Inlandia Institute to Host Community Conversation at UC Riverside

UCR professors to join list of panelists for a discussion around “No Easy Way”

“No Easy Way” by Arthur L. Littleworth is the story of Riverside’s voluntary school integration

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – UC Riverside professors will join a list of panelists to discuss topics relevant to the book, “No Easy Way: Integrating Riverside Schools – A Victory for the Community,” by then School Board president Arthur L. Littleworth.

Sponsored by the Inlandia Institute and the UCR Graduate School of Education, the discussion will center on the issues of integration and resegregation in education. The event is on Thursday, April 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the University Theater. Free parking will be available in Lot 6.

“School districts everywhere struggle with how to balance the needs and wants of the community with what is best for students overall,” said Cati Porter, the executive director at Inlandia Institute.

“Neighborhood schools are a prime example: Kids want to go to school with the kids on their block, and parents want their children closer to home, but what happens when socioeconomic factors converge and a school becomes “de facto” segregated? How does that affect student achievement? What should school districts be doing to try curb this type of resegregation? These are the kinds of questions we should be asking and seeking answers for, in an ongoing effort to ensure that the schools are meeting the needs of the community and its children,” Porter explained.

“No Easy Way” tells the local story of the voluntary integration of Riverside schools in 1965. At the time, an unknown arsonist burned Riverside’s Lowell School, and parents petitioned the School Board for integration. According to Littleworth, these factors set in motion a crisis that gripped the community just 20 days after the upheaval of the Watts riots. The book tells the story of this turning point in history.

Among the panelists will be Paul Green, associate professor of ethnic studies; Rita Kohli and Gregory Palardy, both assistant professors at the Graduate School of Education; and the moderator is V.P. Franklin, distinguished professor of history and education.

All Inlandia Institute events are free and open to the public. The institute is a nonprofit literary center that supports all forms of literary activity through community programs in the Inland region. For more information about the Inlandia Institute and its programs go to inlandiainstitute.org.

 

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