What would it take for schools and communities to collaborate around efforts to provide a racially integrated, equitable and excellent education for all students in Kansas City, Missouri? Drawing on the past to seek new ways to integrate schools will contribute to community-wide efforts to address issues of social justice in educational communities, and it is in this vein that “Kansas City speaks: Stories of school desegregation,” was born.
A multi-phase and multi-platform digital video and website design research project, Kansas City speaks: Stories of school desegregation, was first funded by a 2016-2017 University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Education Dean’s Small Grant. This study phase was undertaken by Principal Investigator Dr. Loyce Caruthers and Co-Investigators Drs. Jennifer Friend, Candace Schlein, Edward Underwood and Etta Hollins, all of the UMKC School of Education.
Research activities included the exploration and preservation of oral histories, narratives and artifacts related to the experiences of African American educators and students who formed the legacy and struggle for educational equity during the period of school integration (1971-1997).
The first phase included: (1) the use of digital video to record approximately 40 oral histories with administrators, teachers and students—about half of whom are also School of Education alumni; (2) archival and community research to digitize historical artifacts, memorabilia, maps, and archival documents and images, and (3) the design and launch of an interactive website with teaching guides to provide free access to oral history video clips and written narratives, timelines and maps, archival documents and images. A Community Yearbook feature allows individuals to upload personal stories and photos to share with the Kansas City community.
The second phase of the research project, “Kansas City speaks: Partnering with African American educators, students, and community members to explore urban school integration and excellence,” is now underway. Principal Investigator Dr. Candace Schlein and Co-Investigators Drs. Loyce Caruthers and Jennifer Friend; Mr. Fu Zhuo of UMKC Libraries; and Mr. Charles Oakley, a School of Education graduate student, are supported in their work with a 2017-2018 UMKC Inclusive Excellence Award.
The focus of the second stage is on three eras of school desegregation in Kansas City: Segregation and Integration (1930-1970), Desegregation (1971-1997), and Re-segregation (1998-present). Project goals include community member interviews, archival research and the digitization of artifacts, and facilitating community panel discussions and educator workshops offered through the UMKC School of Education’s Continuing and Professional Education to assist educators and community members interested in utilizing the website and instructional resources. The research team invites community members to visit the website and to post stories on the Community Yearbook/Submission page.
School of Education alumni involved/interviewed for oral histories for Kansas City speaks: Stories of school desegregation project
Lee Allen (M.A. ’04, Ed.S. ’14)
Gloria Anderson (iPh.D. ’16)
Jimmie Bullard (Ed.D. ‘14)
Loyce Caruthers (B.A. ‘72k, Ed.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’00)
Carl Evans (M.A. ’97, Ed.S. ’81)
Jennifer Friend (B.A. ’92, M.A. ’96, Ph.D. ’04)
Brenda Harris (M.A. ’02)
Nicole King (M.A. ’99, Ed.S. ’00)
Earline McKelvy (M.A. ’85)
Harrison Neal (B.A. ’11, M.A. ’14)
Pam Paige O’Neal (B.A. ’89)
Uzziel Pecina (Ed.S. ’10)
Linwood Tauheed (Ph.D. ’05)
Jermaine Wilson (M.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’14)
Yvonne Wilson (M.A. ’71, Ed.S. ’76)
Roger Williams (M.A. ’81)