Parents, educators, legislators continue fight to keep racial integration efforts alive

Last week, part one of this story described how Crosswinds, a special Integration District school created by the settlement of a 1990s NAACP lawsuit to end segregation in Minnesota, was nearly taken over by another school district seeking to enhance its revenue and facilities. Following a legislative stalemate in the 2013-14 session, the takeover attempt failed and the school survived to continue its mission. This week’s conclusion describes the outcome of this struggle to date.

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East Metro Integration District’s Crosswinds School of Arts and Sciences resists takeover attempt

Parents and students in the United States scored a major victory 60 years ago in the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which decreed an end to school desegregation. More recently, Twin Cities parents and teachers scored another victory in a long and convoluted fight for school integration. That fight also is related to a lawsuit brought over school segregation.The roots of this most recent battle go back to a lawsuit filed in the mid-1990s by the NAACP and Minnesota attorney Daniel Shulman, which sought to end school segregation in Minnesota. The suit ended in a negotiated settlement that, among other things, resulted in the creation of the Choice is Yours Program, which allows students living in poverty to attend schools outside of their district.In the Twin Cities, several “integration districts” were created. One of these districts is the East Metro Integration District 6067 (EMID) created to oversee both the K-6 Harambee (pronounced “hair-rom-BAY”) Community Cultures/Environmental Science Elementary school in Maplewood and the Crosswinds School of Arts and Sciences, a six-10 middle school in Woodbury.The East Metro Integration District itself is a collaboration of urban-suburban school districts formed to mitigate racial isolation in the East Metro area. Continue Reading

State Services for the Blind reaches out to people of color

Over many years, studies have shown African Americans to be more prone to diabetes than Caucasians and to have a higher incidence of diabetes-related vision loss or impairment. The Minnesota State Services for the Blind, a relatively little-known State agency, can help people of color with vision loss or visual impairment, whether diabetes-related or from other causes.

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