2012 First Annual BBDP Gathering

Posted: November 8, 2012 by Donna Bivens in Uncategorized

On October 27, a “small but mighty” group of Learning Network members came together to mark the end of the project’s first year and begin the work of the project’s second phase–storytelling and intra-community dialogues.

The day had three parts: beginning to lay out a shared vision of excellence, equity and access; mapping Boston’s collective “story” or history; and action planning. For the visioning piece, we asked the group two questions: What will Excellence, Equity and Access Look Like? and What would it take for us to get to Excellence, Excellence and Access? We grouped responses in the systems framework: internal/individual, interpersonal/inter-community, institutional and cultural.

We did the timeline as part of the story collection. We’re collecting personal stories about excellence, equity and access then and  now but equally important in this story collecting phase is collective stories of the history. At the gathering, we seeded the gathering with events provided by some Learning Network members .  Many thanks to Barbara Fields, Ty DePass, Suzanne Lee and Sharlene Cochrane (who drew from the timeline completed for us by the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project’s timeline that was done for us a t the beginning of BBDP) for their work seeding the history. The participants then filled in histories for four broadly defined racial communities as well as their own personal histories.

We understand (and were challenged about) how imperfect and inaccurate the use of racial categories is but given that we are trying to capture a time that was framed around “race” we used these groupings to get at histories from different community perspectives.  You can see the timeline developed at the gathering by clicking this link. We invite you to send us your additions or corrections by email or blog reply(we will continue to build this timeline although personal stories, questions and insights will only be added at events).

Finally, action plans were generated.  In reflecting on the timeline, participants set four major priorities: quality education, community development, economic development and anti-oppression. These groups will continue to work on these priorities. Please let us know if you are interested in being a part of a working group on any of these topics.

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