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Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity

Social Justice

Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity

Thursday, October 5, 2023
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Doors at 11:15am / Lunch at 11:30am / Forum begins 12:00pm

The City Club of Cleveland - NEW LOCATION!
1317 Euclid Avenue, Suite 100 Cleveland, OH 44115

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"It’s less that this is a dream town, but more of a place where there is dreaming." – Laura Meckler

In 1955, the integration of a lily white Cleveland suburb began with one Black family and an unexpected response from that family's new neighbors. While some had responded with the racism and bigotry common to that era, the neighbors welcomed them and stood with them. Eventually, together they created an intentionally integrated community in Ludlow, on the west side of Shaker Heights.

These events set a course for the community and the Shaker Heights school district became a beacon for racial school integration and academic excellence. But not without its challenges. In Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equity, author Laura Meckler explores Shake Heights school's history as a case study of what's possible and how hard the work can be.

Using her years of experience as a journalist, Meckler turns her investigative eye toward the city that formed her, delving into difficult questions about this complicated part of Shaker Heights’ history–and its effects on the country’s racial academic achievement gap. Publishers Weekly called the book “a nuanced and impressively detailed study of the barriers to racial equality.”

Meckler is a national education reporter for The Washington Post. She previously worked at The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press. She was part of the team that won the George Polk Award for Justice Reporting for a 2020 series on the life of George Floyd. Before coming to Washington, Laura covered state government in Columbus. She got her start at The Repository in Canton.


After the forum, a book signing with the author will be available. Mac's Backs will be on site for book sales. City Club members receive a 20% discount.

The book is also available for pre-order here for pick up at Mac's Backs, or the City Club. In the comment section at check out, let Mac's Backs know where you would like to pick up your copy.


The livestream will be available beginning at 12:00pm. Have questions? Send a text to 330.541.5794.

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