepreneur Courtney E. Martin and Integrated Schools podcast host Andrew Lefkowits offered brief reflections prior to and following the keynote presentation.

The keynote presentation will weave together information and concepts from the following books:

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Note: A small portion of the proceeds from book sales via IndieBound (using links above) will help support the work of Integrated Schools, in memory of Courtney Everts Mykytyn. 

Learn more about the speakers at

Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Calls for Greater Efforts to Ensure Educational Equity

The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force included language in their recommendations calling for a redoubling of efforts to further educational equity during a Biden administration:

“It is unacceptable that America’s public schools are more racially segregated today than they were when Brown v. Board of Education was decided 66 years ago. Democrats support appointing judges who will enforce the Civil Rights Act in schools and will fund magnet schools and school transportation initiatives to help facilitate improved integration. We will also reinvigorate and increase funding for the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and improve federal data collection on racial segregation in schools. Schools should be safe zones for children and their families, which is why Democrats will protect sensitive locations like schools from immigration enforcement actions and will ensure English language learners receive the support they need to succeed.”


Twitter Chat (7/28/20 at 6pm ET)

We’re excited to be hosting another Twitter chat with @integratedschls and @LearnTLiveT on 7/28 at 6pm EDT regarding the legacy of the Supreme Court’s Milliken v. Bradley decision (which turns 46 years old this Saturday, July 25).

Join the conversation at #ThurgoodWasRight.

For more information email

Policy Brief: Model State School Integration Policies

As educators across the country make a valiant effort to meet the needs of their students in response to the coronavirus crisis, the educational impacts of disparities in family resources and school funding are apparent. The crisis also reminds us of the many roles that schools play beyond academics. When students eventually return to school, will we merely continue our current policies, or might we make some progress in developing a fairer public school system, including, potentially, a more integrated one? Our movement’s leading thinkers are pushing us to face this question squarely (more on that here).

State governments are in the best position to reverse the tide of increasing racial and socioeconomic segregation in our public schools if the political will is present. The federal government, through the Every Student Succeeds Act (“ESSA”), provides significant compensatory funding for lower-income schools in Title I. Related sections of ESSA can also provide funding incentives for school integration, as could Congress. But for the past few decades, Congress has been reluctant to impose any real accountability for integration on state and local governments. This leaves a very large policy vacuum for state governments to fill.

Our model state school integration policies represent small but meaningful steps that state legislatures can take to begin to bring students and communities back together. These policies would begin to provide greater flexibility and support for districts that understand the value of racial and socioeconomic integration, and greater accountability for segregation both within and across districts. They propose funding for a variety of voluntary integration efforts, put stronger limits on school district secession, require assessments of the segregation impacts of significant capital investments, and institute systems of measurement for school segregation-something only a handful of states currently require.

As we wait to reboot “live” K-12 education, we urge state policymakers to put education policies in place that embody the lessons the COVID-19 crisis implores us to confront- we are interdependent and our fates interconnected, but we still have a lot of work to do to actualize a just, inclusive society.

Check out this piece from the School Diversity Notebook summarizing the policy brief.

COVID-19 Resources

Member Pages

NYU Metro Center, Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Remote Learning

IntegrateNYC, COVID-19 Resources Page

The Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), Learning Goes On – A COVID-19 Resource for Education (2020)

Learning Policy Institute, Learning in the Time of COVID-19 blog series (2020)


Resources and Links

Halley Potter and Joshua Starr, Analysis: Plans to Catch Students Up After School Shutdowns Risk Creating New Forms of Academic Tracking. This Will Do Them Even More Harm, The 74 (June 17, 2020)

Linda Darling-Hammond, A New “New Deal” For Education: Top 10 Policy Moves For States In The COVID 2.0 Era, Forbes (May 19, 2020)

Peter Piazza, Brown at 66: Looking past COVID with Milton Galamison, School Diversity Notebook (May 18, 2020)

Integrated Schools Podcast: COVID-19: Matt Gonzales on Equity (May 13, 2020)

Elizabeth Horton Sheff, Martha Stone, Dennis D. Parker, and Deuel Ross, The Coronavirus Crisis is Showing us How Regional Approaches Work; It’s Time to Apply Those Lessons to Urban Schools, Hartford Courant (May 11, 2020)

