Tonight on BTR News we will tackle the topic of forced school busing that has historically uprooted and disproportionately impacted black students and resources diverted away from predominately black communities towards schools in predominately white communities, just like during the days of Jim Crow school segregation. We will have a roundtable report from three panelists are opposed to similar actions in Crete Monee Community Unit School District 201U, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Cynthia Hudson-the original Plaintiff in the Consent Decree case, both Black Trustees of the Monee Township school board members Mo Brown and DR. Nakia Hall.
A Press Release says,
At The District 201U Committee of the Whole Meeting held on Tuesday, August 15th, 2018, District Business Manager Kenneth Surma announced his intentions to move forward with the demolition of the 6th Grade Center using all of the 2-million dollars of cash-on-hand currently held by the District, an action that is a precursor to the closing of Coretta Scott King International Baccalaureate Magnet School in University Park and Talala Elementary School in Park Forest in favor of Grade Centers being constructed in the white neighboring towns of Crete and Monee that will require Black students to be bused to elementary schools from University Park and Park Forest. Such a move would constitute a violation of the, now expired. University Park Consent Decree of nineteen-ninety-eight , where the court found that University Park students bore the burden of being bused out of their communities, disproportionally.
As a result of the racially disproportionate busing of students,
The Crete Monee High School is a part of the Board of Education School District 201-U that has been under Consent Decree since 1998 for “establish(ing), maintain(ing) and enforc(ing) attendance units, attendance policies and practices, and a one-way busing scheme which as had a disparate impact upon African-American community of University Park.’ read more
Tonight’s panel is as follows.
DR. NAKIA HALL
Dr. Nakia Hall is a 9 1/2 year member of the Crete-Monee Board of Education. She is currently the longest seated member on the board and has served as President for 4 years, as well as Vice-President and Secretary. She is a long time resident of University Park with 4 children who have all attended Crete-Monee schools, and most specifically attended Coretta Scott King Magnet School. Dr. Hall can often be found advocating for students and educators on the local, state and national levels. She has served as an appointed educational expert on various educational committees and boards. An educator by trade, she also works as an educational consultant assisting with school leadership, school culture, student voice, family engagement and equity issues. Dr. Hall holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an endorsement in English as a Second Language, Master of Arts in Professional Counseling and School Counseling, and an Educational Doctorate in Ethical Leadership.
MAURICE “MO” BROWN
Maurice “Mo” Brown wears several hats in the school District. A Senior Electrical Engineer by profession, he has been a taxpayer in the District for the past 27 years; has been a standing member of the District 201U school board for the past eight years;he has been a distinguished Trustee of Monee Township-the governing body for the 201U school district-for the past 10 years; and is a parent whose had three of his four now grown division I college graduated children to matriculate through the Crete-Monee High School. Mr. Brown was elected by the taxpayers to be a voice for all constituents. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart and holds several Masters degrees.
Cynthia Hudson is one of the original Plaintiffs in an eleven year successful lawsuit brought against the 201U school district (Palmer et al vs. Board of Education of CommunityUnit School District 201U et al, No.90C9049) that resulted in a federal Consent Decree (now expired) instituted against District 201U in 1998 for “establish(ing), maintain(ing) and enforc(ing) attendance units, attendance policies and practices, and a one-way busing scheme which had a disparate impact upon African-American community of University Park.’ http://www.cm201u.org/index.aspx?NID=4146. She is a Boy Scout Leader by profession and has been a very concerned citizen in the Crete Monee 201U school district of University Park-the birth place and family home of Scandal producer Shonda Rhimes- for 28 years. 20 years later she is still fighting the same fight again the racist board policies that caused the caused the courts to institute Consent Decree of 1998. As a parent of two children and two grandchildren who matriculated through Crete-Monee High School, she is very concerned about district’s issues that include: racist school board members, the lack of minority staff in the district, and the high number of referrals, suspensions, and expulsions of the minority students, mainly the African American males. Mrs. Hudson may no longer have students in the district but she feels as though all minority students are her children and she continues to fight for their equal rights.
We will also hear again from Sis. Gwen, a long-time Mumia supporter w/ Campaign to Bring Mumia Home? Supporters are trying to rally as much support as possible for Mumia’s court appearance later this month.
Black Talk Media Project founder Scotty Reid is the host of BTR News and New Abolitionists Radio which he co-hosts. He has been hosting and producing news talk radio and podcasting since 2007 and has interviewed hundreds of guests on various topics. He is also a freelance writer who focuses on social and political issues from around the world and has been published by various outlets.
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