Fit for King 2014 Agenda
8:30-9:30 AM: A History of Maintaining Segregation
Jelani Cobb, Professor of History and Director of the Institute for African American Studies at University of Connecticut, will present a historical overview of the role of government entities in perpetuating segregation through policy and law.
9:30-10:30 AM: Segregation, Gentrification and Housing
How far have we come towards achieving residential integration? This plenary will provide an overview of the state of segregation in the United States today, with a focus on New Orleans and changing demographic trends over the past ten years. It will also question how we identify integrated communities, and the difference between an integrated neighborhood and a neighborhood at the peak of gentrification.
10:45-11:45 AM: Breakout Sessions
Session A: Segregation and Environmental Justice: The Intersection of Race, the Environment, Segregated Neighborhoods, and Grassroots Activism in New Orleans
Pollution and environmental toxins are hazardous to everyone, but communities of color are disproportionately at risk for harm due to the siting of waste facilities and factories in those communities. This panel will investigate the intersection of race, the environment, and segregated neighborhoods. It will also explore local movements that have pushed back against environmental injustice and complicate our notion of green initiatives.
Session B: Segregation and Education: Exploring the Changing Landscape of Education, Neighborhood and Place, and Continuing Segregation in Schools
One of the consequences of continued segregation of our neighborhoods is the continued segregation of schools. Many aspects regarding the rise of charter schools in New Orleans have been controversial, but in theory a voucher-based education system could disrupt a pattern of racially segregated schools resulting from residential segregation. However, in practice we have seen that charter schools have not led to integrated schools. This breakout session will question the intersection of segregation and education.
Session C: Politics of Segregation: Understanding the Effects of Changing Districts, Changing Demographics, and Gerrymandering
Even if they do not actively advocate against integrated communities, many elected officials have a vested interest in the continued segregation of their districts in order to retain a favorable voting bloc. This breakout session will look at the intersection of electoral politics and housing segregation, with particular attention to the implications of segregation for political representation and the impact of gerrymandering. This session will also investigate the suburbanization of people of color and the impact on voting rights and political power, particularly in the aftermath of Shelby v. Holder.
12:15-1:30 PM: Lunch Keynote Address by Ben Jealous, NAACP President and CEO: “It Takes A Flat Nation To Lead A Flat World”
1:45-2:45 PM: Policy & Change: A Dialogue with Local Legislators
Join policy makers and experts to translate our discussions into action.
2:45-3:15 PM: Integration is Possible: Learning from Successful Models
After a day discussing the challenges we face in the struggle to end segregation, we will end the day learning about models of integrated communities in the country and considering local solutions.
3:30-5:00 PM: CLE session (separate registration required)