NYU Metro Center, Statement on Covid-19 – Slow Down to Move Forward  (May 2020)

NYC Advocates on Grading, Grading for Equity Letter  (Apr. 24, 2020)

Courtney E. Martin, The Lessons We Should Really Be Teaching Kids in the Pandemic, Vox (Apr. 22, 2020)

Integrated Schools, On COVID & Integration (Apr. 21, 2020)

Garrett Bucks, Are We Really “In This Together?“, The White Pages (Apr. 17, 2020)

powell, john, Opinion: Coronavirus is Not the ‘Great Equalizer’ Many Say It Is, East Bay Times (Apr. 16, 2020)

Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores, Neighborhood Inequities and COVID-19, (Apr. 14, 2020)

Rothstein, Richard, The Coronavirus Will Explode Achievement Gaps in Education  Shelterforce (Apr. 13, 2020)

Garrett Bucks, When This is All Said and Done, We Can Have the Society of our Dreams or We Can Protect Whiteness, The White Pages (Apr. 7, 2020)

Conor P. Williams, How ‘Social Distancing’ Is Changing the Way We View Schools, Education Post (Apr. 1, 2020)

Integrated Schools (podcast), COVID-19: Teacher Check-in and COVID-19: Finding Community in Isolation

Kelly Bare, Seeing 2020: After COVID-19, let’s not go back to “normal”, Medium  (Mar. 23, 2020)

Garrett Bucks, What I Hope My (White, Economically Secure) Kids are Learning Right Now, The White Pages (Mar. 25, 2020)

#NCSD2020 Virtual Conference (5/12 & 5/14)

Unfortunately, we had to postpone the live version of our 2020 conference (which was scheduled for March 26th and 27th in Washington, DC) due to COVID-19. While we are still looking forward to hosting an in-person gathering when it becomes safe to do so, we’ll be offering some of our sessions virtually. Keep checking back, as we plan to add new sessions over the next few months.


ADVOCACY TRAINING – MAY 12th from 3:30-5:00PM EST

This workshop is designed to give you an overview of the federal legislative process and how you can engage in it. In particular, you will learn about NCSD’s policy priorities and how you can educate your federal representatives about these priorities. You will also learn about how to prepare for a meeting with elected officials and their staff, what to expect at the meeting, and what to do afterward. While this training is geared toward the federal system, the lessons learned can be applied at both the state and local level.

Stephen Cobb
Senior Associate, The Raben Group

As a senior associate at The Raben Group, Stephen Cobb brings years of experience in advocacy, public policy, political campaigns, and strategic communication to his clients.

Before joining Raben, Stephen was an associate at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he worked closely with senior leadership to help develop high-level institutional strategy and media relations plans. Prior to that Stephen held several positions on Capitol Hill and served as a political assistant at Hart Research Associates, a Democratic polling firm.

Stephen received his master’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C, and his bachelor’s degree from The University of Southern Mississippi. Originally from coastal Alabama, Stephen is passionate about immigration and climate change issues. He is also an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Sunil Mansukhani
Principal, The Raben Group

Sunil Mansukhani brings two decades of experience in education and civil rights policy, law, and advocacy from both the nonprofit sector and government. While at The Raben Group, Sunil’s clients have included Open Society Foundations, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Child Trends, Communities in Schools, The University of Chicago, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Education Writers Association.

He served in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) over the course of three administrations, serving presidents of both parties. Prior to joining Raben, Sunil was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) from 2009-2012. As part of OCR’s senior management team, Sunil helped lead an office of over 600 employees and a budget of $100 million, with 12 locations across the country. He led the development of OCR’s policy initiatives and data collection efforts.

While Sunil was at ED, OCR issued guidance that sought to protect the civil rights of tens of millions of students in areas such as the consideration of race in K-12 and college admissions; harassment and bullying; sexual violence; documentation requirements for enrollment in public schools; and equal access for students with disabilities. In addition, he oversaw the implementation of the widely-heralded Civil Rights Data Collection, a survey of all the public schools in the nation.

Sunil has also previously served as a Senior Attorney in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division; Executive Director of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission; an associate with the law firm Crowell and Moring; a law clerk for Chief Judge Edward Cahn in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and a teaching fellow at Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Public Representation.

