Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits

"There are many examples that show how invested government has been in white wealth and black poverty." Ansley T. Erickson
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Ansley T. Erickson, MA, MPhil, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University

In a radically unequal United States, schools are often key sites in which injustice grows. Making the Unequal Metropolis presents a broad, detailed argument about the inextricable interrelatedness of school policies and the persistence of metropolitan-scale inequality. While many accounts of education in urban and metropolitan contexts describe schools as the victims of forces beyond their control, author and Teachers College assistant professor Ansley T. Erickson, Ph.D. shows the many ways that schools have been intertwined with these forces and have in fact—via land-use decisions, curricula, and other tools—helped sustain inequality.

In her account, inequality emerges not only from individual racism and white communities’ resistance to desegregation, but as the result of long-standing linkages between schooling, property markets, labor markets, and the pursuit of economic growth. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Erickson on the complex history of, and broad culpability for, ongoing struggles in our schools.


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The Cleveland Association of Phi Beta Kappa Endowed Forum

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