According to a new study from the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than half of the states are doing a sub-par job of teaching about the civil rights history of America in public schools. Some states are teaching nothing at all, while Pennsylvania and New Jersey both got grades of “D”. We spoke with some guests that gave us different perspective about what teens are actually learning about civil rights in schools, and why that matters today.
Maureen Costello, who is the director of the Teaching Tolerance Program at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Reverend Steven Lawrence is the chair of NewCORE, New Conversations on Race and Ethnicity. The New Conversation on Race and Ethnicity is an interfaith, interracial group dedicated to nurturing a more honest, more healing conversation among races in Philadelphia. It is based at the Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University. He is also administrative assistant to the Pastor at White Rock Baptist Chruch. Divya Arya is a teen who founded the student-run organization the Intercultural Youth Council, which seeks to reconcile conflict between different cultural and faith traditions by spreading knowledge and awareness of different cultures.
For additional information about topics discussed in this show:
- PBS’s The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow: Plessy vs Ferguson
- Brown vs the Board of Education
- Georgia School Holds First Racially Integrated Prom (in 2014)