Sunil received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics, summa cum laude, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his J.D. from Yale Law School, and an LL.M in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center. He is most proud of helping to make his two young daughters diehard Chicago Cubs fans.



NCSD’s keynote presentation was designed as a tribute to the late Courtney Mykytyn (founder and executive director of Integrated Schools, and NCSD steering committee member). Courtney was tragically killed in an automobile accident in December 2019.

The keynote presentation will be introduced by author and entrepreneur Courtney E. Martin. Courtney has authored/edited six books, including The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream and Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. She also co-founded the Solutions Journalism Network and FRESH Speakers Bureau. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics, a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre, and an honorary Ph.d. from Art Center of Design. She lives with her family in a co-housing community called Temescal Commons in Oakland. She is at a work on a new book about white parents and school integration. Subscribe to her newsletter and read more about her work at

Vanessa Siddle Walker

Vanessa Siddle Walker is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of African American and Educational Studies at Emory University (B.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.Ed Harvard University; Ed. D Harvard University). For 25 years, she has explored the segregated schooling of African American children, considering sequentially the climate that permeated segregated schools, the network of professional collaborations that explains the similarity across schools, and the hidden systems of advocacy that demanded equality and justice for the children in the schools. Her most recent book, published as The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in Schools, was the winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award for 2019 and lauded as one of the Best Nonfiction Books for 2018 by Publisher’s Weekly. Walker is President of the American Educational Research Association for 2019-2020 and serves on the Research Advisory Panel for the National Coalition on School Diversity.

Dani McClain (Moderator)

Dani McClain reports on race and reproductive health. She is a contributing writer at The Nation and a fellow with Type Media Center. McClain’s writing has appeared in outlets including TIME, The Atlantic, Slate, Colorlines,, and The Rumpus. In 2018, she received a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Her work has been recognized by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. McClain was a staff reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has worked as a strategist with organizations including Color of Change and Drug Policy Alliance. McClain’s book, We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood, was published April 2019 by Bold Type Books.

Elizabeth McRae

Elizabeth Gillespie McRae is the Creighton Sossoman Professor of History at Western Carolina University and the co-founder of the Appalachian Oral History Project. Her teaching and research interests center on the intersection of race, gender, and politics in America and in the modern South.  She has published articles in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the BBC’s World Histories. Her book, Mothers of Massive Resistance published in 2018 examines white women’s work in maintaining white supremacy in public education, social welfare policy, politics, and culture. Her next project will examine the issue of “school choice,” in American history.

The keynote presentation will weave together information and concepts from the following books:

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit     Support Independent Bookstores - Visit     Support Independent Bookstores - Visit          

Note: A small portion of the proceeds from book sales via IndieBound (using links above) will help support the work of Integrated Schools, in memory of Courtney Everts Mykytyn. 

Andrew Lefkowits will offer brief reflections following the keynote presentation. Andrew is the host of the Integrated Schools Podcast – hard conversations about race, parenting, segregation, and inequities in our schools. He is also the co-chair of Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education, a group of parents and community members working to improve equity in the elementary schools in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, CO. He is a proud father to two girls – 6 and 9, who attend the same, integrating elementary school that he attended growing up. In his spare time, he has a “real” job working as an audio engineer mixing live concerts for bands all over the world.

Confirmed #NCSD2020 Supporters:**

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • American Education Solutions, Inc.
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Beloved Community
  • The Century Foundation
  • Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles (CRP) at UCLA
  • EducationCounsel
  • EmpowerED
  • ERASE Racism
  • Fair Housing Justice Center
  • The Institute for Social Progress at Wayne County Community College District
  • Integrated Schools
  • IntegrateNYC
  • Kindred
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
  • Learn Together, Live Together
  • Learning Policy Institute
  • Magnet Schools of America
  • Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO Inc.)
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • National Center for Law and Economic Justice
  • New York Appleseed
  • Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley
  • Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Public Advocacy for Kids
  • Schott Foundation for Public Education
  • The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy
  • Thomas J. Dodd Research Center – University of Connecticut
  • Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC)
  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

**NCSD’s federal policy work is paid for with unrestricted funds, not conference contributions.

Interested in sponsorship?

  • Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities here.
  • Email for more information